Are you looking for ways for you to capture beautiful images of your children at home? Something a bit more engaging and memorable than a forced smile? Trust me I get it! Photographing kids is a challenge. Saying cheese and smile at the camera are not effective ways to get a genuine smile or emotion for the camera, believe me, I know! So here are a few of my top 5 ways to capture authentic photos with your children:

  1. Let them be themselves: Children are naturally curious and energetic, so allow them to explore and play while you take photos. Don't force them to pose or smile for the camera. Instead, capture their natural expressions and activities. This can dome from having your children read a book, or point to pictures in a book. Play a board game or have them paint a picture. Find something that allows them to express themselves. For example, in my home, my son who is 7 and Autistic really loves to climb trees and jump. When I take photos of him taking part in these activities I get some of the most beautiful expressions I have ever seen on his face. None of it is forced, he is just being himself.
  2. Choose a familiar and comfortable location: Children are more likely to feel at ease in familiar environments. Consider taking photos at home, in a favorite park or playground, or at a family member's house. When I work with clients for family portraits, or milestone photos for example, we try and stay close to home so kids are familiar with the surrounding and they feel like they are just out for another playdate in the park. Another way to make this work well is to bring a toy from home that they enjoy playing with.
  3. Be patient: Children can be unpredictable, and it may take some time to capture the perfect shot. Don't get frustrated or impatient if your child is uncooperative. Keep taking photos and wait for the right moment. A smile for the camera is not the most important part of your photo, capturing an authentic emotion or pure expression is way more engaging and will photograph better.
  4. Use natural light: Natural light can create beautiful and authentic photos. Avoid using flash as it can be harsh and create unnatural shadows. Instead, try taking photos outside or near a window with natural light. Play games with your kids by the window and have them point to something outside to have them look engaged and entertained.
  5. Capture candid moments: Some of the most authentic photos are those that capture a genuine moment of emotion or interaction. Be ready with your camera to snap a photo when your child is laughing, hugging a sibling or friend, or lost in thought.

When you are done with those photos, print them. Don't let them live in the cyber world. There really is nothing better than seeing your images printed. You can do this in an album, prints, wall art, really, anything goes, just print those beautiful images. You won't be disappointed.