Posts in my house
6 Tips for Taking Amazing Candid Photos of Your Kids This Summer {Nashville, TN Lifestyle Photographer}

Warm weather is HERE and it’s time to pull out the sprinklers and pop-up pools! Summer is so ripe for photos with it’s long days of sunlight, colorful palettes and large, popsicle-stained smiles!

We want to be able to capture that summer magic in photos. It’s so fleeting and the years move on too quickly, so having memories of our summers is so important. While I love gathering all the kiddos in one big group and asking them all to give me a crazy grin, I’m REALLY a fan of candidly capturing these hot-day & warm-night moments.

Now, I am always available for a summer lifestyle session - which I fully believe more people should do!! No one ever thinks to have a summer day or night professionally captured and it’s just THE BEST!!! But, since I can’t be there for you allllll the days…

…I want YOU to be able to be the best memory keeper that you can be for your family, I thought I’d share some of my top tips when it comes to taking candid photos of your kids!

And what would photo tips be without photos?! haha! DUH.

I’m often not far from my camera, and when we blew up this darling little MiniDip pool from Target for the first time, I KNEW I had to grab it and capture the first dip of “summer!” (Summer in quotes because it’s technically still spring.) And it has shows just about all the tips I talk about!

That brings me to my tips:

  1. Capture the FIRSTS. First dip in the pool this summer. First steps into the ocean. First lick of an ice cream cone. First one to cannonball into the pool without even feeling the water beforehand!

    In these images, it was our FIRST time in this adorable pool!

  2. Capture the LASTS. The last one out of the pool. The last one left cleaning up. The last one to fall asleep. The last neighborhood gathering before school begins again.

  3. Never ask anyone to look at you. That’s the whole point of CANDID! You don’t want to bring anyone out of the moment - it’ll stop the moment and ruin all the candid fun. Try to be a fly on the wall so that you can truly capture your kiddos all caught up having a good time (or maybe pouting in a corner - haha!)

  4. Move around. Stand up. Lie down. I talk a lot about changing your point of view when shooting the same scene. Most people simple stand there at the normal height they normally and shoot normally. Normal is no fun! haha! Get high and get low and move all around!

  5. Take photos of DETAILS. You don’t always have to see everyone’s face to tell your story! Don’t you love baby butt cheek hanging out of a swimsuit?! It’s the best! Take a photo of it! Wet hair, grass-covered feet, little fingers and little toes, even details of the objects that you’ll probably forget about years from now.

  6. Make it so no one can see you. If it’s possible to get completely hidden, but still get some photos, this is the BEST for capturing candids! On this day, once my girls started inviting some neighbor kids over to play, I went inside and shot through our kitchen window. They had no idea! haha!

BONUS TIP: Use a black & white filter on some, especially ones that you took in bright sunlight. They look amazing and it will add a “moment in time” feel to your photo!

So, take a look at my little backyard shoot and see if you can see my tips at play!

sisters in backyard pool
little girl swimming in lemon mini dip from target

5 year old in lemon pool
goofy face girl being silly in a pool
girl sitting on the side of a lemon blow up pool
candid photo of girl in backyard pool
little girl in polka dot bathing suit
black and white image of sisters in pool
sisters playing in minidip lemon pool
little girl being silly in a blow up pool
8 year old girl plays in backyard
little girl in backyard pool green grass
black and white image of sisters playing in small pool
little girl running out of pool
sisters jumping in small backyard pool
splash in pool
little girl does big jump into pool
sisters play in lemon pool in backyard
sisters jump in blow up pool
young girl stands in bathing suit black and white
5 year old splashes in backyard pop up pool
neighbor kids play in pool
kids play in pool as seen through a window
kids play in pool through window
older sister sits on porch playing with slime
black and white image of girl on porch
friends eating dinner on porch
How to Choose Photos to Print & Display

You have photos, right?  Dumb question, I know.  I personally have over 12,000 on my phone alone – that doesn’t take into account all the ones from my “good” camera, of which I have plenty, being that I’m a photographer. (And a mom. I think my kids are over the camera in their faces).  

I get it.  I get photo overwhelm.

I also get the desire to want to print some photos!  And *gasp* maybe even FRAME them?!  Haha!  Isn’t that the dream? Gorgeous Pinterest-worthy walls of adorable vintage-filtered square shots with giant white mats and skinny frames?!  (Um…I want a wall like that.)

