Child Photography Tips with Kandis Smith


Please welcome Design Team Expert Kandis Smith today as she shares some of her tips and tricks for photographing children! Kandis has three handsome boys and knows a thing or two about capturing special moments in her photographs. Be sure to read her tips for getting photos like these yourself!


Photography can be really hard, especially when you have children who don’t want to cooperate with you! And believe me I have three of those! I went through a phase where I wanted every picture to have my children looking at me and smiling. Then after screaming and yelling at my kids to smile, I realized that NO ONE was having fun. So I have learned many lessons, and I have a couple tricks to capturing emotion in your photography. Oh, and these work on adults too just so you know!


Tips & Tricks:

1.) Kids love to laugh, and I have to admit that pictures of my kids laughing are my FAVORITE. Even when their eyes are shut and their face is crinkled up. I try to tell them a silly joke or have them tell me a silly joke. They always laugh harder at their own jokes than when I tell them one. Or give them a good tickle. This can be hard because you have to have your camera in one hand and be ready to snap the second they start laughing, but it’s a sure fire way to get a smile and a happy kiddo!



2.) Make noises and be loud, especially when working with toddlers and infants. I make a high pitch trilling sound that always gets kids to look at me. Find that special noise that draws their attention to you. Click your tongue, sing their favorite song, or shout for joy! I have a photographer friend who loves to use her Fart machine app on her iphone when photographing elementary age boys. They think it’s hilariou,s and they are always looking for the sound, which is right by the camera. Maybe that’s not for you, but it works like a charm!



3.) Play peekabo or I’m going to get you. In the picture of this particular layout, I was playing I’m going to get you with my little son Cooper. I would hold my camera in one hand and crawl to him and say, “I’m gonna get you.” Then I would grab his leg and say “GOTCHA!!” He would squeal and laugh, and then I would snap the picture. Works every time.



4.) For more serious emotional pictures make them talk. This only works for older children. Ask the about school, their favorite sport, who their best friend is, what they are going to do that summer, etc. Or ask them who their girlfriend/boyfriend is. That will get you a bashful look!



5.) Compliment! I don’t know how many times I will ask my boys to do something for the camera and they run away and be difficult. So I started using compliments to get what I want. With my oldest I can say stuff like, “Wow, look at your eyes. They are sooo blue in this light. Can I take a quick picture? You don’t have to smile.” Then he will stand still and even smile most of the time.


And then I let him look at the picture and point out how great it is and how grown up he looks. They LOVE that. With my crazy 4 year old, he HATES sitting or standing still. So I usually say things like, ” Sheesh Landen! You are so good at standing on your head. Will you show me how to do one?” Then he will repeat his action, and I can grab my camera! And I show him his picture as well.


So overall it’s a matter of being loud, asking questions, playing games, and lots of tickling! Find out what works for your kids or for adults. Remember that not all your pictures need to be smiles and laughter. We love to look back through our family albums and see pictures of our kids throwing fits, crying, being serious, concentrating, laughing, smiling, etc. We want to see a range of emotions from our children. Don’t be scared to be a goofball! Your kids will love it!



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