children album page with kids playing with a play house

7 simple ideas to photograph kids at home and document your family time

Believing in the power of documenting our daily moments, and being a photographer who does not have many photos of her childhood, I thought to write a quick reminder of what simple moments we can document every day and give you more inspiration of those simple daily activity to photograph your kids at home and how to perfect them easily.

The third week of stay at home experience is about to finish, now we have not only established a new lifestyle, it also seems that everyone is getting more used it and although lots of difficulties and concerns still fills our mind, we are doing our best to stay positive, help and support each other and come up with new ideas every day. 

” Well, I take photos of them everyday! but they obviously get lost in the pile of photos in my phone! ” 

” Daily moments is full of mess and activities and they dont even stay still for a second,
how can I pay attention to light and composition? ” 

A personal side story:

Along with the more clear memories of my childhood, full of family and grandparents loving moments, there are some vague images in my mind from the war years! A Crisis period, during which we used to go to the shelters every time there was a bomb alarm, and obviously all I can remember is the FUN ! All the children in our building would come down in the basement, while parents were so concerned, we’re just playing whatever game was possible. Long story short, I have no Photograph from that time!

I know you may say, who’d take photos in those scary moments, but still, that was a period in my lift that there is no document of it.. of how my siblings and me.. my family.. looked like.. what we wore.. what the basement or the neighbours looked like, the light and even our concierge who’d join us with his family of 6 at the time!

Photograph: Me! at around 2 years old, in our local park

Document our children, their simple daily moments and how to perfect them!

Let’s jump in the subject:
I am not aiming to go into more technical details as there are tons of information around. My point here is just to give you some quick hints to get you started :

Quick tips to always remember

while planning to photograph our kids at home

Patience

Wait for THAT moment!

Whenever you see a beautiful light over your child playing looking adorable, take one shot,
but
then wait..
wait for that moment to happen
and be ready..
sometimes all we need is patience..

Background

Try to keep it simple, to have the focus on the subject and emotion.

Specially be extra careful for what is around your subject’s head. 

Light

which direction it comes
Is it even across your frame or
Are there strong highlights and shadows.

Angle

Look for a different angle,
Don’t we quickly fetch the camera/phone, the moment we see a cute moment to capture it!
Take one shot
But
hold on a second.. sit down to see your subject from their eye-level, go above their heads and look down or approach from aa different angle, see if the light changes!

  1. Start with a simple everyday activity

When the kids are playing with toys or reading a book…
Remember these simple moments matter the most..
These moments are not only a document of this stage of their life, they remind them of their home and that they’re loved and cared. Photograph is to bring back the emotions!

one year old playing at home
daily activity child playing with toys at home
daily activity baby playing with toys at home

2. Capture them in motion

Why not let them be free and do what they normally are not allowed! A fun activity that will cheer them up and excite them; like jumping on the bed. All they’ll remember seeing these photos later on, is the JOY they felt at those moments!    Of course make some rules and conditions for why is it allowed at this time!

toddler in motion jumping on the bed
child in motion hanging from the bedside

3. Watch out for siblings sudden emotional interactions

Always wait for those sudden interactions, bursts of emotions between big and little sisters/brothers when they think no one is looking at them.

Those heart melting cuddles, kisses.. cute moments of exploring newborns, or just when they talk together and negotiate!

Simply be there and watch them in quiet, it will happen and once you capture it, it will be there forever and may even make in into their wedding childhood memory album!

kids photograph at home sisters interaction pulling hair
siblings hugging sudden interaction
siblings hugging interaction

4. Make it educational

Why not swap the phone/camera, explain them what you were doing, showing to them and make a simple game/competition from it. Now it is their turn to be the photographer and freeze their little siblings or parents moments. 

But teach the to always think and wait! Remember:                       Photography is a way of seeing! 

toddler is taking photo
educational let the toddler take photo

Make a game
and play

Try something new

Pay attention to composition

5. See from each parent’s point of view

Look at kids interactions with your other half, those moments you’d normally stay still for moments and enjoy… those that melts your heart:

  • When they’re snuggling calm and cosy in mum’s arms
  • When they’re upside down or up on dad’s shoulders 
  • Baking and cooking time

Make a list there are many more personal ideas to photograph kids at home!

daddy time from other parent point of view dad and daughter
family time from dad point of view, mum laughing with girls
mummy time from dad's point of view making toddler's hair
kids photograph at home mummy time cooking together

Want to go further?
Put the camera/phone on a tripod/table, on self timer then jump in the scene, they don’t need to know you are photographing or filming them!

family time reading book together
daddy time from mum point of view toddler and dad

Next: One tip for photographing children and teenagers, to capture them naturally and with no CHEESY smile! 

natural face expression a child by window
siblings interaction talking together
natural face expression a little girl

6. Interview them

Talk to them about an interesting subject with them, let them talk and tell you the story, then ask them questions, silly questions may work better to get different expression! then focus on their reactions, face expressions then click!

All you need to do is to have your camera fixed on your hand, a tripod/table, maybe have a remote or just simply put your finger on it ready to click while they’re talking and telling you their never ending stories, be ready and wait for the expression may be while they’re looking at you or not! 

Distract them from the camera, Capture that natural face expression!  

Location: Although it is always ideal to set these conversations by the window to have the best light, sometimes you may just need to follow them where they like to go and carry on talking to them!

surprise a toddler while talking to herplaying

7. Add more of the environment

toddler in the home environment

Life changes so fast, you know! You may move house…the decoration, the bed, sofa, curtains, home decor are changing every day. Let them be saved on your photos so to remember in 20-30 years or even more! 

baby in his room environment
toddler in home environment
parents in the kitchen cooking with a baby

Try each idea everyday, then look back after a week see what moments you have captured and what is left. 
Remember, children are growing fast, they don’t stay this small so everything is changing and 

photographs are there to remind us how it felt when we were a child!

Share your photos with me on Instagram, it will make my day seeing your progress and surely I would love to give you more idea and help to photograph your kids at home!

If you decide to go ahead with printing your photos, the blog post below may become helpful. 

family print photo album

7 simple steps to print your photos and make an album

Now that you have taken more precious photographs of your kids at home, here are a few simple steps to help you ornise them into a beautiful album.

newborn baby at home photograph

How do I plan for a Newborn lifestyle photography at home

Are you expecting and would prefer to docuemnt this very special stage of your life at your home? Here is how I plan to document this very special time of your family life