Sure, we like to all think we’re Ansel Adams when it comes to capturing family moments with our point-and-shoot (or even iPhone camera), but if you’re anything like us, capturing a moving kid is pretty much impossible and our photos are more often than not blurry and totally not what we envisioned. Sound familiar? Our friend photographer Michael Kormos, recently sat down with us to give us inside tips and tricks to help you capture breathtaking and meaningful photos of your little ones. And, with Father’s Day just around the corner, beautiful portraits of your child are the perfect gift. Present them as framed prints, canvas wraps, or custom photo cuff links. Here are 10 tips and tricks from one of our favorite expert family photographers.

Location, Location, Location. Take advantage of all the character NYC has to offer, and choose a photogenic setting in your neighborhood. The key to stunning portraits is to simplify the background. A stone wall, grassy field, or tree-lined block is the perfect setting for beautiful portraits.

Soft Lighting. Direct sunlight makes your subject squint, and creates harsh shadows. It’s best to shoot on an overcast day or when your favorite spot is in the shade. Early morning and evening light are softer and cast beautiful, even shadows.

Creative Perspective. Meet your child eye-to-eye, and see your surroundings from their perspective. Kneel down, lie on your belly… whatever it takes! The viewpoint becomes more intimate, plus you’ll get to capture your child’s adorable facial expressions at the center of the composition.

Eliminate Distractions. If there are lots of distracting elements behind your child, try approaching from a different angle. Photographing top-down is always a great way to avoid distractions in the background.

Style. Dress your child comfortably, yet stylish. Have fun with color and patterns, and try to avoid matching sibling’s outfits. A little coordination of color palettes is nice, but mix it up to add some depth to your photos.

Props with Personality. Have fun with photo-worthy props. A great scarf, boots
or a fun hat will add a dash of personality to your pictures. A rustic or colorful
piece of furniture is also a fun prop to add texture to your photos.

Colorful Treats. Add a splash of color to your photos with fun foods. Cupcakes, watermelon, ice cream cones, strawberries, raspberries, and swirly lollipops are all delicious options. Be sure to have some baby wipes on hand, since the awesome pictures will require a bit of clean-up afterwards.

Be Silly. Let your child run around, and when it’s time to snap the picture, grab their attention with a silly noise or comment: “Aaaah, there’s a dinosaur on my head!” If you’re photographing your baby, squeak or jingle a favorite toy near your lens to grab her attention. Sing your baby’s favorite songs, and play Peek-A-Boo behind your camera to get giggles and eye contact.

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Genuine Giggles. The best way to get an older child to laugh is to tell them not to laugh. “Whatever you do, don’t laugh. Seriously, don’t laugh. Is that a smile I see? Better not be a smile…” Works like a charm every time!

Enjoy! When photographing your children, just have fun! Don’t worry about getting the “perfect picture,” since the best photos generally happen when you least expect it. Photography should be about sharing a fun experience, while capturing that magical joy of childhood!

This is a guest post from our friends at Michael Kormos Photography. Michael Kormos  is an accomplished family photographer in NYC. With an eye for candid moments and unique perspectives, he creates images that are fresh, emotional and fun. He has two young children who keep him very busy and constantly inspired. View more of his work at http://www.michaelkormos.com or http://www.michaelkormosblog.com.