Five Ways To Photograph Active Children

Taking pictures of children can be tricky. They move, squirm, make faces, and don’t always cooperate. The hardest times to photograph them can be some of the moments you most want to remember!

So how do you photograph them before they can’t even stand being around you? Taking Ian to his first day of Art Camp was a great opportunity for me to use six of my favorite techniques. Notice my favorite, bribery, wasn’t even included!

Dare Them – Ask them to do something BIG! Jumping over something is perfect. Shoot with a shutter speed of at least 1/125th of a second if you want to stop action. This is especially effective if they are wearing pink. I think pink may be the new red rule.

50mm | ISO 400 | f/2.0 | ss 1/125


Playing, from behind – The best way to get cooperation? Don’t let them know you are shooting.

50mm | ISO 400 | f/2.5 | ss 1/800

Intent on an activity – Get them involved in doing something. Stage it by good light. Shoot. This may also be the only way I can get a photo with him.

50mm | ISO 400 | f/1.4 | ss 1/640

Let them do something they normally can’t – Okay, of course, within reason. Wearing chairs on their heads seemed to fit the bill.

50mm | ISO 400 | f/2.0 | ss 1/400

Ask them to make faces – Zoolander “Blue Steel” seems to be very effective in our house.

50mm | ISO 400 | f/2.5 | ss 1/800

Have a back up plan – If you can’t get them to cooperate, grab something they think is special and shoot it. You can work in good light with cooperation!
Remember, too, that taking pictures of your kids means sometimes you live with imperfection. Keep it in perspective since when your little one is turning five, you’ll love those photos of his two year old self, no matter the focus or composition!



  1. Brooke @ shutterboo

    Fun ideas. I've taken photos of a lot of babies lately but they just sit there. This weekend, I'm hitting the park with some kiddos under 6 – I'm ready to dare them!

  2. Irene at Gone Scrapbooking

    Thank you for these helpful ideas! I linked to this page from today's scrapbook news at


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