Capturing your kids: a photography series

About Angie

Angie Warren lives in Northern California with her husband, 3 kids, and German Shepherd pup. She has a background in writing, photography, and art; and is currently teaching a photo course at a local High School.


Hello! I’m thrilled to be able to share with you over the next few months, a series on something close to my heart: photographing our children. I’ve been shooting professionally since 2008, but my camera has been in hand since the birth of my first son eight years ago.

I am self taught, through many years of trial and error, and am passionate about helping others document their own lives whether it be with their iPhone, point & shoot camera, or DSLR. It is through this passion that this photography series was born.


Before we dive into this nine-part series, I’d like to discuss what it is that makes a photograph. A subject, sure. Composition, yes. Light, of course. Now I ask, with what are you shooting? And, does it really matter?

Can you tell?

Take a look at the following images. Which one was taken with my iPhone 4s and which was taken with a Nikon D300s?




I’m a firm believer that as a mom, it doesn’t matter so much what you’re shooting with, as long as you know a few basic principles. And guess what? That is what I aim to do. Encourage you to search for the light, get creative, and look at your little ones with a new and exciting perspective.


Because if you’re documenting your days and capturing your kids, that’s what truly matters – smart phone camera, or a fancy one. So join me as we embark on an exciting photographic adventure!

Did you guess which images above were taken with an iPhone and which with a DSLR? Top set: DSLR – iPhone. Middle set: DSLR – iPhone. Bottom set: iPhone – DSLR. Were you correct?

What are some of your favorite photographs of your own family? I’d love to hear about them!

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  1. yes!!! could not be more excited for this series! thank you angie for leading us on this journey of attempting to capture fleeting moments of childhood. (the gorgeous pics in this post make me even more excited to learn from you)
    Heather´s latest post: The Change in a Challenging Child {after the cross}

  2. I can’t wait. Thank you in advance Angie. :)
    Danijela´s latest post: Coffee Recipes

  3. capturing the beautiful everyday? I’m in!

  4. Thanks for this Tsh, I’m very self tough too and have had my DSLR for about 9 years, yet still feel in a fog about how to use it successfully when it come to capturing my kids. And also thanks for making me feel ok about using my phone, its such a handy tool, but some times I feel like I should be using my DSLR more, esp for blog fodder.
    Nat´s latest post: how to read a blog

  5. avatar
    Lizelle says:

    Oh yay! Cant wait to get started!!

  6. I am sooo looking forward to this new series of yours! :)
    Noe´s latest post: The first chapter of many – April 2, 2013

  7. Love it! Angie, out of curiosity… Left=DSLR, right??
    bethany´s latest post: Dear Kelly

    • That’s my guess, too!
      Megan at SortaCrunchy´s latest post: Once Upon a Time Tuesday: Let’s Catch Up!

    • That’s my guess as well, based on depth of focus! I’m very curious, too… although I understand from the article that it doesn’t really matter much WHICH camera people use, as long as they use it! From what basics I know of optics I would guess that with camera phones having adequate megapixels nowadays, the only real difference between an iPhone camera and a DSLR is going to be in the lens apparatus. A camera would need about 6-8 lenses to correct for (small) chromatic and spherical aberrations caused by projecting a 3D image onto a flat photodetector surface. Now, if only we can make a semi-spherical shaped photodetector (like the back of your eye), and then ONE gradient lens in front of it (okay, also really hard to make at this point, but also like your eye), then you could have a really really small camera that would be just as good or better than the larger ones! And now you know why the human eye is designed the way it is. Cool huh? (Thanks for putting up with my nerdiness). Looking forward to this series!

  8. Hi! I have something in my blog that’s called This Moment, I first saw it on Soule Mama and I’m using her idea. A single photo every friday, no words. I’ve been doing it and most of my photos are my kids’ photos. I’m not a photographer and my camera is a nikon coolpix 5400. Very old one. I think I’ll go take some pthotographs of my kids… thank’s for this wonderful blog! Raquel

  9. I look forward to this series! I got my DSLR as a present after tinkering with a friend’s and proclaming that I would take so many pictures of my baby with one of them, we’ll never run of of pics to look at. When my boy was born, 5 months after, I was so mad we had forgotten the good camera at home! I can’t take up to par photos with a smartphone or my point and shoot… I hope you’ll teach me some tricks so I do not have to carry the big fancy camera everywhere when I want to capture those beautiful, soul touching moments!
    OM´s latest post: Feelings

  10. Although taking pictures from your smartphone is easier, pictures taken through a DSLR are definitely much prettier. I think all parents should invest in a good camera and should also take the time out to figure out how make the most of it.
    I’m looking forward to the rest of the series btw:)
    Ned´s latest post: Baby Trend Bouncer updated Sun Mar 24 2013 11:44 am EDT

  11. My favorite picture of our family is actually before we added any kids to it. Our wedding photographer caught a picture of my husband and I side by side at the reception both fiddling with our rings as we were listening to a speech. It is such a classic example of our nerves and excitement of what the years ahead might hold. Turns out those years have been pretty good. Looking forward to this series I got a Canon Rebel in January and really want to learn how to use it better.
    Victoria´s latest post: Simple Tools For Setting Up An Effective Mobile Office: Anywhere

  12. I am looking forward to this! I stink at taking pictures. I don’t have much patience!

    Kate´s latest post: Why am I writing an organization blog? I’m not even that organized!

