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Capturing those picture-perfect moments with kids can be so challenging. That’s why I asked professional photographers for their best tips on how to take better photos of your kids.

Tired of the pictures your snap of your kids coming out blurry, dark, or just… meh? Wish you knew how to take better photos of your kids? (Me too!)

It’s so annoying when you think you caught the sweetest moment just to find out later they have that weird “cheese” expression on their face. So I asked professionals what they do to take beautiful pictures, and they agreed to share their tricks for taking better pictures with you!

Did I mention they’re also moms too? They feel our pain! Keep scrolling for more IG and Holiday card worthy shots without having to hire someone.

Lighting is key!

The difference between a mediocre photo and one that stands out from the crowd is usually lighting.

You want to be able to see those cute little faces, which means making sure they are actually looking towards the light. Plus, did you know there are certain times of day that give you the best light for taking photos? It’s true!

When learning how to take better photos of your kids, most of the photographers I surveyed talked about lighting, it’s that important.

The best time to take photos outdoor is an hour before sunset. The sun is in the perfect spot in the sky and photographers often refer to this time as ‘Golden Hour.’ But have no fear, shade or overcast skies are okay, too! Look for even light no matter what time of day it is. If you are inside, get close to a window but out of the direct suns harsh rays. Always have the light from the window facing the children. If you try and shoot INTO the window your device may have a hard time knowing exactly what it should be focusing on. and also will result in dark subjects.”

Rhianna Clark (Rhianna is a professional photographer and mom of five! www.facebook.com/RhiannaClarkPhotography/)

“When photographing indoors in less than ideal light (like in our preschool graduation, held in a church), bring your kiddo close to a window and have them look towards the sunlight. Indoors or out, don’t forget to lock your focus on their closes eye.”

Audrey M. McCouch (Audrey is a mom and photographer. You can find her on Facebook at Audrey M. McCouch.)

Have fun, be candid, and don’t take it too seriously!

I don’t know about you, but whenever I try to get my 4-year-old to take a “serious” picture, she makes the weirdest faces! It’s like I have to trick her into making a natural smile instead of something that appears stilted and unnatural. (And let’s be real, most adults can’t accomplish this task either!)

Something of the lessons other photographers shared with me was about learning to let go, have fun, embrace being a kid, and go with the flow when you’re trying to figure out how to take better photos of your kids.

Let kids be kids and have fun. Bring out some favorite toys or activities and let them play with them. You are not only capturing your child being happy, but capturing an activity, toy, etc. that makes them happy at this time in their life. Kids’ interests change over time and capturing the here and now is best. Plus, it will produce genuine smiles and laughter to capture.” 

Virginia Carden (Virginia and her husband, Tim, have taken hundreds of gorgeous photos of me and my family from my engagement to birth to newborn photos. www.cardensweddingphotography.com/)

Don’t forget to get in the pictures too

How many more memes do we need where moms have the most gorgeous photos of their kids and even partners with the kids, but the photos of themselves with the kids?

They are either nonexistent, or you look like a literal mombie.

Let’s end that now. We deserve to be in the shot too! Read below for one photographer’s really important take!

“Remember to get yourself in some photos too! Set your camera to the timer and say cheese! Your kids won’t care that your hair was a mess or you had sweat pants on and baby spit-up on your shirt. What they will see is a parent that was involved and having fun with them! Capture the beauty of life around you, it’s a wild ride!”

Crystyn Leigh Haun (Crystyn is a photographer and mom of four boys!  www.facebook.com/PhotographybyCrystyn/)

Just to recap real quick on the keys to how to take better photos of your kids… Good lighting, have fun, and don’t forget to get in that picture too mama!

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How to Take Better Photos of Your Kids