How to take better pictures of your kids with your cell phone

I am soooooo excited to share this post with you guys. I just really want every parent out there to constantly be taking photos of their kids. This is something I am super passionate about, and you don’t need a super duper fancy camera to do it. That’s why I want to share with you how to take better pictures of your kids with your cell phone.

Today I want to give you some basic tips on how to turn a snap shot into a photograph that you will want to frame. These basic “rules” will cause your images to be much more interesting than just your everyday photos. I use the word “rules” in quotation marks because rules are meant to be broken – at least in the art world – at least to me 😉

A quick note to parents: When that first baby comes along, a lot of you think to yourself “We need to go buy a ‘good’ camera.” So you go to Best Buy or wherever and you drop $600-$700 bucks on the camera that already comes with a lens and your thinking that you are going to start taking some really awesome pictures with it. Let me tell you, unless you want to start exploring the art of photography and learn how to shoot in manual, I highly discourage you from doing it. If you take photos with that camera on auto mode you are basically shooting with a phone camera. Save your money! Phones these days have amazing technology and you are able to take exceptional photos with them. Invest in a better phone. Maybe some lenses for your iPhone would be good too. But let me tell you, I had one of those “starter” cameras and when I took photos on auto mode, those pictures were not much different than my iPhone.

Okay, enough of that…



So I am going to start off with this first tip: Leading lines

Ahhhh, leading lines make our eyes happy. They draw you into the subject. They can be used to emphasize a subject or even tells story.

The photo above is a “triple crown” I like to say. Why is this photo so interesting? Well, not only does it have leading lines pointing to my son on his iPad, but it also demonstrated the rule of thirds with the bed, the rug, and him nestled in the middle. He becomes the absolute focus of this photo. And the cherry on top is the fact that his legs make a triangle. In the photography world – triangles are good things! Very good things 🙂

I think the above photo is super fun and kind of “different” because there are two types of leading lines in this image. The lines that the brinks create and also the lines from the water tank – or whatever the heck that thing is.


Next tip is: Symmetry

I don’t think I need to go into a whole detailed explanation as to what this is or why its good, but I will say it doesn’t work well unless you absolutely nail it in the composition. I wouldn’t say that I did that in these photos, but I did my best. Windows – symmetry – duh. Legs making a V ( triangle) = interesting!

In the above photo my son isn’t in the exact middle of the window. He’s just a little off, but I personally like that and I think it makes this photo a little interesting rather than boing.


Next Tip: Change up your point of view

Taking a photo when you are standing up and at eye distance is boring. Thats how everyone sees life all the time. Change up your perspective and it instating makes things interesting  🙂Moody boys (eye roll). I set the camera on the table for this shot.

Once again, this is not from my eye level. I set the camera on the table to achieve the view.


Next tip: Composition

The above photo would be bland and boring if I had him hold this sign at his stomach and took a full body shot. Instead I had him hold it above his head and despite the fact that I had taken this photo with his whole face in it, I chose to crop it out so you can only see his eyes. In my opinion that gives it some mystery. Is his face happy or sad under there? You don’t know – you are only meant to wonder about it.

Despite the fact that this photo is blurry – I kept it to make my point 😉

This photo is also a “triple crown”. The leading lines that are also triangles drive you into the middle of the photo to look at my seven year olds face. Also there are trees in each corner creating some symmetry. Ah, my photographer senses are tingling.

In the photo above I used negative space. I love using negative space and I do it a lot in my work. It can make a very powerful statement. Despite the fact that this is just a photo of my sons stinky head it creates interest by not showing his whole face and fun with the background color.


And lastly, a really easy tool in start trying in your photos is using Shadows And Silhouettes 


Ok, so that was an easy explanation on the art of taking better photos, now here is some practical tricks that you can do with your iPhone camera to help you get those awesome pictures.



First off, you need light. Light is good. Your images will be sharper with the better light you have. If you happen to be in a dark situation you can change the exposure (brightness) by tapping the screen of your phone – a box will appear with a sun icon to the right. You can move that up or down to create a brighter or darker image. Try it. Play with it. Have fun!


Did you know that if you hold down the shutter button that it will take a burst of photos. You will have a much easier time trying to snap a picture of your child swinging or running around if you try this!


You can have help linen cup your photos with the use of a grid. To utilize it go to Settings – Photos and Camera  – Grid – Toggle it on. Boom, you have yourself a great tool to align your photos!



This is easy. Simply tap the screen to tell the camera what to focus on. A box will appear. If you do not do this then you are leaving it up to the phone camera to make that choice for you. And if you are a control freak like me- that ain’t how you play.


Well, I hope that was helpful to some of you. I am doing the Second Part of this blog next week where I talk about what Apps I like to use for editing and where I like to print. And not only that, but What To Do With Your Printed Photos. So stay tuned for that post!


Till next time,






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