5 Tips for Taking Awesome Photographs of Your Kids

Ronnie's Awesome List presents a guest article by Nicole Paulson, a family photographer who creates enduring images of children and teaches parents how they can do it too. Make room on your family photo wall as Nicole teaches a workshop for parents at The Image Flow in Mill Valley starting September 15. But first, Nicole shares five easy ways to improve our every day pictures of your kids!





1. Keep is natural: Your child’s expression should reflect who they are and how they’re feeling at that moment—happy, excited, surprised, or even meditative.

2. Master your manual settings: If you know how to use the manual settings on your camera, you have a much larger choice of options for creating different photographic effects. Take the time to learn how to use your camera so that you know how to take advantage of these options on the fly.

3. Stick to natural light: The on-camera flash is just about the least flattering light you can use. Instead, find natural light outside in the morning or evening or near large windows for best results. But beware of the time of day—harsh noon sunshine will yield a picture with harsh shadows.



4. Take your time: Rather than trying to force your kids into a photo session, find a place where they enjoy playing. You’ll have the opportunity to consider the composition of your photograph, the colors, and the background, and your kids will have a lot more fun, yielding natural, joyful images.

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5. Get down on their level: Physically, kneel, sit, or stand so that the camera can look them in the eye; metaphorically, try to see the world as they see it. You’ll get images that better reflect who your children are as unique individuals. 

There are still a few spots left in Nicole’s workshop Photographing Kids for Beginners & Intermediates at The Image Flow in Mill Valley, which will be held in two sessions on Sept. 15 & 29. To sign up, visit their website or call 415-388-3569.

The Image Flow is a photography center serving Marin County since 2008. They offer all the tools you need to explore and realize your vision as a photographer, including a year-round calendar of workshops and lectures, exhibition-quality printing, retouching, and art reproduction and darkrooms for traditional and alternative processes.

Upcoming Classes at The Image Flow

Sept. 15: Photographing Kids for Beginners & Intermediates Take your photographs of children to the next level in this workshop with award-winning family photographer, Nicole Paulson!

Sept. 24: Photographer Lucy Gray will present images from her new book, Balancing Acts: Three Prima Ballerina Becoming Mothers. The images were created over a span of fourteen years, during which Lucy photographed three San Francisco Ballet prima ballerinas, Kristin Long, Tina LeBlanc, and Katita Waldo, who had decided at the top of their careers to risk it all and have children, and keep on dancing. 

Sept 29: Digital Photography for Kids In this basic digital photography class designed especially for young photographers ages 11–14, students will learn how to “make” photographs, not just “take” them.

Oct 21: Send Your Kid to the Rock: Intermediate Photography for Youth, This five-session intermediate photography workshop for youth ages 11 – 14 includes a shooting expedition to Alcatraz Island and after-school image editing and printing sessions with The Image Flow’s Constance Chu.