Tricks for Photographing Kids and Pets in Natural Light

When it comes to photographing children and animals in a natural setting, getting the perfect shot can be tricky. You have to be able to match the children’s energy and effectively capture the kids, the light, and the scene to portray that energy and the feeling of just being a kid. Nikon professional photographer Tamara Lackey leads us behind the scenes of a photo shoot with three playful, energetic children and their dog in a busy, loud park:

The Challenges of Photographing with Children and Pets

With all the outside noises of traffic, construction, and trains, Lackey has to make the extra effort to connect and interact with the children.

In addition to the noise and distraction, she has a few more challenges:

  • Responding to each child’s unique personality individually, as well as a group
  • Shooting dynamic, fast moving subjects
  • Getting great candid images using natural light

Camera Gear

Lackey uses a Nikon D610 and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens. She says the camera is perfect for shooting the quick moving kids and dog—it’s fast moving and lightweight. She takes advantage of the beautiful, sunny day by using natural backlighting and sunwashed flare to get playful, happy images.

children playing photo

It’s important to maintain control of the shoot, while still managing to keep the kids enthusiastic. The main thing to keep in mind while photographing children is that, above all else, it has to be fun!

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  1. Caryl Anne says:

    Great video and article! I agree that shooting animals and children can be difficult, especially with all the traffic, etc. However, these tricks sound perfect in making the experience easier and more efficient. Thanks so much for sharing your information!

  2. I found photographing kids and pets an stressful experience, but I must say at the same time that is a quite rewarding as well.
    You can see some photographs I made a few weeks ago here:

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