Tips on photographing babies & young children

With these few simple tips you can learn to take great photos of your children as they start to grow. From choosing the right time to finding the right place. No special equipment required!
With these few simple tips you can learn to take great photos of your children as they start to grow.

From choosing the right time, to finding the right place. No special equipment required!

1. Timing

Try and take photos when everyone is relaxed and happy.

Children are surprisingly adept at picking up on how we are feeling, so if you are happy this can transfer to your children and help to produce a set of natural, happy photographs.
Choose times when your children are wide awake and not tired or hungry.

Always try to take your photos as quickly as possible. Younger children will soon become bored, especially if they are being asked to pose.

Try not to use a flash. Babies' eyes are sensitive, so it's not only bad for them but can also be a little frightening too.

Don't wait for babies and young children to perform. Instead actively engage and entertain them to get some more natural shots.

2. Place

Before a child is able to walk the best environment for taking pictures is likely to be inside.

However, if you're taking photos at home, stray toys or other objects in the background may cause a problem as they can catch the eye in the photograph and detract from the main subject.

Consider using a black or white sheet as a backdrop or a less distracting background.
Once your little one is up and walking (or running!) it is a good idea to use their natural environment as much as possible.

Your imagination is the only limit to the number and types of photos you can take of your little one.

Photo opportunities can be found just about everywhere: when they are playing, doing everyday tasks, reading a book, splashing around in puddles, the list is endless.

When taking photos outside be aware of shadows on your little one's face from hats, umbrellas or the shade of a building or tree.
Always keep a camera or your phone camera handy and charged so you never miss a shot. You never know when a good photo opportunity is likely to occur.

3. Ideas for ages and stages

1 - 3 months
As very young babies can do very little, try laying them on their tummy on a soft blanket or sheepskin rug and shoot directly down on them, focusing the camera at their head.

4 - 6 months
When your baby is a little older try laying them on their tummy and wait for them to raise their head.

You will need to be on the ground to capture them looking up towards you or at a strategically placed toy.

6 - 9 months
At this stage most babies can sit-up briefly which gives you the opportunity to photograph them playing with a small toy.

They love to chew and play with their feet too which can make a great photo when they are laying on their backs.

9 months - 1 year
Now your baby is mobile you will need more toys to keep them still.

A good idea is for someone to stand behind you playing peek-a-boo so that you can catch the moment of excitement on their face.

1 year+
By this age your child will be able to play with you and engage in several activities which all make for great photos.

Whatever they are doing, help your little one to feel relaxed so you can capture them being themselves.

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