Tips and Tricks for Taking Photos of Your Kids Even When There is Clutter

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I am Neyssa Lee a mother of six, who is planning obsessed, and uses photography to help you see the beauty in your own family’s chaos. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

Are your kids tornadoes?

It feels like I’m constantly following behind trying to pick up their trail of destruction. However, I don’t let the fact that my house isn’t “picture perfectly clean” stop me from picking up my camera. (Otherwise I would never pick up my camera, right?!)

You don’t have to let the clutter stop you either, because I’m offering up my tips and tricks for taking photos of your kids even when there is clutter.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

First things first, turn off that light and use natural window light. This is the easiest way to improve your photos. Avoid mixing different colors/tones of light and let that beautiful natural light shine.

All of these photos were taken in our playroom. This is the space where the kids can play upstairs and I don’t have to worry about seeing it all day long. Which means, it is usually a HUGE MESS!

I cannot believe I’m sharing this photo, but I want you to see where all of these photos were taken. I didn’t pick up at all, but worked with the light and space.


See this mess! You can still take photos you’ll love that tell your kids’ story.

See this mess! You can still take photos you’ll love that tell your kids’ story.

Photo Tip #1: Get in Closer.

The simplest way to block out clutter is to get in closer. Frame your shot in tightly to focus on their hands playing with their favorite toy or brushing their baby’s hair. By being closer, you naturally block out that clutter.


Get in closer and reduce your aperture to blur out distractions.

Get in closer and reduce your aperture to blur out distractions.

Photo Tip #2: Adjust Your Aperture.

I know. Aperture is one of those big, scary, photography words. But don’t worry. Aperture is all about creating blur in your images. You don’t want that clutter in focus, so work with your aperture.

If you’re on a smart phone, switch to portrait mode. That will change your aperture for you!

If you’re using a DSLR camera, switch your camera to Aperture Priority Mode. (On Canon this is Av on your settings dial. Nikon it is A). This allows you to select your Aperture while the camera will select your other settings. It is a great way to get your feet wet with manual mode. Once you’re in that mode make your Aperture (that number with the F before it) as low as it can go.


Tips for taking photos of your kids even when there is clutter

Photo Tip #3: Change Your Angle

Move around your kids seeing where you can frame them in a way to have the least amount of clutter. Try shooting from above them, or moving to one side or the other. Keep moving around until you find an angle that works best.

Bonus Tip: Take a photo and then look at everything in the frame except your subject. Is there anything that pulls your eye and is distracting? If there is, move that one item out of the way and take the photo again. You can also adjust your angle until it is out of the frame if it is something you cannot move.


Move around, take note of the frame and look to remove distractions.

Move around, take note of the frame and look to remove distractions.

See, you can still capture your kids even when there is clutter. You can breathe easier and stop feeling guilty about not picking up your house and pick up your camera instead. Because sometimes, keeping things clean with littles in the house is an uphill battle (or trying to brush your teeth and eat Oreos at the same time, pointless!).

Looking for more photo tips? Make sure you’re following me over on Instagram! You can also learn how to add depth to your photos by understanding how focus works with my Freebie all about Focus! It’s so much easier than it sounds and it will change the way you look at photography!

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