Tips & Tricks for photographing your kids

How to get the Best Pictures

with the Least Amount of Hassle!

Tips & Tricks from Atlanta Children’s Photographer, Kristin Boyer


dad hugging his toddler boys outside on a summer day

Everyone who has a family knows how hard getting GOOD family pictures can be sometimes, but regardless you still want to have some photos that capture some of your favorite moments with your family. I’m here to share a few of my tips & tricks to help you get those great family pictures you will cherish for years!  Enjoy these tips & tricks and let me know if they work for your family.

Make it a game and let them play!!

Don’t try to pose children.  It doesn’t work!!  Photos should be FUN and capturing what 2 years olds do is what the objective should be.  Sometimes that is to run, play, jump and splash.Rarely do young children ever sit still and look right at you and smile for an hour or more.  Turn your time into a game… play peek a boo, say the abc’s incorrectly.  For example ABCXQR… it is HILARIOUS!   My favorite photos are the candid ones that show real laughter and true joy on both children’s and parents faces.  So, turn it into fun and games.  It always works

Daddy tossing his little boy in the air

Tickles, toss and swing!

 In a family shoot, tell them to look at each other and laugh or whisper in mom and dad’s ear to tickle the kids.  You will get great and natural smiles from everyone, including the parents!!  If you are photographing multiple children together you can also ask them to whisper something in the other child’s ear. Toss them in the air and snap quickly.  Kids love to play games and throwing them up in the air and catching them on the way down works wonders for genuine smiles.

Get down on your level with your children.  

Lay down on the ground, shoot up at them or be even with them so you get a different perspective or shoot from their perspective.  If you are hovering over them with a huge camera, that can be intimidating.  Get down on their level and engage.

Banish the word SMILE from your vocabulary.

father daughter hugs

Don’t say it. Ever.  It is fake and the result will also be fake. Also, it is not always about the smile.  Sometimes the best photos are their own quirky expressions, the look of concentration, the funny little smirk.  The huge variety of faces children make are worth capturing.  Don’t miss those moments.

Wide aperture, Fast Shutter Speed and High ISO. 

If you are shooting in manual, these are your settings.  Wide aperture because you want the creamy smooth backdrop.  Fast shutter speedbecause your kids DON’T sit still!  Capture them doing what they do best and that is moving.  


High ISO will allow you the freedom of these other two options.  If you are shooting in automatic, pick the sports mode for capturing the action.

Brothers laying down on the deck for a close up photo

Take a break!  

If they need a snack or a quiet moment, let it happen.  They tire out easily and if they start getting fussy, take a break. 

Get up CLOSE. 

I love a frame filled with the face of the child I love.  Fill the frame.  Capture the little details, eyelashes, blue eyes, tiny little noses… Get the whole picture!

Always have your camera with you and ready.

If you don’t often pull it out and then on occasion they see it, they freeze up and “pose”.  If you are always snapping away, they start to forget it is there.  Capture them in the moment when they are playing with each other and have forgotten the camera is even there.  You can do this by always having your camera or you can engage with them constantly when you are photographing them so they forget the camera is even there.  They are engaging with you rather than focusing on the camera.

First Birthday Photo Shoot for a one year old boy in a red wagon and a red car with balloons

For Younger children, give them somewhere to sit, something to hold or something to look at. 

Seems simple, right?  If we can keep them captive and still for just a few moments, you can get the shot.  But children won’t sit still on their own so sometimes you must help engineer that moment.  😉

Ready to book your shoot?  Email me at

Thank you for stopping by my blog, I would love it if you left a comment and let me know you were here! You can see more of my family work by clicking on my Family Portfolio. Are you looking for a Atlanta GA Photographer? Brookhaven, Chamblee, Roswell or Sandy Springs?  I would love to meet your family and capture your memories. To book a session, contact me via e-mail at, or call me at 770-722-9045. I look forward to meeting you!

Also, be sure to “Like” me on Facebook  and follow me on Instagram and sign up for my newsletter  —> to keep up with the latest studio news and discounts and make sure to leave some comment love below if you enjoyed the photos!

Kristin Boyer
Atlanta Family & Children’s Photographer


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Kristin Boyer, K. Boyer Photography Atlanta, GA Premier Newborn & Children's Photographer