Carl Stoveland Photo and Art | Taking Kids Portraits Outside

Taking Kids Portraits Outside

August 18, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


As much as I love working in the studio doing kids portraits, there is nothing like getting outside to take there photos.  Here are three tips that will help achieve great results and keep your sanity.  This is for those parents who are into photography and want to take pictures of their kids.  If this terrifies you then no worries contact me and I'll do great portraits for you, but for those brave enough to try here are some ideas to make it easier and give you a higher chance of being successful.

  1. Make it fun!!  Make it an adventure.  I like to tell stories while I'm taking kids pictures and let them look in the back of the camera once in a while.  Have a theme and some props.  In the case of the recent session shown above I brought a crate of items I had collected that fit our theme for the morning of old fashioned play.  There were many hats and props to chose from and I let the boys pick them out.  I am a planner by nature, but have learned to go with the flow once we start the session.  Keeping the kids engaged and having fun is a sure fire way to get them to pose for more time and smile more often increasing your chances of getting the shot you are trying to get.
  2. Another thing I do to increase the likelihood of success is know what the conditions are at the site I choose at the time of day I will be there.  Picking the perfect spot but not taking into account what the light will be like can make your shoot go from easy to very difficult.  Look for a spot you like with soft light and open shade.  Ideally you want to let the kids be themselves and have room to play so you can catch that perfect moment.  In this case I chose a part of the old factory complex where my gallery is located.  I love the texture of the old brick walls and there are sections in the morning that have a soft glowing light.  What you don't want is harsh light where you have to fight for the perfect spot and can't move around.  Give the kids room to move in spot where you don't have to worry too much if you don't change your camera settings.  
  3. Bring help!  Ask a friend to assist you to help carry the props and keep an eye on things.  This is crucial when shooting more than one child.  You do not want to be distracted by other things or where you left your camera bag while you are trying to get that once in a lifetime shot.

Photographing kids can be tough work, but it can be rewarding if you have the patience.  My advice boils down to do everything you can to make it easy for yourself and fun for the kids.  If this does not sound like your particular cup of tea, but you'd really like some special photographic memories of your kids at this age no fear.  Contact me and we can come up with an idea for photos you will treasure for a lifetime.  To contact me to arrange a portrait session call me at 845-499-0178 or email me.  You can see more of my work at my website

Happy Shooting!

Carl Stoveland


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