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Two Simple Changes to Dramatically Improve Your Photos

Don't be fooled by how easy these changes are! They make a world of difference.

How to take better photos, photo tips, kids photos, how to

Looking to take better photos of your kids? I’ve shared lists of tips and tricks in the past (check out this and this), but if you want to take your photos from ok to amazing really fast, here are two super easy adjustments.


As adults, we’re taller than little people. The easy way to compensate for this fact is to simply point your camera down towards your kids. This doesn’t always make for the most compelling portraits, however. Instead, squat or stoop down and shoot directly into your child’s face. 

It may seem like such a little adjustment to the way you shoot, but it can make ALL the difference in the world. 

Additionally, when you’re focusing your camera, aim right for your child’s eyes. (And yes, bunny ears can help!) You might have take a picture or two (or 20 … or even {sigh} 100) before you nab a good one … but that’s ok! Eventually you’ll get one you love.


Bright, overhead light can absolutely wreck a portrait, as it can lead to squinting and harsh shadows, particularly under the eyes (aka, raccoon eyes). At times, you’re forced to shoot in these conditions. Perhaps, for example, you’re taking pictures of the kids at a pool party at noon on a sunny day. During times like that, we make the best of it! 

But for those times when you decide to hold your own mini portrait session, improve the “session” dramatically by allowing the light to dictate where you shoot. This is particularly important with child photography, as kids’ eyes tend to be very sensitive to light and therefore squinting comes quite naturally to them on a sunny day (especially for those with fair eyes).

Avoid being out in open areas between 10 and 2, as these are the hours when the sun is brightest. During these hours, seek out shady areas, such as the shady side of your house, or under a tree. Or work indoors in a space where the light fills the entire room.

Cloudy, overcast days are a photographer’s best friend! The clouds will act as a diffuser and give you soft, beautiful light perfect for portraits. 

As you pay attention to the light around you, slowly, but surely, you’ll begin to notice the “wheres” and “whens” of the light in and around your home and neighborhood. Choosing the right spot for pictures will become like second nature for you. You’ll instinctively know the ideal time to shoot in your backyard, front yard, living room, etc.

Just by squatting down and paying attention to the ideal spot for light, you can make a dramatic improvement to your photos!

Happy shooting!


Kate Callahan is an on-location photographer who LOVES to capture authentic memories for families. She’s available for weddings, senior photos, child photo sessions, and family photography. Kate works with clients throughout the Hudson Valley, NYC,  Delaware (and the tri-state area), and beyond. 

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