Photographing Kids & Clothes: Part I

by Lauren Harris September 06, 2015

Photographing Kids & Clothes: Part I

We are so lucky to welcome to our blog the talented Katy from My ChinaDoll to give us a few tips on taking photos of your kids and the clothes you make. Katy is pretty well known in the Tadah! circles of taking magical photos of her girls. I know myself, it is easy to get frustrated with my kids not posing where I want them, so I especially took heed of her comment to keep it fun and simply capture your kids in their environment.


Hi, I'm Katy from My China Doll. I just love sewing for my two beautiful girls, my business page and pattern testing, so I am frequently taking product shots that best demonstrate my creations.

"My approach to photography is creating perfectly imperfect images."

Taking clear, properly framed images is something that takes practice. My approach to photography is creating perfectly imperfect images. By this, I mean that by showing off the product perfectly you won't notice the imperfections in my photographic technical skills.

photographing kids

Photographing children can be quite challenging, however, I am going to share some tips that I find help me get some pretty pictures. I am not a professional photographer, but I was a radiographer in my past working life. I used to image a patient's internal anatomy so a kind of medical photographer LOL. I am currently a stay at home mama and I taught myself how to use my camera without using default automatic settings (Mr Google and YouTube are great photography tutors too!).

photographing kids

Above: An example of natural playful product photography (Tadah! patterns - Darling Top and Chillax Slouchie pants)

1. Relax

I love natural, fun images, rather than forced smiles. Being relaxed and patient, letting my girls be free to explore the environment I choose for the photoshoot is so much easier than yelling "stand here...look there" and the images from the shoots are often much more successful. Don't get me wrong though I love super styled shoots too but I always let my girls play within the space I set up.

" much easier than yelling "stand here ... look there"

I allow my girls to dictate how a photoshoot is going to go. It usually involves moving/shooting quickly and taking lots of snaps. I try to shoot when the children are at their happiest i.e. first thing in the morning or after an afternoon nap.

photographing kids

Above: Shooting outdoors makes for great shots. (Tadah! pattern - Pleatie Playsuit)

2. Location

Before any photoshoot, I often drive around scouting for locations. I try to find places in my local neighbourhood so I don't have to travel far to get pictures. Local parks or nature reserves are fantastic. So are gorgeous painted or concrete walls for an urban look, or an old house for a vintage look.

"Local parks or nature reserves are fantastic."

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination! I try to match the environment I choose to the outfit. Pinterest is also a great source of inspiration for photoshoots too.

photographing kids

Above: Gorgeous natural afternoon light amongst the shade of the trees creating light and shade (Tadah! pattern – faux fur modified Gypsy shrug, Seaside top, Chillax harem pants)

3. Natural Light

I love using natural light. When shooting outdoors, cloudy days are great for diffusing light, but otherwise I like to shoot early morning or late afternoon, midday light is too harsh in my opinion. Finding a spot in the shade and having the light source behind you is most beneficial. The fun part about taking photographs is trying new things and seeing the results.

"Finding a spot in the shade and having the light source behind you is most beneficial."

If the shoot needs to be inside try and find a well-lit spot. I often hang a muslin sheet over the window to soften the light and even it out.

photographing kids

Above: Use natural light where possible, even indoors (Tadah! pattern - Seaside playsuit with long sleeve add-on)


Check back with us next week when we will bring you part 2 of Photographing Kids and Clothes.

Lauren Harris
Lauren Harris


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