Summer Sale – Use code SUMMER10 at checkout!

Top tips on baby and child photography – How to guide

how to photograph babies and children

There’s an old saying by American comedy actor W.C.Fields along the lines of “Never work with children or animals.” This applies just as much to photography as any other area in life. So if you are asked to take photographs of someone’s baby or child, how can you ensure that you are going to do a good job?

Read on for five helpful tips on how to photograph babies and children.

As with any other area of photography, the first thing to do when taking photos of babies or children is to get all the basics right. For example:

  • Make sure you fully understand what your camera can do;
  • Set up your shot to make best use of the space;
  • Choose a suitable background without distractions;
  • Get the lighting right. Where possible, use natural light for the best results.

You can read more about all of these factors in our recent guide Want to learn about photography? Start here. 

But once you have done all the above, there are a few additional things that can help you to get some really good shots. So let’s take a look at five tips on how to photograph babies and children.


Find the right time

One of the key success factors of how to photograph babies and children is getting the timing right. However old the child, there are times when they are calm and co-operative and will be a dream to photograph. But then other times when they are tired and grumpy. 

So the most important thing is to be flexible and pick a good time to get those photos. If it is your own child at home, just keep your camera close and be on the lookout for suitable opportunities. If it’s someone else’s child, setting aside a day together with a variety of different activities could be a good idea. Hopefully there will be one or two points during the day when you can engineer a photoshoot without too much difficulty.



Keep things natural

Many adults really don’t like having their photo taken and children are no different. Even some young babies seem to instinctively freeze when a camera is being pointed at them. So when taking photographs of babies or children, try to keep everything as natural as possible. Interact with the child normally and try to have funny conversations to keep them relaxed and happy while you subtly take the photographs. 

Sometimes the best tactic is just to let the child play. If they get absorbed in what they love to do anyway, they will begin to forget that you are there and you can get some great action shots which will really convey their personality. The result is likely to be much better and more authentic than photos which are obviously posed.


Check what they are wearing

Make sure that you (and the child’s parent if that is not you) are happy with what the child is wearing. On the one hand you don’t want the child to be donned in their best clothes for the photos if these don’t reflect their personality. But on the other hand, if you are hoping that these photos are going to be kept and treasured for a long time, you don’t want to cringe at what the child is wearing every time you look at them. 

So think carefully about something that both you and the child will love to wear, and is also practical and comfortable while the photos are taken.

If you are photographing a very young baby, you may well want a range of different outfits for the photographs, perhaps some of the baby naked and wrinkly, and others in the sweet little outfits that you or the parent love the most. A little hat such as a beanie is also a good idea if the baby’s head is still a little misshapen. 

This means that the photos will need to be taken at different time slots rather than all at once, but this is probably a good plan in itself, to give both you and the baby time out during the process.


Use props as needed

For children of all ages, props can work really well in your photoshoot. They can help to relax the child and also provide additional interest and value to the photographs. In future, your grown up child will treasure being able to look back at the photographic memories of some of their favourite childhood things. 

Props are also very useful for baby photos. They can help to keep a baby happy and secure while the photos are being taken. Props can either be used to put the baby on or in, provide some extra background interest, or as an additional accessory.

Some popular baby props to consider are:

  • Baskets
  • Bowls
  • Rugs
  • Faux furs
  • Cute headwear
  • Cuddly toys



Be patient

This is the golden rule of how to photograph babies and children. We’ve already covered the need to be flexible and choose the right timing for your photos, but even during what seems like a good time, you will need to be patient. If the child starts getting bored or restless, you may need either to take a break or try changing location or props if things are not going as well as you’d hoped.

Also make sure that you take way more shots than you actually need. If in doubt, shoot! The power of digital photography is that you can scroll through afterwards and delete all the shots that you decide you don’t need. But the more shots you take, the more chance you will have of getting some that you really like. It’s still important to get all the basics in place, to increase your chance of success, but then snap away and hopefully you will end up with some great results.


We hope that this guide gives you some helpful tips on how to photograph babies and children and that you are pleased with the results.

Check back here soon for more helpful photography guides from Print Your Memory.


Share Post: