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How to Take Better Pictures of Your Kids — with Your Smart Phone

Change your perspective

As parents, we always think that we have to take a photo of our kids looking at the camera. But that isn’t the case!  Some of my favorite photos I’ve taken of my kiddos have been from an entirely different perspective—either above them as they work on an art project or on their level at the ground.

Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal!

I adore close up shots! As a mom, it’s where I see my kids’ sweet smiles, laughter, and messy faces—and all of that is OK. These photos show life, and it is in these photos where true emotion shines. 

Use Natural Light

As a photographer, I’ve learned that while is it always good to have a flash, natural light is KEY. I rarely use a flash. Honestly, I think I’ve used it maybe four times in my five years as a professional photographer.

When you are looking for a good place to take a photo make sure that:

  • The light isn’t glaring on your subject’s face (that causes squinting)
  • You put the light behind your subject (so that the light source hits their back as opposed to their face)
  • You make sure that they are not speckled with light and shadow (this causes them to look like a leopard!)
  • If you can, photograph your kiddos two hours before the sun goes down (this is called Golden Hour)

This seems like a lot to think about, but you are likely already doing it!  It does take a little time to figure out where the light is coming from and the best place to photograph. But once you figure it out, it will come naturally!

Avoid the center

We naturally want to have every photo centered because we feel like that makes the photo more “correct.” While that is usually most people’s preference, there’s something fun and interesting about a photo being a little off center! This is called the “rule of thirds.” Basically? Break your frame into nine equal rectangles. Place your subject in the intersecting lines on one side or the other.

Focus on the EYES

Ever taken a photo where your kids face is out of focus but their hand or the background is sharp? This is because you were focusing on something other than your subject! The best rule is to always focus on the eye closest to you. This will allow the face to be in focus. We all do it. I mean, kids move. But when you focus on the eye closest to you, you are more likely to get a crisp photo—every time.

Take some time to edit your photos

I love how easy it is to edit photos on your smartphone, but I also know that there are so many apps out there that it makes it really hard to choose which ones are worth your time – and sometimes money! Here are my recommendations:

Pic Tap Go

This is my GO TO photo editing app! I love it, and it makes everything SO easy! You can edit the photo, add filters (they have over 70 to choose from), crop, and save the photo for various social media application or just to your phone! My favorite filters are AutoColor, Loft, Air, Salt & Pepper, and Warm it Up. Don’t forget to add a little crispity too it at the end! (*Make sure not to edit professional photos from your photographer. We spend lots of time and effort to get our photos looking just right!*)

A Beautiful Mess

This app is great for doing collages, custom filters, and adding fun stamps. I love all the doodles, borders, and phrases you can add to the photos. You can take an everyday casual photo and make it extraordinary!


This app is how I put full-size photos into Instagram without cropping them square. Can I just say: Life. Saver. The one thing I hate about Instagram is that it crops your photos into a square. I hate that you miss out on some of the more interesting parts of a full photo. This app lets you put the full photo into the square size with an awesome white background. It also gives the illusion of the photo being matted!


This is just fun! Have a quote you want to write and have it look cool? This is the app for you. I discovered WordSwag through a friend of mine, and I am so happy she posted where she could make such adorable photos with text. I mainly use WordSwag for posting quotes, promo, and pretty much anything I think needs a cute word art attached. There are a ton of standard font/layout options and more you can purchase through the app.


Shannon LeBlanc Photographer Nashville Moms BlogShannon LeBlanc is the owner/photographer of Shannon LeBlanc Photography – a boutique lifestyle & high school senior portrait photographer based out of Franklin, TN. She is a wife, mother of two, dog-owner and a lover of all things that sparkle.

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