Capturing your kids: documenting

I am so happy to be here sharing the second installment in our Capturing your Kids series here on Simple Mom. If you’re just joining in you may catch up here:

Today I want to bring to you a very important aspect of photographing your children: documenting.

Chances are you’re doing it already, whether with your iPhone or digital camera. You’re snapping pictures here and there, the daily grind, baseball games, backyard play. With summer just around the corner, it felt fitting to cover this imperative subject.

Simple Mom | Capturing your kids a Photography Series

When I used to shoot professionally, it was my goal to give my clients a story of their family.

Not simply a posed photo here and a family shot there – I wanted to capture all the details that make up their little girl, the bits and pieces of their family, the dynamic that makes them uniquely… them.

Simple Mom | Capturing your kids

I do this with my own children as well. When I am shooting them I’m documenting them, our days whether good or bad, are captured.

Simple Mom | Capturing your kids a Photography Series

So what makes good documentation?

The answer is simple: just do it. Just shoot. Be in the moment, camera in hand.

I like to think of documentation as story-telling, and in order to tell a good story you have to include details. Not just one or two main points, you want to really capture your listener.

Same goes with those viewing your images, whether that be your children or future generations. Details are everything.

Simple Mom | Capturing your kids a Photography Series

How do I do this?

You could be documenting breakfast or bedtime. Step back and take in the entire scene, perhaps get up on a chair for a creative view. Move in a bit, then get in close. Then get even closer.

What’s the focal point? Is your child reading a library book? If so, how about focusing on his chubby little hands? Look down, look up. The perspectives and options are endless if you really put your mind to it.

Simple Mom | Capturing your kids a Photography Series

Begin to think of your daily shooting as a story. What do you want to pass down to your children’s children?

Imagine the joy they might feel as they flip through images of their great-grandmother building a fort or playing with her dolls. Image after image, sharing the pieces of the puzzle that make up her childhood.

Simple Mom | Capturing your kids a Photography Series

The photos shared in this article are of just that. I had been dealing with a difficult pregnancy and decided my littlest guy could use some one on one time so we went on a nature walk.

I wanted to really capture our time together through the lens of my DSLR. What came from that walk would be some of my favorite images of him to date.

Simple Mom | Capturing your kids a Photography Series

As summer approaches, I want to encourage you to document. Tell your story. Open your eyes to photographs you may have overlooked in the past.

What are you most excited to capture this summer?

Reading Time:

2 minutes





  1. Bike Tours in India

    Children have a very short attention span. They are fidgety creatures. Its really a herculean task to make them pose for a perfect pose.

  2. Kristine @ A Changed Life

    I love all the pictures here. Thanks for the tips in photographing our kids. I enjoyed reading and now wishing to have a DSLR.

  3. Jenn @ A Simple Haven

    I think this was the push I needed to get the camera out more!

    One of my favorite parts of the day is having both kids on my lap for story-time; I keep meaning to ask my husband to snap a pic but in the moment it seems like too much trouble to go get the camera (not to mention the sweet cuddly moment is long gone by then). Thanks for the remind to be intentional just to keep the camera at hand.

  4. shari lynne @ Faith Filled Food for Moms

    Great article…I love to take pics of my kids and grandkids…the expressions are soo fun. I just got a DSLR a couple of months ago and LOVE it! I’m totally a newbie “photographer” 🙂

    By the way LOVE those cool binoculars!! 🙂


  5. Esther

    I’m excited to capture the beach. Our trips to the zoo. And our play groups at the local park.

  6. Karen

    I would love to know where you got those adorable binoculars!

    Great post!

  7. Sue

    This is a great post, I’m a ‘newbie’ photographer and love playing with my camera settings to get great close ups and action shots of my kids.

  8. Alissa

    Love this reminder – do you have any tips about how you balance living the moment vs. capturing the moment? I often find that I don’t want to spoil the magic of our time together by snaggin my camera. And, when I do grab it, the moments seem to be gone or my kids become so focused on the camera that they abandon what they’re doing.
    Do I need to take more pictures, so they learn to ignore the camera?
    Should I set aside specific “photo” activities? – but then the best moments aren’t planned ones, right?

  9. Faigie

    The crazy thing is that I was a professional portrait photographer for 25 years but was always the last one with a camera. When my kids were growing up I used medium format camera for professional work and didnt even own a simple camera to do much documenting.

  10. Victoria @ Creative Home Keeper

    What a great reminder. I always take pictures of important events or when they are doing something cute, but I need to remember to pull the camera out to capture those everyday moments!

  11. Pam@mommacan

    I love this series. I got lucky a few year back in a Civil War grave site. My son had on a pair of shorts, tshirt and a diaper and its was so hot and humid the stick on the diaper must have melted. He walked right out of that diaper with short intact. I have a 3 to 4 shot series. SO funny!

  12. Kathy

    Awesome tips! Some days I do well at documenting our day and other days get so busy I completely forget to take pictures.

  13. Steph@livingbrilliant

    Great series. So many people depend on the staged studio shots to document their children’s growth, but I always think those just don’t capture the essence of the kid. I mean, really, whose child looks like they are in their Sunday best, with clean faces and angelic smiles everyday?? NO ONE. So much better to capture little moments of who they really are.

  14. Mariana

    Great post. For me, the best pictures are the ones I take on my phone, when we’re out and about. I can’t take a posed picture to save my life :).

  15. sonya

    I’m still trying to figure out my “voice” in photographing my kids. I think my challenge is capturing the kids while I have one in the Ergo — I find it hard to haul my SLR and also really to balance looking after my kids and viewing them through a lens. That’s always my challenge. Another one, is to upload them and actually get them printed.

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