How to capture emotive photos of your kids

Autumn is a beautiful time of year to take some new photos of your little ones. With softer light, settled weather and vibrant colours nature provides a perfect setting for family outings! 

Photographing your kids isn’t always easy, sometimes our best intentions end with tears and grumpy faces. (Not to mention the kids!) 

Here are 8 easy tips for you to try out on your next adventure into the garden or playpark. 

Magic Moments

Involve your kids as active participants, not only as subjects. As with any creative endeavour, the key is to be curious and playful. Get them involved, let their imaginations run wild with ideas for backgrounds, poses and games. To ease into it; why not let them snap some photos of you? Their perspective and ‘eye’ will create a story you might not have thought of! 

Goal: Focus on how this moment ‘feels’ more than how it ‘looks’.

Set the scene

Decide on a colour scheme and work alongside that. For example, if you’re at the beach, natural tones, with blues and whites are a good way to enhance the beachy vibe. Throw in a pop of colour, if you want to intensify focus. Choose your setting wisely, backgrounds can be distracting – consider neutral indoor settings or open outdoor spaces to really allow the subject to take centre stage. 

Goal: Bring a natural atmosphere into your photos 

Consider your lighting

Autumn is a lovely time for photography as the lighting is softer and helps to create the mood. Soft, mellow morning and afternoon lighting coincides nicely with snack times too! 

Goal: Avoid sharp contrast (shadows vs light) to give your subject a softer focus.

Pick timeless clothing

Avoid heavily branded or overly colourful/decorative items. Neutral, simple tones and styles offer a timeless look and will not distract from your little one’s natural beauty.

Goal: Keep clothing simple to not distract from your little one's features and expression

Plan Activities

Provide fun activities to take the focus off the camera and into the moment. Examples could include blowing bubbles, hunting for Easter eggs, building a fort, icing cookies, playing with the hose, planting colourful flowers or building a sandcastle to name a few.   Try not to give them too many commands ‘smile’ sit’ ‘run’ twirl’ ‘be still’ – it can really ruin the flow of their adventure, rather keep up with them and focus on observing their natural rhythms of movement rather than dictating it.

At times, join in wholeheartedly, put the phone down for intervals to participate. 

Goal: Capture your child’s authentic self, this needn’t take long and shouldn’t tire them out.  

Interesting perspectives

Here is the most important tip of them all! Think about the shot differently. Point & shoot makes for boring photos whereas changing your angles can change everything. Try moving around, get low to the ground, get up close, step back and capture open space. Shoot from above, from behind, turn your phone upside down and see the difference achieved in visual interest. We’re so lucky to have these powerful cameras in the palm of our hands.

Our phone cameras are light and easy to work with – so get a little crazy and try something different! 

Goal: Create visual interest, great balance, or amplify a feature like their big brown eyes or little hands. 


Often the best portrait photos are on either side of the moment you think is perfect. Snap a few shots before and after the staged picture, using Live or action modes on your camera will enable a fast shutter speed capturing moments down to the millisecond. 

Goal: Capture their unique quirks, cheeky dimples, sparkling eyes or that perfect little pout.

Don’t forget you, Mama

And finally; throw in a couple of selfies! These uncomplicated, joyful moments with the kids climbing on your lap, falling over your shoulders, and generally goofing off, will be memorable and fun. Looking back you’ll think to yourself how beautiful you truly are and how young you looked!  

‘The days are long but the years are short’

These images will tell your story as much as theirs. 

In Summary: 

You’ll take a lot of photos, so don’t be precious about keeping them all. Delete the ones you don’t love. It truly is about quality and not quantity.

The best ones will be: 

  • Emotive – spark a feeling in your heart. Pick your favourite as a wall dot or A-sized photo print
  • Light and clear – a minimal distraction from the background, not too dark, colours will feel balanced. Style them as a grid layout in one of our super popular collage prints.
  • Adaptable – with enough space around the subject to be cropped to a multitude of print sizes, e.g. square, portrait, landscape… 
  • Themed – to work as part of a photo series, perfect for a collage print, giant photo strip or photo booth strips.
  • Will remind you of the joy at that moment and make for the perfect gift to family as notable cards, photobooks or calendars. 
What tips did you find most helpful? Share your top tip with us; we’d love to hear what results you’ve achieved in capturing epic, simple joys with your children these school holidays!