Six Tips for Photographing Your Child

My photographer friend Alpha always takes beautiful photos of her nieces (remember this?) and since our new baby will be arriving in less than two months, I thought I’d ask for her advice on photographing wriggly babies and toddlers. As part of a three-part photography series sponsored by Canon, Alpha agreed to share six handy tips…
Tip #1: Use their crib, especially if they are at an age where they like to pull up their little bodies or practice standing. You can play peek-a-boo or make faces behind your camera.
Tip #2: Shoot from overhead. It’s a simple way to get great photos, and it’s a comfortable position for them to stay for a while. If you have a busy patterned carpet or floor, lay down a white blanket to clean up the background. And come in tight for sweet details. Remember, their faces don’t always have to be in the photo.
Tip #3: Use their favorite toys as props. This gives them something to look at and interact with.
Tip #4: Shoot over the shoulder of the other parent or a babysitter. Since the child will feel comfortable, you can get good relaxed shots.


Tip #5: Get on their level and be spontaneous. Crawl around on the floor. Photograph them as they explore and climb. Babies are always on the move doing cute things. When it’s not working to get them to do what you want, photograph them doing what they want.

OVERALL tip: Move your child closer to the light. This is an obvious tip, but many parents forget and end up with dark, blurry photos. If you simply relocate your baby closer to a window, you’ll be able to use a faster shutter speed which will make your photos nicer and your life easier! It will also bring extra light and sparkle to their eyes.

Thank you so much, Alpha!

(This post was sponsored by Canon as part of a three-post series about photographing kids. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that make Cup of Jo possible. Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Adorable baby by Kendra Smoot:)

  1. This tips are quite helping. You can have best photographs using these tips. Thanks for sharing these photographs. Adorable kids

  2. Such a good article. These tips are so helpful to KIDS. I found one more site related to kids articles. Please learn more about your KIDS here

  3. Killer photographs. Very natural, All portraits of the kid are just stunning. Great work!

  4. So many great tips, thank you! Making me think I didn’t take enough tiny photos. . .

  5. I used to work in a baby clinic. We once had a mum who photographed her baby every month for a year in the baby scales. It was gorgeous to look back on & made a great photo collage.

    Sheepskins and Fairylights.blogspot

  6. I used to work in a baby clinic. We once had a mum who photographed her baby every month for a year in the baby scales. It was gorgeous to look back on & made a great photo collage.

    Sheepskins and Fairylights.blogspot

  7. These are great – thanks, and perfect timing for a “shoot” I have scheduled with my girls.

  8. love these tips!!! i just got a canon camera for christmas and in need of all the tips i can get on photographing my toddler. can’t wait to try some of this out :) love the shots on their level by the piano, so pretty!

    Amanda @ The Anti-Mom

  9. What a great series! Thanks for sharing these tips–I especially love the one about shooting over the shoulder of another parent. Such a great idea I never would have thought of!

  10. lo says...

    so sweet, i love that onesie, too!

  11. What wonderful photographs!!! And amazing tips. And that romper is almost as adorable as the baby! Do you know where it is from?

  12. Thanks for sharing! These will come in handy for me in a couple months!

  13. These pictures are adorable! Wish I had a baby to photograph — do you think these tips will translate to photographing my teenager? lol!

  14. Thank you for the tips! I am expecting a little one any day and though I LOVE taking pictures of my dog ( the kiddo will be a whole new bag of tricks!

  15. jm says...

    These pictures are so beautiful. I wish I could take somelike these.

  16. thanks for your sweet comments! and i asked kendra about the crib, and she said: “I got the crib off of Craigslist but I think it was from babies r us originally:)”

  17. Any lens advice? We’re expecting a baby in August (our first!), and I was toying with the idea of buying a portrait lens or maybe a macro. I have a canon DSLR, if that helps! Thanks! Love this post!

    • We got a nifty fifty for our Canon and it’s great for taking baby pictures.

  18. great tips – thank you!

  19. jm says...

    This is great! Thanks for posting!

  20. These are wonderful – thank you for sharing! I’ll be seeing my new nephew in just a couple of weeks so these will definitely come in handy :)

  21. I would add the tip to take way more shots than you think you need. It takes me 50 shots to get 1 or 2 gems. You can always delete the rest. Continuous shooting mode can help with this.

  22. Great tips!

  23. thanks! how about a canon discount code ;)

  24. such great tips for photographing babies or even pets…who aso like to wiggle away :).

  25. There is too much cuteness in this post!! :)

  26. Completely great suggestions – thanks!!

  27. Joanna, is there any way you could find out where that crib is from? I’m looking for one (just like that) for my upcoming arrival….


    • Pretty sure that’s a Davinci Jenny Lind crib. We got ours from WalMart (ugh, guilt). And we love it.

  28. Such a cutie pie, I can’t wait to have kids to photograph them all day long! x

  29. Great tips! And what an adorable baby I just wanna squeeze those cheeks!