May 23, 2012

How to Take Pictures of Kids

When I had one child, it was really easy to get a good family photo or a great kid picture. The adults look at the camera and you have someone snap until the 1 kiddo looks and smiles. It's a fairly easy and painless process when you have one child.

But then I found myself the mom of three kids under the age of two and taking pictures became a nightmare. In fact I took professional pictures of my kids every month for the first year of their life. I took Isabella with me to get a professional picture with the twins at 2, 3, and 4 months. Why? Because it took until the 4th month session to finally get a decent picture. (We missed the first month since they were still in the NICU.)

Isabella's reaction at their two month photo shoot.

So how do you get a decent family picture? Well as someone who takes family pictures before every event I have a great formula. You take a few pictures using the self timer if their is no one around to take it for you. I use cereal boxes to prop up the camera since I do not have a tripod and then I crop the photo later.
If someone is taking it for you, do not have another person try to get their attention!!!! The kids will look at that person instead of the camera operator. And the result is that the adults are looking at the camera and the kids are looking next to the camera, not a great picture!
Molly is looking at the person trying to get her attention instead of the camera.

Decide on the picture taking limit, and don't look at the pictures until you're done. That wastes valuable time and little kids don't have the patience to wait very long.  Then pick the picture where you look the best! Let's face it, one of your kids is going to be doing something weird so pick the one where you look the best. My logic behind this strategy, I'm so rarely in front of the camera so when I am I want the best picture of the bunch.

When you are taking pictures of just your kids, keep to the same picture taking formula. Set a picture limit. (Mine is to snap the camera until they get ants in their pants, usually 5 pictures.) And then pick the good enough picture. With three little kids, I have yet to get a perfect picture but I get plenty of good enough pictures. Once you've picked the best picture delete the rest. This is very important since you don't need to waste hard drive space with nearly identical pictures. And lets face it, you're never going to print all those pictures.

So what does this look like in real life?

And the winner is.........

Everyone is looking and two out of three are smiling and that's called good enough!


  1. You aren't kidding about things being difficult when you are trying to get a good picture with 3 kids. My boys were becoming so difficult that I got tired of paying money for pictures I wasn't happy with. We stopped getting professional pictures.

  2. Ha! I like your strategy of picking the one where you look the best. That's pretty much my criteria as well : ) Once my twins started really moving, our ability to get a decent picture of them went out the window. We've caught a few "good enoughs" of them together but most of the pics are of them separately b/c it's just too difficult to get that perfect twin shot. I keep thinking as they get older it will get easier but maybe not. It will be nice when they will actually follow directions though and perhaps smile when we say "Cheese!"

  3. I feel your pain honey, we have endured many frustrating appointments at target.

  4. Hey! Thanks for the tips becuase I rarely get pics of both kids smiling...your kiddies are adorable!!

    Happy Thursday!


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