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Easy ways to get in the photo with your kids - because they'll want pictures with mom in them when they're all grown up!

Getting in the Picture with Your Kids

MPMK contributor and professional photographer Kristin is here today sharing easy ways to ensure that you show up in the family photos.  As moms, we’re often the ones snapping the pics (or sometimes even hiding from the camera), but we need to remember it’s such a gift to our kids to make sure they have photographic evidence of these years with you!

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I wanted to talk about some easy tips on getting into the picture with your kids.  As moms, we need to do this!  Kids want to have documentation of their childhood with their mom.

I promise, they won’t be thinking about how their mom needs to lose 5 pounds or use more eye cream.  Making memories with their mom is so valuable!  Here are my favorite tips for getting it done:

  • The first thing you need to do is download a timer app for your smart phone.  I use CameraTimer for my iPhone.  I love it because you can set it on a single shot or multi shot.  It also lets you choose how many seconds before the shutter clicks.  So, if you have your phone far away, you don’t have to lose your breath trying to run into the photo.
  • Take the time to get the kids together for a photo when you’re doing something fun and they are in the mood for it!  Milkshakes does the trick for my crew.
  • One of my friends uses a GorillaPod for her phone, so she can attach it to a tree or pretty much anything else.  I tend to just prop my phone on a couch or something soft, but this contraption looks like it would be fun to try.
  • For a casual and fun snapshot, use the ol’ how far can I stretch my arm trick.  I think we all did this in college.  Time to pull out those skills.


  • Another option is to enlist help.  Husbands, friends and even strangers can all push a button.  If you don’t want to use a timer, just take the time to ask someone.  Would you mind taking a photo for us?  If you’re at the beach or a theme park, don’t stay behind the camera all day.  Most people are happy and even honored to snap a few photos for you.


  • What about if you don’t like the way you look in a photo?  Most of us don’t look at photos of ourselves and admire how great we look.  But guess what – you are a mom and kids love their mom.  They love the way we look right at this very moment.  Remember, this is for them.  When they grow older, you want to be able to give them photos that include you.
  • If you’re feeling self-conscious, put a child on your lap.  Standing slightly behind them also puts more of a focus on the kids.  Hugging is another great idea.


  • Hiring a professional is a fantastic way to really feel great in photos with your kids.  Every year, I offer a Mother’s Day promotion to encourage moms to treat themselves to professional portraits with their kids.  As a photographer, I will direct the interactions and capture the most flattering angles.  I love these photo sessions because the images are priceless.

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P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?

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Kristin is a children’s photographer in southern California. Visit her website to read all about her adventures in photography, cooking, and her love of style.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Holly May 8, 2013 at 12:29 am

Thanks for posting! I am always annoyed that I am not in the pics. Thankfully, my hubby is offering to take more photos!


Kristin May 8, 2013 at 1:10 am

Big thumbs up for your hubby, Holly!


MaryBeth May 8, 2013 at 9:37 am

Great ideas and a good reminder. I wish I had more of me with my kids when they were younger. My daughter recently posted a picture of my son and I that she took while we were at Disney. I was annoyed at first because it was not flattering at all! But she said she posted it because she thought I looked beautiful because i was laughing with my son. Why would I want to not have that memory?


Kristin May 9, 2013 at 2:15 am

It’s true! I’m always drawn to client’s photos that show emotion. Sometimes it’s not best picture, but it’s the picture that makes you feel something.


julia-lifeonchurchill May 8, 2013 at 9:49 am

This is great! Especially the apps like the self-timer. My kids are moody about picture taking, but its a good reminder to try. Especially with a treat like ice cream :)


Stacey May 8, 2013 at 10:15 am

What great ideas! I am going to try to get in more of the pictures! There are next to no pictures of my mom from my childhood because she was always behind the camera and I miss them. Good reminder!


Kristin May 9, 2013 at 2:15 am

So good! We need to change this cycle!


Crystal May 8, 2013 at 11:50 am

Thank you for this post. I am one of those moms that hid from the camera, just as my mom did/does. One day I looked back at photos from my daughter’s first year and was envious of all the father/daughter shots, so I decided to change things and start handing my camera to my husband.

I find I often hate pictures of me when I first see them (I’m highly critical of every little thing) but weeks, months, years later I look at the photo again and I don’t notice all of those things I initially was critical of.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Kristin May 9, 2013 at 2:16 am

It’s funny because most guys don’t tend to be self-conscious seeing themselves in photos. We need to follow their lead!


Stephanie May 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Great post. I’m downloading that timer app right now. I can count on one hand how many pictures I have with my kids. I know ill regret it. Thank you!!!


Kelli May 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm

What a great list! One more that I’d like to add is to hand the camera to your kids! My four-year-old loves to take pictures, and every now and then he captures a gem of me or my husband with the one-year-old. As they get older, it can only get better. :)


Kristin May 9, 2013 at 2:17 am

Great tip! I love that your four year old gets to be part of the process.


Marcia May 9, 2013 at 12:58 am

Thanks for the advice about the “CameraTimer” app! I already have a timer app, but not one that takes multiple pictures!


amy May 14, 2013 at 1:14 am

My favorite trick when we’re out and about with the family doing something touristy like going to the beach or out on vacation is to look for another small family or couple taking pictures of each other and offer to take a picture of them if they’ll take one of us. Feels less awkward when you’re offering a trade and everyone goes home with a picture. Win-win!


Kristin May 14, 2013 at 10:15 am

I love that idea Amy! And you’re right, everyone walks away happy!


Katie June 11, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I’m guilty of not wanting to be in the photos since I have baby weight to lose, so this hit home. I put down the phone, wiped my eyes, and told my four year old that it was time to take some selfies. She hopped in my lap and we snapped a few silly shots with the phone. She loved it. Thanks for the perspective!


Steph (MPMK Founder) June 12, 2013 at 2:21 am

Thanks for sharing Katie – your comment made ME tear up :)


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