tips for taking cute photos of cute kids.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How To Take Cute Photos of Cute Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve always been obsessed with photography but I must admit that I didn’t fully refine my skill set until I had kids. Oh man, there’s no greater creative challenge than trying to capture an unpredictable moving target! Between documenting my own kids’ lives, taking client photos, and shooting lifestyle images for Pacific Play Tents, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for getting the shot. Whether you have a fancy DSLR or you’re just looking to improve your iPhone game, here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for nailing it every time:

How To Take Cute Photos of Cute Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

Get on their level. Unless you’re taking overhead shots of a baby on a blanket (that’s a whole other post!), you’ll get much better results from being at eye level with your subjects. For the photo above, I positioned Briar a few rows ahead of me and crouched down in the field until we were eye to eye. Even though the plants are only about a foot and a half tall and the space between the rows is pretty wide, the angle makes everything look lush and densely packed. For this image, I used my 50mm 1.4 lens on the Aperture Priority setting and shot it at f/2.8.

How To Take Cute Photos of Cute Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

How To Take Cute Photos of Cute Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

How To Take Cute Photos of Cute Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

Shoot through things. I use this technique with all forms of photography because it really is the most effective way to draw the eye in. When you have something blurry in the foreground while your subject is in focus behind it, the images POP every. single. time. If I’m outdoors, I’ll get behind a few branches or tall plants. If I’m indoors, I’ll stand behind a wall or even behind another person until my subject is in focus. Heck, in a pinch I will just grab an object and position it over the corner of my lens to create that magical blurry effect. The trick is to make sure that the object in the foreground is out of focus which often means using a wide aperture (this is where the 50mm lens comes in handy) or have your camera nearly touching the object that you want to vignette. It takes some practice but once you figure it out, you won’t be able to stop!

How To Take Cute Photos of Cute Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

How To Take Cute Photos of Cute Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

Capture them in their element. The easiest way to capture the magic of childhood is to act as a fly on the wall and take photos of kids while they are happily living life on their own terms. Too much art directing is never a welcome thing with the under-7 set but if you feel like you need something to pique their interest, blow bubbles, ask them to jump up and down, have them to run towards you, or pass them a toy. In the top photo, I encouraged Briar and and her friend Abby to sit on the bench (“Look at that cool bench! Do you want to try it out?”) and then left them alone to decide what they wanted to do next.  For the bottom image, Ellie’s dad did a little beat boxing so she would show us her adorable dance moves and I happily snapped away. The results I got from giving them space to be themselves is better than anything I could have requested!

How To Take Cute Photos of Cute Kids | Ann-Marie LovesHow To Take Cute Photos of Cute Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

Use your surroundings for scale. Growth charts are cool and all but you can also document a child’s size by placing them next to everyday objects that won’t change over time, such as doors, buildings, furniture, or even a parent’s legs!

How To Take Cute Photos of Cute Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

Always have a camera at the ready. There are so many unplanned moments in our day-to-day life when I find myself reaching for the nearest camera to capture a cute moment that I could have never staged or styled on my own. I don’t usually have my DSLR in my bag when I’m running errands but on this particular day, we swung by Target on our way home from a family outing and I was so glad I had it. This seemingly mundane image represents so many things to me: both of my kids riding side by side for the first time, their shopping snack of choice, the frequency in which we visit Target, and their cute little baby faces at ages 1 and 3.

These are just a few of the tricks that I keep in my back pocket when I’m photographing kids which is…ALWAYS. Any other photo tips (for any kind of subject!) you would like me share?



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