Say Cheese: 8 Tips for Photographing Kids & Pets


Capturing a picture of your child or pet can give you something to look back at and appreciate. However, kids and pets have the same thing in common: they don’t sit still. Forget about getting a perfectly posed picture. With the right planning you can snap a shot that you can show off with pride.

In general, the better the equipment, the better the photograph, but no matter what you have to use, these tips will make your pictures of your kids and pets shareworthy. Take advantage of FatWallet’s camera deals to save big on a new camera, too!

1. Act Natural

Don’t make a big deal about taking the picture or your child will be more conscious of what they’re doing, making for a less candid picture. If you adjust your child or pet in a certain way they’re likely going to resist and their facial expressions will look forced.

2. Make Use of Props

Give your child or pet their favorite toy or some other prop that fits with who they are. Let them do whatever they want with the prop and get some shots of them in action.

3. Be Aware of the Background

Don’t let the background take away from the focus of your shot. You want it not to be busy and distracting, but something simple. The background should complement your child or pet. Think about how the background serves as the context for what is happening in the shot. If your pet is looking adorable while sleeping, have the background look cozy with blankets or pillows, and soft colors.

4. Photography Takes Patience

The first shot might not be best shot. And neither may the second or third. Don’t get upset with your child, but anticipate that it will take longer than you might expect.

5. Less is Not Always More

Take a lot of pictures, as you can always delete them later. Faces always change, and you might capture the perfect moment at just the right instance. No one has to know that you went through 20 pictures to get one that was scrapbook worthy.

6. Mind the Lighting and Colors

Be aware of the lighting and its effects. The best light for photography is natural, so if you can, go outdoors or by a window. Take advantage of bright indirect sunlight, which is best right before sunset. Try to avoid the flash as it will create unnatural shadows and wash out the colors.

7. Get on Their Level

Don’t take a picture towering over your child or pet. Instead, get down to face them at their eye level, giving a perspective that highlights their natural features.

8. Be Less Serious and More Fun

Play around with your child or pet. The smiles will be all natural and you can capture an intimate moment. Even better, combine your targets by having you child play with your pet!

When you’ve got your favorite photographs feel free to put them up on your wall — in your house or on Facebook! While you’ll want everyone to ooh and ahh at your picture taking skills, the best photograph is one that means the most to you.

Have some other tips or a favorite photograph you want to share? Post in the comments below!

Happy shooting!

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