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Photographing children: how to take the perfect family snap this summer

July 30, 2014
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With celebrities flooding Instagram on a daily basis with perfect pictures of their little ones, you'd think photographing children is easy.

But capturing great shots of youngsters can be challenging, as David Fairman points out in his bestselling book Take Great Digital Pictures in 24 Hours. As any parent knows, it can be difficult to get children to stand still for a moment, let alone pose for a photograph. With school out for summer and holidays in full swing, it could prove even harder to distract your young ones for some summer snaps.

With the recent release of the official photographs of Prince George to mark his first birthday proving a great success, HELLO! Online has picked some of the best tips from David's book to help you capture those memorable family moments.

mirandakerr © Photo: Instagram
Photographed close-up and at eye-level, Australian model Miranda Kerr appears completely natural in this snap with her young son Flynn

Work quickly. You must have the camera ready as children can become bored and distracted very easily and it is unlikely they are going to want to stand still for long, especially if you're doing a photoshoot outside.Secondly, be sure to lower the camera and try to shoot at eye level. This will allow you to relate to the child and creating a more personal, intimate shot. If they are standing, as a photographer you should sit, and if they are sitting you should shoot from the floor or from a lower perch than them. 

Prince George appears oblivious to any camera, absorbed in the butterflies at the Sensational Butterflies outdoor exhibition at London's Natural History Museum with his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge 

Giving children an activity or at least attempting to distract them with something more exciting than a camera lens will create an even more natural shot. If they are able to forget the camera is there and become absorbed in an activity - for example building something, playing a game or with a ball - you will end up with a less forced image and ultimately, a happier and more responsive child.

giselekids © Photo: Instagram
German model Gisele Bündchen has picked the perfect location for her laidback family snap, the children completely thralled by the sea

Use bright colours – children react to them in a very positive way. Bring some vibrant-hued objects to play with that they have never seen before or try using a very bright backdrop or a brightly coloured rug to create a more natural, lively photograph.

simoncowellbaby © Photo: Twitter
Simon Cowell introduced his son Eric with this cute photo - in it, the little boy sleeps peacefully on a plain white bed, and a few soft toys brighten the picture

Play their favourite music. This can be of great help as it often relaxes children and can get some great action shots.Try to use simple backgrounds. Pictures of children generally work better when the background is simple, or at least out of focus. Make sure it has the right colour and will not interfere with your main subject. Your portrait will then have more impact.

Take Great Digital Pictures in 24 Hours, by David Fairman is available from

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