Oak Roots Creative


3 Tips for Photographing Children (even with a phone!)

It might go without saying, but kids can be difficult to photograph. Some of them are wiggly and run around a lot. Some of them make unnatural faces on purpose or default to “fake smile mode.” You know the face I’m talking about. Sometimes they run away from the camera completely!

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that hard! Here are three easy tips to help you get some memorable photos of your kiddos, whether you’re shooting with a camera or a phone. Let’s dig in.


1. Acknowledge your child’s personality.

Is she into everything all the time? Does she move around a lot? If the answer is yes, then don’t try to change her for your photos. Just embrace her personality. Instead of trying to get her to do a specific pose (which will end up looking forced), ask her to do something active:

“Show me how high you can jump!”
“What’s the silliest face you can make?”
“What can you make with these leaves?

If she’s naturally active, just let her be active! If your child is calm, let her be calm. The result will give you more authentic photos and memories. Above all, remember to embrace your child’s personality.

Example: Look at the little sprite below. Can you tell that she likes to be on the move? I let her be herself, and we captured her true personality in these photos.

Small girl runs around a park with her family in the fall.


2. Get on their level.

A lot of people spend time looking at the top of a child’s head when taking photos. This view is ordinary; it’s what you see every day. It’s an adult’s perspective. So, get down low! Crouch down on your knees, or have a seat on the ground. Make sure you’re at your child’s eye level. Not only will this give you a different perspective—literally—but it will also help you to see the details that he sees while he’s playing with blocks on the floor or reading a Little Golden Book.

Example: I crouched down to my little buddy Arthur’s level here. By getting on the ground with him and shooting at his eye level, it seems like he’s the king of his kingdom and makes for a really fun image!


Small boy plays at a park with his mother and stuffed bunny.


3. Look for the “in between moments.”

Finally, it’s worth noting that sometimes kids get self conscious in front of a camera (just like us adults). Your child may have a specific idea of what she’s supposed to look like for a photo, which can lead to stiff poses and funny faces (hello again, fake smile mode!). So, that means that you need to sneak in shots when they don’t suspect it, like when she’s relaxed after the “1-2-3 CLICK,” or when she’s staring off into space daydreaming (maybe while the boring adults are talking). If she doesn’t think you’re paying much attention to her at that moment, she may reveal a bit of her personality, which makes for a great candid and authentic photo.

Example: You can tell below that Ruby got used to the camera and started to ignore me a bit. That’s where the magic can happen!

Collage of a small girl playing at her farm house with her cat.


So, there you have it! Just a few simple tips to help you capture authentic memories of your children. I hope you find these useful. Do you have other tips to share? What’s your favorite way to photograph your kids? Let me know in a comment below!


And let’s not forget that this isn’t just about getting good photos. Studies have shown that having photography in your home strengthens connections and helps relive old memories.


Don’t have time to photograph kids on your own? Book a family session with me today. I’d love to help you! Or just take a look at more photography from my blog.

Family Photography, Lifestyle Photography, Photography




3 Tips for Photographing Children (even with a phone!)

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