But what about something starting somewhere easier, like a frame on the mantle?  A canvas in the hall?  Something to replace the years-old photo of your family – the one that doesn’t even include your youngest – sitting on your husband’s desk at work?  And hasn’t Aunt Donna been asking for some updated photos forever?

Oh, and let’s not forget that professional family photo session you just had!  Love, love, love the photos, but now you have to decide either which images you want to purchase from the photographer, or maybe you got ALL the images (go you!) and now you need to pick a few to print.

Picking photos to print and display is not as hard as it seems.  I promise.  It’s just because we have too many dang choices.  

Let me help you get those images off your phone and into your home with a few questions to ask yourself.

1. Who wants a copy?

This question is especially useful after a professional photo session or if you feel you just took some really great photos of everyone on your phone.  Go through each family member, even really close friends who are like family, and think if they would appreciate any printed images. For example, grandma & grandpa on both sides, what do they want? An 8x10 of each kid? And then another, smaller, 5x7 of the kids together? Ok, check that.  Do you have sisters and brothers who would like some?  Go ahead and text people, too! “Hey, I’m finally printing some photos of the kids! Do you want any to frame?” 

Make sure to ask, too, which kind of image they prefer – a standard, looking at the camera smiling one, or one that shows more personality?  My mom always picks at least one where my girls look grumpy! Haha!  She says they make her laugh!

Here’s my biggest tip on this point: ask your kids to pick a few.  So many times parents pick photos, print them and put some frames in the living room.  But, you know what?  Kids LOVE photos of themselves and their families in their own rooms!  They love to giggle at silly photos, feel all warm and fuzzy with family photos and, best of all, they feel so confident when they are surrounded by images of themselves that they think they look great in.  Have them sit on your lap, and go through and see what they want.  Then, create a little space on a dresser or on the wall where they can display their memories!

2. Where are the photos going?

Take a look around your home.  Is there a wall you’ve always wanted to decorate with glorious photos?  A few spots on your built-in shelves?  Maybe something in your bedroom or even in the bathroom!  You know, a really funny or sweet photo can be great in a laundry room.  Now’s the time to walk around and look at shelves and walls and think about some places that could use some style!

I feel like there’s always a need for an updated photo in someone’s office.  Even a home office – treat it like an “away” office!  I like to keep a couple of frames on my desk in my home office, and my husband does the same in his “away” office.  Maybe twice a year or so, we simply print some new images and swap them out!

Like I mentioned above, don’t forget kids’ rooms, their bathrooms and their hallways.  It makes kids all kinds of happy to see faces they love around them! (Especially silly ones!)

Here’s the small hallway that leads to our master bedroom. We had a photoshoot done last April during our 10 year anniversary trip to NYC. I thought this was the PERFECT place to put photos that were just of my husband and I - without the two of us together, we wouldn’t have a family! So, I decided to make it kind of a like mini art gallery and hang some of my favorite photos in frames all at the same height.

ideas for how to hang frames and photos

3. Which do you simply love?

You know you’ve got ‘em.  A few photos that you just LOVE.  You’d show them to the checkout guy at Kroger if he wasn’t 17 and talking to his friend who’s bagging. Aw, heck, you’ll show them to him anyway! 

Even if you have no idea where you’d put these photos in your house, print them.  Print them in a standard size and then look for frames.  Or, print them on a giant canvas.  OR, make an album out of all your favorite images from the last 3, 6, 9 or 12 months! 

Especially print them if you have some images of YOU that you love.  You deserve to have some photos out of you looking super fab also! 

That’s how I was with this project. I had found these frames MONTHS ago at TJ Maxx HomeGood - if you find something you like there, you have to snatch it up fast! I bought them before we moved into our new house and only knew that I loved the frames. Then, after our trip to the lake in October, I had some photos that I also loved, especially the one with my daughter’s hair blowing in the boat wind

It didn’t make sense for me to blow these up really big, but I just love them as a clean collection in my living room. They sit on either side of the fireplace and make me so happy! And, it’ll be super easy to change them out seasonally!

NOTE: These work because there is a cohesiveness to them. The frames are the same style and the prints are from the same location with the same editing style. :)

frames with photos in living room
frame ideas for home
photo display ideas
how to display photos at home

4. Now go forth and print!

Hopefully, you’ve got some good ideas to get your photos off your phone and into your home!  For prints and canvases, I highly recommend  For great albums and other photo products at a great price, I recommend Shutterfly.

Good luck!  Come get inspired & share on Instagram with me @lizahippler or on Facebook if you get some photos up!  I’d love to see!