With mobile phone cameras becoming better and better every year, it’s no surprise that parents have started relying more on these devices to capture moments on the go. We’ve gathered some fun and creative tips for you to try with mobile phone cameras that you can try at home or out and about! This is just a taste of what we have to offer in our Creative Photography 101 Course which covers the fundamentals and helps you master a level of creativity using a camera we all have.

Tip: Capture Action and Movement

kids photographyThe first tip for capturing better photos of your kids is to create action rather than the “look here and smile” photo.  This can be running, jumping, diving, or really any movement that adds movement and action to the scene.  See the before and after photos below to see the difference.

Skill Level: Basic

Tip: Get Down to Their Eye Level | Basic Level

kids photo ideasThe next most important tip to remember when photographing children is to get down to their level for the majority of your shots.  There are times when shooting top-down will look great and fit your concept.  For example, maybe there’s an interesting pattern on the floor that you want to include in your composition, or maybe the image is captured intentionally from the perspective of a taller person. However, in most instances, the image will simply look more interesting when it’s captured from the eye level of the child.  See the before and after images below to see a visualization of the differences.

Idea: Create Your Own Mini Studio | Basic Level

Having basic accessories like a reflector or a Prism is going to distinguish your photograph and give it a more professional touch. The 5 in 1 reflector is one of our favorite photography tools because of its cheap price and its versatility.  Simply take out the white scrim from the reflector and shoot with your main light source.  If you’re new to light direction, then all this means is that, if you’re outdoors, stand between the sun and your subject and block the sunlight using the scrim.  See the results below.

Tip: Use Low Apertures or Portrait Mode | Basic Level

Using low apertures on your camera, like F/1.2 to F/2.8, will give you a beautiful burry background and make your subjects pop off.  Why does a blurry background look better?  Basically, it makes textures, patterns, and objects in the scene less distracting so that the viewer can focus on the subject.   You can also achieve this in portrait mode on your iPhone.  See the example below:

Rewind: Creative Photography Ideas | How to Shoot “Water Hats” on the Cheap!

Tip: Use Foreground Elements | Intermediate Level

Foreground elements are simply things in a photograph that is in front of the subject, i.e. things that are between the photographer and the subject.  Adding them to your composition for your kids pictures can add interest to a photograph in a variety of ways.  First off, they can isolate or frame your subjects.  They can also add a photojournalistic, storytelling element to the photograph by placing your subjects into the action.  See the example below:

foreground kids creative photo

kids photo mistakes before

Tip: Find a Unique Perspective – Shoot up | Intermediate Level

At this point, we hope you’re recognizing a common theme with our tips and ideas for better kids photography.  Avoid the standard, “walkup” shot, i.e. the shot that an average person would simply walk up and take without any effort or creativity.  The next tip is similar.  Instead of taking a boring shot from a standard perspective, find a unique perspective, such as a “bottom-up” perspective, as you see in the following images.

kids photography at homeTip: Find Reflections | Intermediate Level

An easy way to elevate the creativity of your kids photography is to incorporate reflections into your photos. You can easily do this with a window or even the screen of another phone. Hold your camera close to the edge of the reflection to make it look seamless and make sure you don’t see the edge of the object you are using to photograph.

kids photography 1

Idea: Add Fog or Haze in a Can | Advanced Level

I love using Atmosphere Aerosol to create some drama in a simple backlit scene. It might benefit to have someone assist you with spraying while you shoot but you can also spray right before you capture the image. What this will do is help create a layer of particles between the light and the subject that adds a cinematic effect to the light. It’s great for creating some drama in your shots!

fog haze kids photography tips

Idea: Use Cheap Props to Tell a Story | Advanced Level

This idea requires a bit of pre-planning and maybe some quick Amazong shopping. You can make creative and adorable kids portraits using items you have at home or inexpensive objects from Amazon. My favorite accessory to have on me at all times are string lights.

Idea: Use an Acrylic Sheet Tip/Idea | Advanced Level

A fun way to show and shoot action is by creating a voyeuristic perspective. You can use an acrylic sheet between you and your subject to create a window into the scene and add elements to create perspective. One of my favorite dad moments was when my son got his first camera so I decided to document it by creating this effect.

bts creative kids photography
BTS – Creative kids photography with Acrylic

creative kids picture acrylic glass

Idea: Water Hat Kids Portraits | Advanced Level

In a recent tutorial, we demonstrated how to use a simple backdrop and angled natural sunlight, and some water balloons to create “water hats” for fun summertime kids portraits. See the full water hats tutorial here, and check out the gallery of images below:

For more tips on how to capture creative images using the camera you already own check out Creative Photography 101. We hope you enjoyed these tips and have fun testing them out with your kids! Remember, the most important thing is that you have fun while trying any of these techniques out.