Top 10 Tips from Our Fave Kid Photographer!

Holiday. Photo. Time.

Three innocent little words that when strung together can cause much anxiety in parents around the globe.

To reduce the stress and end up with photos that really capture the true spirit of your family, we nabbed professional kid photographer and author of Click!, Rachel Devine.

Rachel’s neatly rolled up her top notch advice in this guide that’ll last you straight through your eggnog supply and into next year!

Top 10 Tips for Photographing Kids


write-sm The best way to avoid the tired old holiday portraits is to think about your shot and what the holiday truly means to your family.

Capture holiday traditions that are unique and make sure that your little family’s personalities are represented.

These are images of your kids, so show them how they really are. Tell their story.

Christmas Eve in Australia with my three kids looks Just. Like. This.


ingred-smGet things set up BEFORE* you bring the child into the photo session.

This is essential as children have extremely short expiration dates on their patience for picture taking. Don’t waste any time on getting your settings and exposure right.

*Never leave little kids alone in or around water…make sure your camera is with you before running the bath!


paper-smThe holidays can be chaotic. Don’t forget to breathe!

If the quest for a perfect holiday photo is stressing you out, forget the special posed portrait and go back through the last year’s worth of images and pull a few that represent how your children have grown and changed through the months.

Presenting the photos together in chronological order on the front of a card will be like a visual update for the year. Remember those annual Christmas letters from the long lost aunt? Like that, but in pictures.


paper-sm Make your heart smile and hand the camera over to your kids.

Let them record what the holidays mean to them and get a different perspective of your world.

If you don’t want to actually put the fancy camera in their hands, let them direct the process and help come up with ideas for the outfits everyone is to wear and location.

Make sure you put a little note in there to say “Styled by Child’s Name and Age” so your friends don’t think you have completely lost your mind.


paint-smIf you really want to do something with a holiday theme, look around your town for places that remind you of the season.

This Christmas tree farm was our little way of getting an “American Christmas” here in our new home in Australia.


paint-smForce yourself out of the formal posed rut and aim to capture a beautiful moments that happen in daily life.

Here, the light in the guest room was so lovely that a simple game of wrestling came out gorgeous.

If you want it more controlled than daily life, but still relaxed, set the kids up on the bed with a favorite holiday story book and capture them reading it all together.


paint-sm Try interesting angles and look at your subject from above, below, through and even under things in their environment.


paint-sm Practice what you say, I mean.

If you say just one more photo, respect the kids and just take one more photo!

It is so important to keep the photo shoots with children happy and light. The energy you give out is what you will get back and what will be captured in your camera!


paint-sm Did you get a great shot during the year, but the clothes did not match or the background was too busy?

Convert your color shots to black and white to simplify the look and unify all the mismatched details!


paint-smWhether you are the crafty sort and can create your own cards, or choose from the multiple printing companies out there, don’t forget to share your memories with others.

This day and age, you can save some money and a trees by sending out digital cards to your loved ones.

Turning your photos into gifts, creating photo books, notebooks and even printing and framing will make someone smile.

Rachel Devine is a commercial kid photographer and American ex-pat based out of Australia. She runs a photo blog Sesame Ellis and teaches people how to take better photos in online classes and live workshops.

Check out her books: Click! How to Take Gorgeous Photos of Your Kids and Beyond Snapshots (coming in March 2012).