  13. Angie, I’m such a long-time fan of your work. I am so thankful for this series! I used to do a great job of keeping my fancy camera handy, but I find I am recording most of daily life with py iPhone now. Can’t wait to learn more about how to make the most of those pictures – no matter how I shoot them!
    Megan at SortaCrunchy´s latest post: Once Upon a Time Tuesday: Let’s Catch Up!

  14. Oh this is just what I need! I just started taking my camera off the Portrait mode and started shooting in Av — but I am not even sure what adjusting the F stop is doing.

  15. I am so encouraged by the fact that I can’t tell the difference between the Nikon and iphone pics! I can never seem to take decent ones with my phone, but maybe I’m just not trying in good light. Looking forward to your series!
    Jenn at A Simple Haven´s latest post: On Babies and Timing, Part II

  16. Love this! Maybe it will inspire me to be brave enough to leave the “Auto” mode on my Canon Rebel behind one and a while!
    Sarah G´s latest post: Goals for 2013: Checking In

  17. Yes please. Help me! I’ve got three cute kids but all my good pictures are of food. ;)
    Aimee @ Simple Bites´s latest post: Chocolate & Jam Tea Cake

  18. I have quite a few….a dear friend of ours is an amazing clipart designer ( but also a wonderrful photographer and took the pictures at our backyard wedding. They are very candid shots and really captured our intimate and joyful celebration. The best was of my husband and I laughing at the alter.

  19. Looking forward to this!
    Courtney´s latest post: Gross Talk

  20. Very excited about this series!
    Jessica´s latest post: All In Good Time…

  21. anything with me holding my sleeping kids and the light behind us.

  22. I CANNOT wait to read all your words, Angie. Such a great series idea! And while I have a great DSLR and 4 different lenses, 90% of my pics are from my iPhone. Because, well, I always have it. So I’m thrilled to learn from your expertise and talent. Thank you!

  23. Love this Angie…really looking forward to reading more! :)
    Rebecca Cooper´s latest post: Favorite Quotes Mini Album + Printables

  24. So excieted. Love taking pictures with my rebel. I think I take to many. My five year old and his best friend, since they were about two will just give me that look and say “no cheese please” when they have had enought of me.

  25. I’m so looking forward to this series. Who doesn’t want great pictures of the tiny people they love so much?

  26. oh! I just upgraded from a point and shoot – like yesterday! and I turned on my Nikon DSLR and have no idea what to do! The manual is so technical. I feel overwhelmed. I’m excited to have stumbled upon this.
    Steph_Sikorski´s latest post: Menu Monday – Leftover Edition

  27. Love this series already! Can’t wait to dive it!!

    just love // kelly

  28. I’m super excited about this series!! I have a Nikon D2X at my disposal (my husband trained as a professional photographer) and lenses but I always have my phone. I’ve been trying to chase the light more in my photos, inspired by your (and others) instragram feed.
    Love the pictures of your kids and real life.
    Breanne´s latest post: Sometimes we Eat Cake

  29. Looking forward to this series!

    I agree. . . most important is just capturing our days with whatever device we hold in the moment!
    Elizabeth´s latest post: Poinsettia Blooms

  30. Could I be more excited about this series? I think not…
    QuatroMama´s latest post: Little Boys on the Prairie

  31. I am so excited to find this today! Just yesterday I was fiddling with our DSLR (which I have no clue how to use) trying to take pictures of our girls because I’m never very satisfied with my iPhone photos (because I have zero photography skills). Can’t wait to learn!

  32. I’m so excited about this series!! Can’t wait.
    Tanya´s latest post: HR Practices – Do You Have Zombies in Your Office?

  33. I’m really looking forward to this series! I have an old digital point & shoot that I use most of the time, but I think my husband’s iphone actually takes better pictures. The camera in my phone isn’t great. One day I would looove to get a DSLR.

    Actually, I think some of my favorite family pictures are ones where we’re taking pictures of ourselves while holding out the camera with one arm. :-)
    Elizabeth | ReadySetSimplify´s latest post: Checklists to Keep Kids on Task and Get Out the Door

  34. One of my favorite photos was taken a couple days after my daughter was born 3 months premature. The photo has my daughter’s hand holding the pinky finger of my husband’s right hand, his palm up. Part of her face/head is also in the photo. You can easily see how small she was with this photo…the size of her hand compared to his smallest finger….the size of her head compared to his open hand.

