The Best Settings For Childhood Photos

Photographing children can be a difficult task. They find it hard to stay focused, happy, and most importantly to stay still. To get a great photo, you need to embrace their chaotic energy and embrace patience.

The Best Settings For Childhood Photos

First, you should consider what they are interested in, secondly, you need to take way more photos than you care to share, and thirdly make sure everyone is having fun.

If your child feels like they are being controlled or watched, they won’t give you the photos you are after.

Childhood photos should show important events or display your child’s personality. The below settings can help you reach that goal.

1. The Beach

A beach is a great place for a childhood photo shoot. There is sand, water, and a large open space for your children to run around in.

This location is amazing because your children play with so many things, allowing you to take candid shots of them. In this image, for example, the child is playing with the water in a way that shows her caution and curiosity at the same time.

The simple dip of a toe tells us so much about her personality, capturing her inquisitiveness and thoughtfulness as a child.

2. A Field

Fields offer the same large open space as the sea, but they are a lot more accessible. Allow your children to roll around in the grass, and explore the natural landscape around them.

Eventually, they will start doing unusual and hilarious things, which is the perfect opportunity to bring out your camera.

Here the child is just enjoying the grass around them, but the whimsical pose of putting legs in the air is too adorable to pass up.

When you take a childhood photo, you want to capture the memory as it is. The silliness, the uniqueness, and the genuine nature of your day. Don’t make your children pose, simply embrace how they are taking in the world.

3. A River

Childhood photos should be used to help you and the child remember. Remember moments of pure joy, remember how to go on adventures, and remember the fun you all have as a family.

Rivers often have trunk walkways, tires on a rope, or a bridge allowing you to play stick racing games.

/encourage your children to play with these items, and capture their joy. It can be tempting to have your kids stand next to the cool thing, telling them to smile, but that won’t capture the memory.

Instead, let them play and take as many pictures as you can. Sure some will be duds or instant deletes, but you will find a picture filled with joy.

4. Home-Based Activities

You don’t have to go anywhere to find a great setting. Like we said before, to get a good photo you need to keep your child entertained but to capture a memory you should consider looking inward.

What do you do every week or every month that is special to you and your family?

Do you watch a movie under the stars, as this family does? Do you make stories and create a mini theater show to present to your family? Do you play board games or sports every weekend?

Whatever you and your family do, you should take a photo of it. These are the memories your children shouldn’t forget. The moments of family fun.

This photo isn’t as dynamic as the others we have suggested so far, but it’s an insight into someone’s home. These kids will remember these events and will love to look back on them as they get older.

5. Anywhere With Action

You don’t need to be anywhere fancy to get a great photo of your kids. Kids love to run around, and we love to see them go. The best photos are often the ones in a local area, where the kids are just playing with each other.

Capture the moment as it is. It doesn’t matter if the picture is blurry in places because it adds to the genuine nature of the event.

6. Puddle

Kids love puddles. They will jump in at any point they can, getting their clothes muddy in the process.

In this image, we see a happy child playing with the dirty water, while another seems upset.

You might think a photo like this is a dud, but don’t delete it straight away! This picture tells a story. It will be a memory in their head for a long time.

Maybe the child doesn’t like being dirty and this picture captures their disdain. Perhaps, the happy child isn’t used to being in the mud and so their cautious stance shows their brave first steps in the puddle.

Maybe the angry child is actually jumping furiously to get a great splash, and you’ve captured their concentration?

The moments that lead up to a picture like this will stay forever, as long as you keep that photo.

7. Fishing

Not everyone goes fishing, but if your family partakes in a gentle sport, you should try photographing it. 

Reading, gardening, or anything that requires a quiet atmosphere can be a great way to show your family’s peaceful side.

This image also tells us a story. Of the three kids, we have a teacher or an encourager, we also have a novice or worrier, and in the back there is a jealous or worried child too.

As your children grow and change, these personality types and roles in the group will change too, so capturing them at this point can be an amazing way to show how your kids develop throughout their life.

8. Snow

Children in the snow are the most adorable thing. Snow is amazing as it gives us everything we need to capture the perfect memory. We can build with snow, run around in the snow, and wear adorable outfits too.

This snowman, for example, was lovingly created, and the child is giving it a snow hat. He will have fond memories of this moment, and this photo allows him to remember it forevermore.

9. Trying Something New

Watermelon at the beach? What a treat!

Trying new things is the perfect chance to create a memorable moment. Here the kids are having an amazing time. They have clearly just gone swimming, and now they are enjoying a healthy and delicious snack.

The enjoyment of their faces, the movement of the waves, and the uniqueness of the situation make this a perfect childhood experience.

10. Be In The Photo

Although you’re taking photos of your child’s memories and events, that doesn’t mean you can’t be in the photos too. Here the kid is getting dressed by their dad, enjoying a fun event. 

They seem so happy in the moment – enjoying each other’s company and sharing in each other’s fashion.

Moments like these are precious and important. Capture them!

11. Be Candid

You’ll notice that all of the photos we have shown you are candid. They are showing a moment that happened naturally and was captured by chance. These are the real memories of childhood, not the forced pictures where everyone is standing still.

Even if you know you’ll be taking a photo, or your kids know that your camera has come out, that doesn’t mean the candid moment is gone. Tell them to keep playing, allow yourselves to ignore the equipment, and keep experiencing the moment.

Most of your photos won’t be great, but allowing for a candid shot like this one means you can capture the best times without it feeling forced.

Final Thoughts

The best settings for childhood photos are in nature, doing the things that either happen regularly or are amazingly unique experiences. If you go on vacation, take photos of the events you aren’t used to.

While during your everyday life, take photos of the experiences that are fun and unique to your family.

Either way, make sure your photos are natural and candid. It will help you capture the moment as it is, instead of forcing a pose that doesn’t match your memories.

Take a million photos, and one will be perfect, but make sure you aren’t spending all your time behind the camera lens. Be in the memory too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Lightening For Child Photography?

The best lightning comes in the early morning or afternoon. This is when the sun isn’t directly overhead. When the sun is overhead, it creates additional shadows on your child’s face, while in the morning, your child’s face will be clear.

How To Take Good Photos Of Children?

Keep your camera on hand, the perfect moment could happen in an instant. 

Make sure the subject of your photo isn’t in the middle of the view. Be off center either by height or width. This makes the photo seem less perfect and more dynamic – creating a more visually stimulating image.

Lastly, get on your child’s level. Taking photos from above will not create an insight into their lives, but ours. 

Laura McNeill

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