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Portrait Ideas that Capture the Magic of Childhood

Author: The Printique Team

A toddler with her mouth open.

Josh Liba/flickr

A portrait of your child will bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart for years to come, but you’ll need to know some tips and tricks if you really want to capture this fleeting moment in his or her life.
As every parent knows, a child is not an easy subject of any photo  period. Whether you’re trying to document the first moments in the life of a brand new bundle of joy, your smiling kindergarten graduate, or just kids being kids, all that energy can be hard to capture.
You could simply sit your child down for a stiff pose, but is that really going to help you remember his or her childhood? A great childhood portrait makes use of a number of different elements so that all that energy of early life is reflected in the final product — without the motion blur and sugar high.

The Light of Your Life

Two children play in the sea as the sun sets.

Nathan Rupert/flickr

In order to make sure the camera catches your kid’s bright smile, Adrian Murray says that proper lighting and a good background are crucial for nailing that portrait.
Murray believes that both machine and natural lighting are great, but when working with children who like to be on the move, a setting with natural light is best. If you keep it natural, you’ll get fantastic shots of your children playing and being carefree without having to protect all that expensive equipment.
Also, take note that lighting can be a fun tool to play with! While pure sunlight can brighten up a meadow or the backyard for a great shot, other times of day can make different kinds of magic happen within your pictures. A sunrise or sunset shoot can work wonders for beach-side or lakefront pictures, and when the sun isn’t at its highest, unique shadowing can make your picture stand out.

Setting the Stage

A young boy stands amidst a field of poppies.

Annie Fischinger/flickr

Parents usually want to take a photo that tells the story of their child’s particular age, or of an activity they love doing. Murray points out that if you pose a child, it will be harder to get them to stay still while you get the perfect shot. So let your child do what comes naturally  some of the best shots come from just letting your kids run free and play!
Don’t be scared to interact with nature, either. Let your kids pick flowers in the grass or approach friendly animals like squirrels or birds. Worry less about placing them in one particular spot and more on catching that signature smile or giggle.
Inspiration-filled sites like Pinterest show that pictures tend to turn out better when children are doing what they love most. Instead of posing with a soccer ball, let your child kick a ball around, or if they love to read, maybe sneak a picture of them with their nose buried in a book!

Imagination Is Everything

A baby with a pink balloon.


Once you’ve found the perfect location and your kids are ready to roll, don’t forget to throw a little fun in the mix! Kids love to play dress up and let their imaginations soar, so why not let them be creative on camera?
Adrian Murray likes to start with an idea and run with it. Does your child have a favorite story or movie? Or maybe a toy or game of choice? Find a prop from one of those and just see what happens!
Let the photo shoot feel like a play date, and you’ll get the most naturally playful reactions from your child. And let the kids dress themselves in those favorite rain-boots or the fun tutu  as you’ve probably told your youngster before, it never hurts to be creative.
Printique knows how important it is to capture the essence of childhood while you still have time. It’s your kids’ job to have fun and just be themselves  once they’ve done that, let us make it our job to turn that fun into memories you’ll both cherish forever. Make the most of these moments by turning to printers with years of expertise. Our White Glove quality checks will guarantee that these childhood memories are always crystal clear.