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11 Tips for Getting Better Photos of Big Kids

By caseymullins |


Kids figure out from an early age what a camera is and what you as a parent want them to do when it is held up in front of them. My baby is only 10 months old but when her dad holds his phone up to her face she turns into a giant smiling and winking goofball. Addie humored me for a long time with genuine smiles and poses, but somewhere in the last two years she became an uncooperative ham and getting a natural photo of her (sometimes even a photo of her at all) has proved to be my greatest challenge.

When parents hire me to capture their families, generally their biggest request is a nice photo of their kids looking normal. Now that may sound harsh, but I know first hand that kids act differently for other people, especially photographers. If I can build up a rapport with a client’s child, pull them off to the side and exercise a few tried and true tricks I’ve learned and developed over the years I can usually give the parents exactly what they were hoping for.

But let’s be honest, we don’t all have the hundreds of dollars it takes to hire a photographer to follow us everyday to capture our kids at their very best, that’s our job as the parents behind the camera. If you can learn to think about how to get a really good photo before it even comes time to take one? You’re two steps ahead of your child who refuses to say cheese, pizza or any other request you make of them. There’s less rebellion from your kids, less missed or messed up shots by you and more quality photos with less effort.

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Tips for Photographing Big Kids

Assess the situation

What's the lighting like? Where's the best light coming from? Can you position yourself towards the good light (like a window seat in a restaurant?) The more you take pictures the more natural it becomes to put yourself in the best position to get the best light and the best shot. As soon as you've found your spot, figure out your settings. Do you want a lot of background blur? Do you want close shots or wide? Do you need to change your white balance?

Find more Casey on her blog, twitter, Pinterest, Flickr and facebook.


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About caseymullins



Casey Mullins is a writer, photographer, and nice person living in Indianapolis with her two little girls, husband, and a one eyed cat. She writes regularly at her personal blog moosh in indy and can be found trolling local bakeries and napping whenever possible. Read bio and latest posts → Read Casey's latest posts →

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3 thoughts on “11 Tips for Getting Better Photos of Big Kids

  1. stacie says:

    and your photography rocks….

  2. Barb @ getupandplay says:

    Love these, Casey!

  3. Ellen @BloomMaternity says:

    All great suggestions. I picked up a new tip or two here. Thanks!

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