Tired of the same old photos of your kids? Use props! :: Digital Photo Secrets

Tired of the same old photos of your kids? Use props!

by David Peterson 2 comments

It seems like there are only so many photos you can get of your kids, and if you’re like most parents, you always want more. I know this when babysitting my nephews or bringing them to the local park. You get the classic pictures of them playing on the swing set, and then what? Well here’s a quick and easy thing you can do to make your photos of your children more interesting. Use props.

As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure you’ve been using props this whole time. You’ve probably gotten the kid-with-toy-truck or kid-with-toy-doll photo over and over again, so why not add to it? Part of the joy of photographing kids is showing them discovering something new. Have you thought of doing a story time photo shoot? How about paying a visit to your neighbor who has a dog?

When it comes to props, all sorts of things count. So long as it’s something totally new to your kid, you’ll have all the inspiration you need. Think of things like binoculars, snorkle masks, frisbees, sports equipment, hats, sunglasses, and well... you get the point.

Props bring photos of your kids to life.
Photo By: Nathan Jones

I once took out a chest of old toys that I played with as a kid. My friend's kids were intrigued by how different they were to their one and only toy (the family iPad). I snapped a few photos of them exploring my childhood. It was sort of a nice way to bring things full circle, both in the images and in my own life.

Kids love animals

Animals make a great prop. I’m not going to lie. I'm thinking about getting a new puppy because I know I'll get at least a few good photo shoots out of it while our puppy is still young. There, I said it. Can you blame a guy for enjoying photography this much?

Kids go nuts over animals! They can't stop playing with them. You'll get tons of pictures of your kids playing with the puppy at the beach, taking the puppy to grandma’s house, and playing out in our backyard. With animals, the possibilities are endless. If you’re not quite willing to get a pet for your kids (and I totally understand after all the mental energy we’ve devoted to keeping the carpet clean), consider taking your kids to the zoo or visiting a friend with animals. It’s a great excuse to visit someone you might not have seen for awhile, and you’ll get some interesting images out of it.

The everyday occasion is cause for a photo shoot!

There are all sorts of every day occasions that can be transformed into a photo shoot. When is the last time you made a batch of cookies and got your kids involved? Let them play with the ingredients while you do the photography. The cookies might not turn out, but the photos will.

Don’t interrupt him while he's pouring!

The fun thing about this is that it puts kids into the role of adults. The result can range from perplexing to downright comedic. Toddlers just look really funny when they’re holding the ingredients and pretending to be serious cooks. It’s the sort of picture that’s perfect for a holiday greeting card.

If you're run out of ideas, there are lots more in the DPS ebook, Click! How To Take Gorgeous Photos Of Your Kids.

In any case, I hope I’ve inspired you to look outside of the ordinary when taking pictures of your kids. We all get locked into what’s directly around us, and we tend to forget about some of the other things we can do to make a photo shoot more interesting. Once you’ve exhausted all of the normal things you photograph as parents, try out these ideas. You’l be glad you did.

Do you have a favorite prop you use when photographing your kids? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Joan DEMARCO says:

    I wish I had read this article when my kids were younger! Thank you for some great ideas, now all I need is grandchildren...

  2. mohamed wagih says:

    Interesting information for professional & amateur fotografer you collect all things in article to produce excellent foto best wishes.

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About David Peterson
David Peterson is the creator of Digital Photo Secrets, and the Photography Dash and loves teaching photography to fellow photographers all around the world. You can follow him on Twitter at @dphotosecrets or on Google+.