Children’s photography can be a rewarding career once you break into the industry: fun locations, great energy and a high level of clients. Here are some tips on how to begin a career in children’s photography industry.

Although having some sort of degree in photography or visual arts would help you adapt to the industry, not everyone has one. If you don’t have a degree make sure you have some sort of experience in portrait and children’s photography. One way of doing so is working at a local photo studio or a chain business like Picture People.

Joining an organization like APA, ASMP, or PPA will help you understand the business aspects of photography. It can also improve your resume, especially if you don’t have academic credentials. But these are just the basics, so let’s get started.

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Photo © Michael Zornek via Flickr Creative Commons


By creating a blog with your updated work and experiences, you will have the chance to showcase your work and create a positive rapport with future clients. Create social media profiles that are exclusive to your photography.

Print out business cards and some of your prints to hand out at local businesses: children boutiques, hair salons, doctor offices, birthday party venues, bowling alleys, carnivals, etc. Make sure to frequently visit the same businesses.

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Photo © Photography by Sabrina via Flickr Creative Commons

Alright, now you’ve built up some clientele. What do you do once you start shooting?

Camera Settings

Start with setting the aperture at f5.6. You can eventually start to adjust it, which will give you enough depth-of-field so the child’s face will be in focus. Make sure to set your ISO to 200, but keep it under 800. Your shutter speed should be at 1/200th of a second, but if the child is running around you can place it at 1/500th of a second. When choosing a lens, keep in mind that you want the option to zoom in and out as much as you can. Try using a lens with a profusion of range like a 70-200mm.


Allowing the client/child to choose the location creates a level comfort for them and makes your job ten times easier.

Should you use a candid approach?: Why not?! Some of the most memorable images of children can be of them laughing, in mid-air on a trampoline or running around at the park.

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Photo © Steven Meert via Flickr Creative Commons

Children’s level

Unless you’re trying to achieve an abstract, bird’s-eye-view shot, try to get down to the child’s level. This will allow for higher quality, profound detail.

Get Creative

You can play around with shots by focusing on something other than the child’s face: a side profile, a zoomed in eye or smile, shoes, etc.

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Photo © Rudolf Vlcek via Flickr Creative Commons