If you’ve ever attempted to photograph a kid, you’ve experienced it all: the temper tantrums, emotional breakdowns and downright awkward, too-cheesy smiles. Here’s our suggestion: Ditch the staged photo. We’re calling an end to these painstaking attempts at a perfect pose and proposing that any and every moment is photo worthy. Arm yourself with a camera (or your smartphone and a few handy editing apps) and browse the photo ideas below for candid photo ideas that will spark pure joy.

bath time

1. Bath Time: As a mom, it’s totally your duty to carry on the long and dignified tradition of naked bathtub photos. The key here is getting the kids to forget that you’re in the room so you can capture the most authentic moments while they’re just relaxing and having fun. (via Nicole Goggins)


2. A Spaghetti Picture Is a Must: Is pasta on the menu? A spaghetti pic is a must. (via Zoe Berkovic)


3. Pillow Fight in Pictures: Instigate a pillow fight and get the camera ready. As the giggles erupt, this goofy impromptu photo session is sure to turn up some of your favorite snaps of all time. (via Kane and Social)

flower crown

4. Flower Crown: Okay, we realize that even though you have a little princess, she probably isn’t pirouetting around in a flower crown every day. But there’s no better excuse than childhood to DIY a flower crown and let your lil’ one sport the blooms while you capture the occasion. (via Bebs_Life)


5. Little Superman: Let your little superhero do their thing. Usually when you let them take the lead, the most magical photo moments appear. (via Let the Kids)


6. Bandaid Overload, Toilet Paper Trouble or Other Messy Mishaps: This moment. All parents have been there. Don’t forget your camera, because someday it will be funny. (via Zoe Berkovic)

dress up

7. Playing Dress Up: In between all the major milestones, like kindergarten graduations and weddings, real life is happening. Capture those moments. (via Casey Leigh Wiegand)

cooking session

8. Cooking Session: If your babes are this little, take advantage of that period when they totally trust your control and you can manage a slightly staged kitchen snap. If they’re older, bond in the kitchen over a candid cookie baking/decorating session and keep the camera at hand. (via Bebs_Life)


9. Snap it While They’re Sleeping: Consider this your push notification for a life moment you don’t want to miss. Take advantage of sleeping babes and capture the most authentically sweet and in-the-moment shots. (via Elena Shumilova)

kids feet

10. Capture Your Kids’ Feet: Don’t forget to commemorate those tiny feet. A face doesn’t have to be in the picture for it to be an image that you will treasure forever. (via Wild and Free)

boy + pet

11. A Kid + His Pet: The bond between a kid and their pet is indescribably sweet. Capture in a photo what cannot be described. (via Elena Shumilova)


12. Strike a Pose: Instead of coaxing kiddos into position, ask them to strike a pose for you. You might be surprised just how fun their impromptu moves might be. (via Naomi PQ)

making music

13. Making Music: Be a part of your kid’s next practice session. Choose an interesting environment for the most unforgettable photographs. (via Elena Shumilova)


14. Nature as a Prop: No matter how cool the newest Instagram filter, there are some moments when nothing is better than nature. Just remember to keep the glare of the sun to your back for the best shot. (via Bebs_Life)


15. Little Red Wagon: A dramatic sky is a brilliant backdrop, and letting the kids play outside is a great way to get them smiling. (via Desert_Rose76)


16. Back of a Pickup Truck: Want to capture the cutest sibling moment of all time? Get your kids in the back of a pickup (we think vintage is best) and start snappin’. Bonus points if you’ve managed to wrangle the kids into cowboy getup. (via Desert_rose76)

Have you learned how to whip out your camera phone in a split second to capture those magical moments? Share how you take photos of your kids in the comments below.