Practical Tips And Techniques For Parents – Child Photography

Children are brimming with fun, spontaneity, and wonder. Their sparkling eyes, genuine expressions, and adorable grins can elevate any simple photograph. But if you’ve never snapped shots of children before, you might not fully appreciate what goes on behind the camera lens. Dealing with the unpredictable mood swings and impatience of children can be quite a challenge.

So, if you’re a parent eager to capture those joyful moments of your children, this article will offer guidance. You’ll gain insights into everything from configuring your camera to mastering composition techniques, lighting considerations, and ensuring safety.

1. Understanding Camera Basics

For parents venturing into child photography, what camera settings should you employ? Children are constantly on the move and unpredictable. Therefore, you may not always have the luxury of time to adjust your camera settings when you want to capture them. It’s prudent to configure your camera settings in a way that allows for quick adjustments if necessary.

  • Aperture

Consider setting your camera to aperture priority mode, enabling you to control the depth of field by adjusting the aperture. This mode also allows your camera to select the optimal shutter speed. In low-light conditions, set your camera’s aperture to the lowest possible number to achieve a faster shutter speed.

  • ISO

In low-light situations, or when darkness descends, slightly increase the ISO. This may introduce some graininess to your image, but the overall quality will be vastly improved. Remember, it’s better to have a sharp, bright picture than a blurry, noise-free one.

children running

2. Composition Techniques

Composition in photography involves creatively arranging elements within a picture to convey a story. Similar to how a painter arranges different elements on a canvas, photographers utilize composition techniques to craft compelling images.

Parents seeking to capture memorable photos of their children should familiarize themselves with various composition techniques to elevate their snapshots. Here are some key rules to consider:

  • Rule of Thirds

Visualize dividing the frame into nine equal parts, akin to a tic-tac-toe board. According to the rule of thirds, position your children along these lines or at the intersections when photographing them. Instead of placing your subjects in the center, slightly offset them to create more dynamic and balanced images that captivate viewers’ attention.

  • Leading Lines

Identify lines within the frame that naturally draw the viewer’s gaze toward the main subject of the photograph. Incorporating such lines can enhance the visual appeal of your images. Look for elements like bridges, roads, or pathways that lead toward your child, guiding the viewer’s eye toward the focal point.

  • Framing

Utilize elements within the environment, such as windows, doors, or trees, to frame your subjects naturally. This technique not only draws attention to the children but also adds depth and context to the image, fostering a sense of connection.

Most parents make mistakes when taking pictures of their children. We suggest you go through these 7 mistakes parents usually make photographing their child to help you take perfect shots.

3. Lighting Tips

Light is a fundamental aspect of photography, capable of transforming an ordinary picture into a masterpiece. Proper lighting enhances colors, details, and emotions, resulting in visually captivating images.

  • Natural Lighting

Nothing beats the enchanting effects of natural light in photography. Capture the innocence and warmth of your child during the golden hour, when the sun casts a warm glow, or opt for the serene blue hues of the blue hour. Avoid harsh, direct sunlight, as it can create unflattering shadows and cause subjects to squint.

  • Avoiding Harsh Shadows

Position your children so that the light falls on them from the side, creating soft, flattering illumination and adding dimension to your photos. To mitigate harsh shadows, seek out shaded areas or use reflectors and diffusers to soften the sunlight. Reflectors bounce light back onto your subject, while diffusers scatter harsh rays, resulting in more pleasing lighting conditions.

brother and sister

4. Engaging with Children

Interacting with children effectively is crucial for capturing perfect shots. Choose a location where they feel comfortable and at ease, whether indoors or outdoors. Bring along toys or props to keep them entertained and engaged during the shoot, capturing genuine expressions and moments of joy.

5. Capturing Candid Moments

Allow children to be themselves and embrace spontaneous moments rather than forced poses. Candid shots often reveal their true personalities and emotions, creating authentic and memorable images that resonate with viewers. Engage in playful activities with your children to elicit natural expressions and genuine reactions.

6. Safety and Comfort

Prioritize safety and comfort when selecting a location for your photo shoot. Ensure the environment is free from hazards, especially when shooting outdoors with young children. Create a supportive atmosphere where children feel secure and relaxed, enabling them to express themselves freely.


As you embark on your photographic journey, remember that perfection is elusive. Embrace spontaneity, and don’t be discouraged if things don’t go exactly as planned. Capture candid moments, savoring the beauty of authenticity in your images. Relax, enjoy the process, and let your children’s personalities shine through, for it is in those genuine moments that the magic truly happens.