Taking the best kids portraits: tips and examples

Childhood pictures are a fantastic way to preserve family memories, and often become a treasured part of family life. Of course, it’s not always an easy process. As well as excellent timing, you’ll need a lot of patience and some basic photography skills to give your snaps a real lift.

There are no real rules in photography, but we have put together technical tips and examples of great photography to inspire you.

Robin Schwarz has been taking photographs of her daughter Amelia for more than 15 years now. In every picture she has been exploring Amelia's relationship with the world through animals and dreams.

Robin Schwarz has been taking photographs of her daughter Amelia for more than 15 years now. In every picture she has been exploring Amelia’s relationship with the world through animals and dreams.

– Choose your photography background

A basic rule of photography, and one of the first things you will learn on any photography course, is how to choose an appropriate background. For a child portrait, choose a clutter free background to make sure the main focus of the shot stays on the subject. As well as looking more professional, leaving a blank background gives your plenty of scope for carrying out some creative editing.

Photo by our tutor Ion Paciu

Photo by our tutor Ion Paciu

– Choose your shot

By choosing a low focal ratio (f number) – a high aperture for your photography, you will put subjects at one distance in focus. What this means in practice, is that the subject of your portrait will be in focus, whilst the background and foreground will fade in to an attractive blur.

Photo by our tutor Giulia Bianchi

Photo by our tutor Giulia Bianchi

Photo by our tutor Ion Paciu

Photo by our tutor Ion Paciu

– Tweaks and editing

Many photography workshops can teach you the basics of photo editing – a fantastic way of giving your photos a vibrant makeover. There are some basic tricks you can try on any child portrait though, which can quickly and easily make the photo stand out:

• High contrast – by ramping up the contrast, you give a vivid colour boost, highlighting the light, bright areas of the photo.