We all take pictures of our kids and probably get lots during special moments like birthdays or holidays. We make sure to grab our phone quickly when the spaghetti dinner is all over their face or they just painted themselves instead of the paper.
Don’t stop taking these pictures. They are fun memories that you will enjoy revisiting later. But let’s add to your list. Like many parents, my husband and I measure our kiddos on a piece of trim to see how big they are getting. The list below is similar to this. These are photos of your kids that capture who your child is at a moment in time. You can take them as often as you want, but I suggest at least once a year.
There are so many precious moments you can capture on film when taking photos of your kids. But if you try to capture them all, you will have thousands of photos.
8 photos of your kids you should take every year:
1. With their favorite thing-
Does your child have a favorite stuffed animal? A toy they carry around everywhere? A favorite person? A favorite food? Take a photo of your child with this favorite item or person. It may change often, but it is fun to look back at what made your child smile at each different stage.
A few easy ways to incorporate this prized object:
- Take photos while your child is naturally playing with the toy, reading the book, or snuggling with the stuffed animal.
- Get a photo at ground level with the object in focus and your child slightly out of focus in the background.
- Depending on what the item is, you could surround your child in them. Think cars, legos, balls, stuffed animals, crayons…
2. Standing by mom or dad-
This is one of my favorites. Having a photo standing next to mom and dad or both provides a visual growth chart and will likely become some of your favorite photos. This is a great photo from both the front and the back. I try to do this a few different times each year and if possible, do a couple with siblings next to each other as well.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Child and parent staring out at something, such as an ocean, a wide view, an animal at the zoo. Anything that has both people looking in the same direction will make for a great behind shot.
- A child hugging the leg of a parent.
- Dad and daughter dancing
- Sitting next to each other
3. Stair steps-
If you have more than one child or a group of cousins or friends who you spend a lot of time with, stair step photos are a fun way to watch their growth together. Line the kids up from shortest to tallest, facing you, and start snapping.
Try these different stair step ideas
- Standing in front of a blank wall or staircase
- Sitting next to each other with feet out in front
- Birds eyes few with all kids laying down
- Lined up
My mom used to always tell me she lived to look at us while we were sleeping because we looked little even as we grew up. I never really understood what she meant until I looked at my own children while they slept. There is just something so precious about a sleeping child. Try to get a sleeping photo at least once a year (easier said than done sometimes!)
5. Doing something they love-
This is an easy one. And you will probably take lots of pictures of your kids doing things they love. Think about even the small things, like reading a book, doing an art project, cooking with you, and more. These make great candid photos and will make it easy to capture personality in your photos.
Ideas for capturing kids while doing something they love
- Pay attention to the small details, hands, expressions, the objects, the scene, jersey numbers, etc.
- Try not to let them see you.
- Get photos with friends if they are doing something together like a sport or activity.
- Get close ups and distance shots
6. Facial expressions-
Kids often make the best faces and a smile isn’t the only one you want to capture. If you have a baby, try to get all those little faces your baby makes. These new faces will be endless so enjoy each little expression. As your kids grow you will see them pout, talk with their hands, look perplexed, laugh uncontrollably, and more. Take photos of these moments so you never forget those sweet faces.
You may also want to read these photography tips:
- Simple Photography Tips for Moms that will Transform your Photos
- 11 Photography Mistakes Moms Make when Photographing Their Kids and How to Fix Them
- How to Capture Personality in Your Photos
- How to Get Started with Your DSLR
7. With something they just built or created that they are proud of; legos, artwork, school work-
I hate clutter! So, when it comes to the thousands of drawings and other papers that my kids do, I get overwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing what my kids create, but I just can’t hang on to everything. It would fill the house! So, I choose a few pieces of artwork or other creations to keep each year and all the rest I take a photo of. Rather than just taking the photo of the piece of artwork, get your child in the picture. This way you will not only have a memory of the creation, but also of the age of your child and his huge proud smile!
8. Silhouette or Profile-
Comparing silhouettes and profiles from one year to the next is a fun way to watch your child grow. This won’t change all that quickly so you can stick to once a year if you want.
I like getting images of my children from the side and capturing a silhouette of their face. You don’t have to ask your child to pose for this, just move yourself to the side the next time you are snapping photos of your kids.
You may also want to get a silhouette where your child is dark and the background is light. This is easiest to do at dusk where the natural light will illuminate the sky and leave your figure dark. Getting a clear background is important if you want nice crisp lines around your silhouette. Add in a few props like a baseball bat or other favorite object and try to include this in your scene.
You can’t do it all and you can’t remember every moment with your kids. These are just a few photos of your kids to remember who they were at each stage. Don’t worry if you haven’t started this and your child is already getting big. Start now and enjoy the memories they’re grown.