Mothers day photography, nelson bay, anna bay, newcaslte, NSW. family portraits, photography

Tips and tricks to take better photos of your kids at home

Picture of Natural Lights Photography | Hunter Valley & Newcastle Wedding Photographers

Natural Lights Photography | Hunter Valley & Newcastle Wedding Photographers


We are asked all the time for advice on how to take better photos of your kid at home. We all love a professional family photo session, but what about those moments which happen just between your family?

We have put together a list below of some helpful tips and tricks for capturing your gorgeous kids at any time!


Kids are generally not very patient, nor do they usually perform on cue, thus being prepared yourself can make the world of difference to your outcome. If you are just into the basics of photography – there is nothing wrong with the auto setting! If you are looking at manual modes, test a few different shutter speeds and apertures to find the best for the conditions you are in. Kids do move quite fast and constantly, so ideally you are looking for a quicker shutter speed! This will freeze your children’s movements much better! Faster shutters do let less light into the image, so great for bright sunshine but less so for darker conditions. You can then adjust your other settings like aperture and ISO to compensate. Firing off some test shots is the best way to test your settings, lighting and positioning before you engage your kids in the images.

Good lighting makes for better images

When starting out looking for soft natural light is the best option. This will give an even tone to your images without harsh shadows. Best to avoid harsh midday full sunshine too as along with shadows you will also have squinty eyes! Cloud cover provides and nice soft light, as does light curtains over natural window light. What the colour of indoor artificial light – it can change the tome of your images, especially skin colours. Natural light is definitely your friend!

Get down low

Kids are lower to the ground so to optimize your images, get down to their level or at least closer to it. When shooting at their eye level you will see a vast improvement in your images. You will be able to capture more real expressions and see the world from their perspective.

Catch them unawares

Natural images are always going to be the best way to capture your kids personality. When they are lost in their own worlds and interactions there is no forced smiles or fake behaviour for the camera. They are relaxed and animated of their own accord. There is certainly an art to capturing the best expressions while in ninja mode but practice will definitely bring rewards!

Capture their personality

You are looking to capture the natural real moments that show your children and their unique personalities. Having your children engage in something they enjoy or bring the camera out at a time when they are already engaged in activity will bring something more into your images. Don’t always look for that smiling image – you want the extra moments too. The look of concentration, enjoyment, laughter, and details of your child completely involved in their task.

Be patient

Kids will rarely work to a cue or time frame. Being patient is a big part of capturing the best moments of your kids. Being prepared to wait it out until the magic happens will ensure you get that beautiful real moment. Some days your kids will love it, other days they will not. You have to let your kids pick the schedule on this one!


Timing is key when working with kids. Being your own kids, you are aware of when they are tired, in a bad mood, feeling upset, grumpy or hungry. You also know when they are happy, wanting to participate and will enjoy their photos. Taking photos of your kids should never be a chore for anyone but a fin time for you both.


Play with your kids. Get them playing. Talk to your kids. Have them talk to each other. Make up imaginarily storied and be ready to capture their hilarious reactions to all the silliness shared.

Mothers day photography, nelson bay, anna bay, newcaslte, NSW. family portraits, photography

Remove distractions

for the best outcome you want to hold your kids attention – with the activity, each other and with you. It is best to remove external distractions that will pull your kids away from the moment. If indoors, turn off the TV or other technology, put away any toys you don’t want in these images. If outside, work in an area (park or yard) that doesn’t have the immediacy of over stimulation and cause your children to want to take off immediately. You want to keep your children in the moment.

Watch, breathe and then shoot

In this day and age with digital technology, we have the freedom to shoot non stop. We can go and go and go and hope we will get a good one from the thousands. However, if you take the time to slow down and really see what’s in front of you, take a breath and then take your shot, you will find that although you will have less, the images will be far more memorable for you and your kids. You want images you can revisit, remember the moments and share with other family members. Stories, which go with the image. Slowing down and not shooting everything allows for you to be a part of the story as well and those images which are captured are so much more meaningful.

That’s a few tips, which I hope will help you along the way and these will give you a start!!! Have fun with your kids, that’s what its all about really! Capture those moments which exist only for you guys and you will treasure them forever! And don’t forget you can contact us any time if you would like some more advice!




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