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 take the best kids portraits.

Tips for Kids Portraits

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. Although your main focal point is going to be the person you’re photographing, placing them in various different backgrounds can alter the mood of a shot dramatically. Alternatively, you may just want to go for a more classic black and white look.

For kids portraits, 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

To add depth to an image and draw the eye to your subject, try framing. Simply put, framing is a technique which involves using one element of your image to draw attention to another.

You could frame your subject by placing them in a doorway, a window or porthole – you could even place their hands to create a frame around their face.

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.

Experiment with Angles

Not everything has to be straight up-and-down; sometimes images can appear more fun and dynamic if you hold your camera at an angle. Be bold though, otherwise some may wonder if the shoot is simply crooked.

For some creative, dramatic and memorable shots, use a wide angle lens. This works particularly well in busy or unusual settings, and the wide focal lengths can also help you create some brilliant distortion to make things a bit more interesting.

Photo by our tutor Giulia Bianchi

Photo by our tutor Giulia Bianchi

Photo by our tutor Ion Paciu

Photo by our tutor Ion Paciu


Portrait shots can often appear very static or unnatural and forced. Introducing a bit of movement add life to portrait, if done correctly. You can achieve the look of movement by either moving your camera as you take a photo, getting your subject to move, or leaving your subject still but introducing motion into the background.

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.

Vintage postcard effect – add a sepia tinge, or change the gradient on photoshop to add this attractive finish. You may also like to add an image frame to this, to give a postcard effect.

Black and white – a dreamlike black and white glow can give a stunning finish to any photo, add a black and white/mono filter to achieve the best effect.

Our Courses

If you’re interested in further sharpening your skills and learning more about the various professional photography techniques for taking stunning photos, why not take a look at some of our photography courses?