7 Tricks To Photograph Your Own Kids

If you’re a mother AND a photographer, like me, you know that nothing is more frustrating than photographing your own children. For some reason, they just make things so complicated, and they don’t cooperate. I’ve been practicing my photography on my two children for awhile and I’ve found a few things that help.

#1.  Get prepared for the shoot before posing them.

If you are a beginner and still learning the settings on your camera, then make sure you have the settings correct before posing them. Use another adult to meter the light, or get the focus ready. You can also set up the scene and get your equipment ready and all of the other things you need to do, that can be done without the kids. This way when you pose them, they will have to sit still for a shorter amount of time, which will help with them getting frustrated and bored.

#2.  Make it fun

Savannah looking in the mirror

Try to come up with some poses and shots that incorporate things that your kids love. For example, my son loves legos. We are currently working together to come up with a shoot that can involve his legos. We both like the idea and it’s something we can work together on. There are a ton of other things you can do to make it fun. Go to a playground and shoot them playing, or running around in the field.

#3.  Bribe them

This might sound bad, but it works! Offer them something that they don’t get to enjoy very often. Maybe a trip to the ice cream store, or an extra snack. Maybe, even cold hard cash 🙂 It’s an incentive.

#4.  Be realistic and stay positive.

It can be really frustrating to photograph your own children because you are trying to be a photographer and you’re in mom mode at the same time. When they don’t cooperate you want to yell and show your frustration. Give yourself a set amount of time to get the shoot done. During the shoot try to stay positive and keep a smile on your face, and try to make the kids laugh. Tell jokes, make silly faces. Whatever it takes to keep their attention and not get them upset too soon. If you notice that they are frustrated, it’s time to stop. Just put the camera away, and come back later. Trust me, you won’t get any good shots if you keep going

#5.  Don’t always pose them

Baby Girl reading to her friends


Sometimes the best shots, are the ones when the kids aren’t paying attention. You can set up a scene without actually posing them. For example This photo of my daughter. I set up the teddy bears and gave her the book, and just let her go. I ended up with a decent shot.

#6.  Don’t worry about perfection.

She loves the Camera

The good thing about photographing your own kids, is that you are your own client. So you are the only one you have to please. Do your best and make sure your photos are the way you want them to be, but don’t worry so much about the things you worry about with your other clients. Just use your imagination, and try to make this an enjoyable experience with the kids.

#7.  Take the camera off of them

Sometimes when you’re trying to photograph your child, and they are complaining, all you have to do is find something else to shoot. Maybe your other child, or a pet, or husband. This sometimes makes them jealous and they suddenly want the camera back on them. Works everytime on my son!

All and all just try to make it as fun and rewarding for everyone as you can. You will see that you will get a lot more good photos out of the shoot.

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  • Thanks for the tips. My last photoshoot was awful and I didn’t like any of the photos. Everyone was wriggling everywhere or kept trying to grab my camera.

  • Yann says:

    Good recommendations here, and it all depends on their personalities, their age… I think with teens maybe the best thing is sometimes to not pose them and arrange for a location where they can do their thing like you suggest. And if you have more than one kid… well… good luck with that 🙂

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