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How to Take Beautiful Lifestyle Photos of Your Kids

I am a lifestyle photographer, which means I do very minimal, if any, posing. I love “caught-in-the-moment” photos that give the appearance that the subject is not aware of the camera.

Photograph by Maria Manco

My son is at the age where he does not like getting his photo his taken, he will not look my way if I make a silly noise and he knows when I have my camera out. And that’s OK, because some of my favorite photos are the ones where he is not paying attention to me or looking at me at all.

Photograph by Maria Manco

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But this isn’t just a matter of taking photos of your kids backs, although that can work out too. It requires two things. The first is reading your child’s emotions and mood. If I want playful photos, I can’t just sit there with my camera to my face and click away expecting him to react and laugh to the black box covering my face. I usually end up with something like this:

Photograph by Maria Manco

I must interact. I must play. Usually without my camera for a few minutes. I keep it at close reach though so that when I feel a moment is right and he is really happy, I can grab it quickly and snap a few photos. I then set it down and keep playing and staying engaged, always reading his mood and knowing when to stop.

Photograph by Maria Manco
Photograph by Maria Manco
Photograph by Maria Manco

The second thing is that you must give them an activity to do. This helps them to be unaware of your camera and to get the real life moments that you want.

Photograph by Maria Manco
Photograph by Maria Manco
Photograph by Maria Manco

If they are concentrating on something it can also give you the opportunity to catch them off guard and say their name to get their attention for a split second.

Photograph by Maria Manco
Photograph by Maria Manco

When all else fails, a few sleeping shots are always a good bet.

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Photograph by Maria Manco
Photograph by Maria Manco

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