10 Essential tips and tricks to take photos with children at home

Posted by on May 7, 2020 in Photography Tips | No Comments

Since this weekend it is Mother’s day, and we are all DIY’ing all our photoshoots, I figured I would give some tips to everyone on how to take your own photos with your children at home. These are photos with my stepchildren, not my children. I can’t wait to attempt to take one with our new baby Jack and the big kids this year! We did our newborn photos and these are some tips for you. Any photos with children are just hard to get. After photographing probably thousands of children, these are my 10 essential tips and tricks to take photos with children at home. These tips are great for holidays, birthdays, the first day of school, and more.

  1. Find a spot in your home or outside that is easy to place your children. I have about three go-to spots that work great. My favorites are the front steps, in front of the fireplace, and a bench we have in the backyard. Think of a place that is easy to just put your child or all the children. Have decorations/flowers there before it makes it easy to just have it set up to take the photo that day. The consistency also makes it fun to watch them grow!
10 Essential Tips and Tricks to Take Photos With Children at Home with an iPhone
me taking an iPhone photo of children

2) The lighting should be a soft side or soft direct light. I am lucky we have big trees over our front steps that make the light not so harsh. Inside our fireplace gets great side lighting. Getting photos 3-1 hour before or after sunset is typically best.

3) Figure out what they are wearing the night before or weeks before depending on the holiday. For a photoshoot and holidays, I always recommend showing your children options. Getting them to wear clothes that are not their everyday clothes can be hard. When they feel they chose them they are much more inclined to wear them.

4) I typically don’t use portrait mode when I am taking group shots of kids with my iPhone. It is much easier to just do burst mode with the normal camera setting. Portrait mode takes too long to focus and you risk getting that perfect shot out of focus.

5) I think my biggest trick is to focus on getting your lighting, location, and clothing the best you can. Those are three things that you can control. You can not control one kid not wanting to do it, making funny faces, crying, drama… and so on.

6) Attempt to take a photo of all the kids alone. Try some looking at the camera. After those attempts have them look at each other. That is always a given to get a good shot. My husband is definitely my secret weapon. He is behind me in every photo making tons of silly faces and gets them laughing so hard.

take photos of children at home with an iPhone silly
This is typically what we get a lot of…
take photos of children at home with an iPhone looking at each other
Children looking at each other making each other laugh
take photos of children at home with an iPhone looking at you

7) Time for you to get in the photo! Hand the camera or the phone over to your husband. Now they are practiced to try looking at the camera. Do a round of those, then have them look at you. Definitely throw some jokes (fart jokes always work)

take photos of children at home with an iPhone with mom or stepmom
My stepchildren and I

8) After taking the photos it is time to give them their reward. I encourage bribery of treats/candy. It is worth it to get the memories for years to come. They will appreciate the photos when they are older!

9) Time to edit! I edit all my photos using the free Lightroom mobile app. Download the app today it is amazing.

10) I use my preset to jump-start the editing, then adjust lighting as needed. My newborn preset works on the big kids also! I use the “saturated” preset in the pack of three. And black and white. The photos above were all edited with it. I did take these with my real camera. The iPhone works great with it as well!

That’s it! My 10 Essential tips and tricks to take photos with children at home. Feel free to ask questions below. And let me see your photos! Tag @kathleenvirginiaphoto on Instagram or send them my way. Happy shooting!

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