10 Tips for Taking Photos of Kids from your Phone

Kids grow SO fast. I was mercilessly reminded of this when I had to postpone all my April shoots until May.

Maternity shoots are turning into newborn shoots, and newborn shoots are turning into in-home family shoots. Having a photographer come into your home just isn't feasible right now!

I am so saddened by this and want all you mamas to have photos of your kids that you can frame and hang on the wall, put in their album, or send to Grandma.

Now that we have some time at home, I compiled my top 10 tips to help you take your own photos of your kiddos:

1. Shoot them as they are - not how you want them to be

Let them play in their natural environment and capture them there. Kids don't want to sit still and smile for the camera while you take 5 minutes toying with settings. Instead, try playing with them. Or turn on their favorite music and let them dance!

2. Go with the flow and work in short bursts.

Whenever I shoot kids, I try to make it as quick and painless as possible. Be persistent, but patient. I'll watch their body language to tell me when they're done.

3. Get in close

Don't zoom with your camera! This will lower the quality of the photo. Zoom with your feet instead and get up nice and close.

4. Get down on their level

When I photograph children, I'm almost always on my knees or laying on the floor. When you get down to their level, you'll feel more connected to them, as opposed to looking down on them. With photography, the most interesting and beautiful images are always the ones that show the viewer a new perspective - something they don't normally get to see.

5. Use natural light!

Natural light is always preferable over any lightbulbs or lighting you have in your house. If you can take them outside to play, do that! If not, encourage them to play in a brightly lit room with lots of windows. Turn off any indoor lights that might be competing with the natural light.

6. Choose a simple background

Kids are often dressed in lots of colors and patterns. To balance this out, try to choose a simple background. This isn't always possible if we're stuck inside our homes, so using natural light is more important than this step.

7. Focus on their eyes

If your camera allows you to control the focus point manually (you can do this with most camera phones by tapping the screen where you want the focus to be), tap that focus point right onto the child's eyes or face.

8. Continuous mode is your friend

Kids are unpredictable and fast moving! Maximize your chances of getting that one good shot by continuously taking photos. Then you can choose from the best ones and delete the rest later.

9. Shoot everything

Along with asking them to pose and smile for the camera, try to get some candid moments that tell the whole story of your children growing up.

10. Just Get The Shot

While all these details and tips are nice, all that really matters is that you capture the moment. Even as a professional photographer, I take 75% of my personal photos from my phone - because the best camera is the camera that's always on you! You'd rather have an imperfect iPhone photo of a fleeting moment over no photo at all!

A dad poses for a photo with his son during a Family Photography Session in the Rocky Mountains in Fort Collins, Colorad
A baby poses for a photo at Watson Lake Natural Area in Fort Collins, Colorado during a Family Photography Session.