Kids are messy, let’s just face it. Rather than clean them up and pray they stay that way, why not plan your next kids’ portrait photography session around a messy and fun activity? You’ll get some interested photos, and they’ll have lots of fun, making it easy to talk them into participating in your next photo project. Here are some ideas:


Whether it’s pancakes or cookies, even some homemade Playdough, most kids love to help out in the kitchen, yet may not often get the opportunity. Pull out some pots and plan a fun baking activity while keeping your camera handy. To add some pizazz, you may want to consider picking up a kids-sized chef’s hat and apron for your child, so they really feel included.

Are your kids too young for baking? How about a super-fun birthday tradition – the cake smash? Make two cakes, one your child (or children) can make a mess of for their next birthday and one everyone else can eat! You’ll want a fast shutter speed to capture all the action


With brushes or just fingers, kids love to create masterpieces. Throw a tablecloth on the table (or floor for younger kids), set out some paints and paper and watch them go for it. With this activity, you can get all sorts of different portraits: up close to see the concentration on their faces, pulled back for a lifestyle shot, even from above for a look at what they are creating.

kid's portrait photography tipsBy the Water

A nice day by the beach, with clear water and fresh sand may not be in the cards for you depending on where you live, but odds are that there’s a pond or creek nearby that your kids would love to splash in – especially if there’s much involved. You can combine action shots with posed ones, or step back and catch a few candid poses of your kids hanging out. Want to stick close to home? Head to the backyard and turn on the sprinkler.

Ice Cream!

Or Popsicle, whatever is their fancy. Break up a hot day with a cool treat, and get some fun shots of your kids enjoying a sweet treat. For maximum fun, try to steer them towards a bright-colored flavor, such as strawberry or bubble-gum, rather than plain vanilla to add some contrast to your shots. Yes, it will be sticky, but you’ll get some fun colors in your kid’s portraits.

Exploring Their World

Out camping, going for a hike, playing in the sandbox, etc., are all fantastic opportunities for your kids to have fun and get messy while you capture the results. Let them loose and get ready for some fun pictures! Follow-up your photo shoot with a nice treat (perhaps some messy S’mores?) to cap of an excellent hour or two of capturing amazing portrait photos of your kids.

Messy is fun for them, which means you have an opportunity to take amazing kid’s portrait photos. Don’t hold back – go for it!

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