Parent’s Photography Guide: Tips for Capturing Precious Memories

Capturing your family’s precious moments can be both challenging and rewarding, but it doesn’t need to be reserved only for life’s biggest moments. An everyday moment like playtime or your child’s first time trying a new food can become a precious family memory too. Whether you’re photographing with a DSLR camera or your trusty smartphone, the Parent’s Photography Guide will help you turn an ordinary snapshot into cherished images of your child’s youth.

Parent’s Photography Guide


The word photography translates to drawing with light. Try photographing your child in different lights to see how it changes your image. Natural light is a photographer’s best friend. Try positioning your child near a window or take advantage of the golden hour (just after sunrise and before sunset) for warm images with a natural glow. Avoid the midday sun to prevent harsh shadows.

Low-light situations can be difficult. Try maximizing the available light by increasing the ISO on a DSLR or using night mode if you are photographing with a cell phone. You can also adjust your ISO on most cell phones by finding your phone’s Pro or Manual camera settings.


It is best to avoid photographing your child (or any subject) from below. This angle is not typically flatting. Instead, try photographing from above, from the side, or straight on. Kneeling to your child’s height can also create a deeper connection in the image. Experiment with unconventional angles to create unique perspectives and interesting images.


Use cropping to enhance an image. Shoot from close to your subject to minimize distractions. However, be cautious of cropping at joints such as knees or wrists. This can make an image look awkward. Instead, crop just above or below joints for a more natural and visually appealing look. Embrace the rule of thirds – picture your scene as a tic-tac-toe board and place key elements of the photograph along these lines for a balanced image.

Embrace the chaos

One of the biggest challenges of photographing children is their unpredictability. They are constantly on the move, and it can be hard to get them to stay still for a picture. Instead of fighting your child’s natural energy, embrace it! Sometimes your child moves just as you capture the perfect moment, and you end up with a blurry image instead of a beautiful picture. Most modern cameras and some cell phones feature continuous (or tracking) autofocus to help keep your subject in focus even as they are moving. Try enabling this feature, to limit motion blur if your child moves unexpectedly.

You can also explore your phone or camera’s shutter speed settings in manual mode. Manual settings can take some getting used to, but once you learn to use them, they can help you improve your photography skills in a variety of settings. The key to avoiding motion blur with a moving subject is a faster shutter speed. Shutter speed is measured in seconds or fractions of a second. A shutter speed of 1/500 is faster than a shutter speed of 1/100. Practice is essential to learning manual mode. Don’t give up if you don’t get it right on the first try.

Get creative!

Experiment with different angles, lighting scenarios, and crops. You can also give your child a book, toy, or other prop with no direction, and see what they do with it. Let your personality be part of every shot. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes – that’s when the most interesting images are created!

In conclusion, the key to capturing beautiful images of your child is understanding the challenges, maximizing your use of light, and leveraging your creativity. Remember, it’s not about perfection – it’s about capturing and preserving the joy and wonder (and everything in between) of your child growing up.

Ready to try using some of our photography tips? Join our Capturing Memories Photo Challenge and share what you’ve learned.