How to Take Better Photos of Your Kids | Kaylie Ruth Photography

Denver Children’s Photographer

All you want is a nice photo. That’s not too much to ask, right? But kids are challenging. I mean, really challenging. Generally speaking, they have a lot of energy and (let’s face it) very short attention spans. So when you’re trying to snap a few pictures, things may not go exactly as planned. Here are some tips to make the most of those quick snapshots:

1. Let Go Of Perfection

Those perfectly posed images take quite a bit of time to achieve and are often manipulated in photoshop. Kids rarely (if ever) want to sit still and smile for the camera. They’re silly and energetic, so let that imperfect, messy energy shine through!

2. Be Silly!

Your kiddos are going to make funny faces, so you might as well catch it on camera! Having a ‘weird face contest’ is sure to bring the laughs, and you’ll get some great genuine smiles out of it!

Be silly with them, and then pause for a bit to catch whatever they’re doing. In this photo, I used a helper to dangle this cutie upside-down so I could grab a quick photo. It was a great way to get those giggles out, too!

Arvada Newborn Photographer | Kaylie Ruth Photography

3. Remove “Say Cheese!” From Your Vocabulary

Your kids may smile, but it won’t be genuine. It will be… well… cheesy.

4. Play A Game

Ring around the rosie, follow-the-leader, Simon Says, running races, and more… there are SO many options! Having your kiddos play games will keep their mind off the camera (and, bonus, they’ll get some energy out!).

Arvada Newborn Photographer | Kaylie Ruth Photography

5. Pay Attention To The Light

The light you use will make a huge difference in how your photograph turns out. Unflattering light makes for unflattering photos. Studio photographers spend a lot of money on their lighting equipment to make sure it’s all juuuust right. Art is very subjective, but here are some basic “rules” about light, assuming you don’t have expensive photography equipment sitting around:


  • Bad: Anything coming from directly overhead (high noon sun, fluorescent room lights, etc.)
  • Good: Window light coming in from the side OR outdoor shade (be sure to avoid lots of “stippled” shadows, like light coming through the leaves during the summer)
  • Better: Diffused window light coming in from the side (a sheer white shade covering the window to help spread out the light and make it less harsh)
  • Best: Sunrise or Sunset (aka “golden hour”). Experiment with light coming from behind, from the side, or in front… just avoid the dreaded eye-squint!
Arvada Newborn Photographer | Kaylie Ruth Photography

6. Get Down On Their Level

We always see kids from the same angle, so change it up! Take things down to their level and find out what the world looks like from their eye-level.

Arvada Newborn Photographer | Kaylie Ruth Photography
Arvada Newborn Photographer | Kaylie Ruth Photography

7. Don’t Be Afraid To Get Up Close

Those little details are just too cute to pass up! Don’t be afraid to grab some photos of those tiny fingers and toes because, let’s face it, they’re only cute for so long!

8. Try Out the “Rule of Thirds”

The rule of thirds is a guideline photographers and artists use to help with composition. If you divide your canvas (photograph) evenly into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, the subject of your image would be placed either on those lines or where the lines intersect. Here’s a ‘blank’ canvas divided into the rule of thirds:

Arvada Newborn Photographer | Kaylie Ruth Photography

Now, here’s a photograph showing the rule of thirds in use. See how the main focus (the baby’s head) is at intersecting lines, rather than centered in the image?

Arvada Newborn Photographer | Kaylie Ruth Photography

9. Take a Bunch of Photos

We live in a digital age, so take as many photos as you’d like as delete the ones you don’t care for!

10. If All Else Fails, Go With Bribery.


Kaylie Ruth Photography is located in Denver, CO within the Westminster area. She is a professional photographer that specializes in fine art newborn, baby, and child photography in Denver and surrounding areas including but not limited to Broomfield, Westminster, Longmont, Boulder, Thornton, Northglenn, Louisville, Lafayette, Wheat Ridge, and Arvada.

Latest Blog Post: Denver Milestone Photographer

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