  35. I could not be more excited about this series! I need so much help in this area! Thanks for not making it just for those with fancy-schmancy cameras. I would love one, but it’s not in the budget right now.

  36. I want to take pictures of my son playing basketball. They always come out blurry. To much movement and not much light in doors. Any suggestions? I have a Nikon D5000. Thanks.

  37. My favorite photos are those that capture the moment and the spirit of my family. One is of my kids after a wild mud-fight – one son is not so sure and the other is expressing pure abondonment. That one hangs as a 24×36″ canvas in my entry. Another recent one is a quiet moment before worship of my son, looking out the window. He has his knees up and his fingers in his mouth, as to create a wall. It is as close to his true self as I can imagine.

  38. What an awesome series!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures´s latest post: Cayman Islands: Day 4 (Part 1)

  39. Great photos. I thought you weren’t going to tell us which camera you used. (You left me hanging for a sec!) I love taking pics of my two kids, so I am looking forward to this series!

    LaVonne´s latest post: Breastfeeding in Public Has Never Been Easier

  40. This is very exciting! I just got a new phone with a good camera and have been using it a lot. The plan is to get a DSLR in the fall and I want to internalize some photography principles first so I am not totally overwhelmed.

    I had cancelled my Reader account because I found too much blog reading was affecting my time and contentment, but I am signing up for your email feed… love this Simple Mom direction!

    • When my daughter was born I made it a point to take a picture every Sunday with an old point&shoot Nikon that I had. It got so that she just expected as part of her life every week, and I eventually just started using my smartphone when I got one. I recently got a Canon 7d for video reasons, but the photographs that it takes are breathtaking. She’s 13 and I’m entering menopause now so things are often tense between us, but still every Sunday she lets me get my one shot a week in. Having a teenage daughter during menopause is trying, but we watched a great documentary called “Hot Flash Havoc” that helped us both understand what I was going through and what to expect. I definitely recommend it to anyone going through this, you can check it out here:

    • When my daughter was born I made it a point to take a picture every Sunday with an old point&shoot Nikon that I had. It got so that she just expected as part of her life every week, and I eventually just started using my smartphone when I got one. I recently got a Canon 7d for video reasons, but the photographs that it takes are breathtaking. She’s 13 and I’m entering menopause now so things are often tense between us, but still every Sunday she lets me get my one shot a week in. Having a teenage daughter during menopause is trying, but we watched a great documentary called “Hot Flash Havoc” that helped us both understand what I was going through and what to expect. I definitely recommend this movie to anyone going through this, you can check it out here:

  41. Can’t wait to hear your ideas!
    ellen stevens´s latest post: embrace the grace

  42. avatar
    Virginia Knowles says:

    I immediately thought I was looking at my childhood self in the first pictures. :-)

    • So did I! It’s amazing how far we’ve all come since the days of our own childhood.
      When my daughter was born I made a point to take a picture every Sunday, for an album of Sunday portraits of my daughter for her entire first 18 or so years. I started with an old Nikon Point&Shoot, then used my smartphone, but I recently got a Canon 7D and it works like a charm. She’s now 13, and I’m entering menopause, and despite all of the difficulties we often have understanding each other she still gives me a moment for that photograph every Sunday. Having a teenager while going through menopause is not something that I would recommend, but we sat down together and watched a wonderful documentary called “Hot Flash Havoc” that really helped us both to understand what I’m going through, and it’s made this struggle a little easier on us. I would highly recommend it, and if you’re interested you can check it out here:

  43. avatar
    Stephanie says:

    I think this is such a great idea and can’t wait to see what you teach! I recently bought a cannon 7D and I am a 100% beginner (my fiancé bought it as a gift). I think the main skill I want to learn about is what exposure setting and ISO setting I should put my camera at when photographing my daugher both indoor and out!

  44. avatar
    Cassandra says:

    I am so thrilled to follow this series! I’m a mother of four little girls and I feel like time is screaming by but would love to capture the moments a little better with my Nikon D90!

  45. When is this going to start so I don’t miss it? My kids are older (17, 13 and 9), but I still want to capture the moments! I have no clue how to use my Canon Rebel.

  46. Really excited about this series! I especially loved seeing the iPhone and DSLR photos side-by-side. Fascinating.
    Stephanie´s latest post: I’m Attending the 2013 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration!

  47. Having just purchased a DSLR after many years with a point and shoot and having an active and cute 2.5 year old boy, I’m really looking forward to this series.

  48. I LOVE that you are doing this!! Even though I am a professional photographer I am a total advocate of capturing those beautiful fleeting moments no matter how expensive your camera was! Excited to read and learn more of how to pause those moments we hold so dear.

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