Lights, camera, action – capturing kids on the move!

August 14, 2017

One of the perils of being a parent to a toddler is that they’re constantly on the move, which can make photographing them somewhat tricky. 

We all want photos of our little ones to look back on, but this wonderful fun stage does seem to lend itself to many a blurred and occasionally out-of-focus photograph of your smiley rosey-cheeked angel. 

With this in mind, and having had A LOT of practice taking photos of Henry – it feels like he is never ever still,but that might just be me – I took up the challenge with Lifecake* and Canon, to share some of my top tips for photographing kids on the move! 

On our last visit to my sister’s home we stopped by the park which is the most obvious place to get lots of photos of kids running around, playing and generally on the move. Plus the park is just fun for everyone isn’t it?!

^^I realise this last photo is totally out of focus but OMGosh his fave is too cute!!^^

OK, let’s start with some of my favourite photos to take – swing photos! This is kind of the very height of capturing kids in motion as it’s fast, but it is predictable, which helps with the speed. 

My absolute top tip for capturing kids on the move on a DSLR is to utilise the sports or kids modes. On my Canon 200D I have both settings under SCN. They’re specifically designed to take lots of photos very quickly. The shutter is super fast which enables it to grab a moment in time in perfect focus. This mode is best for outdoors photos though, as because the shutter is working so quickly it lets in minimal amounts of light, which will darken the photograph so lots of natural light is essential. 

This slide shot was also taken in kids mode as it takes continuous images so long as you have the shutter button depressed which means you can literally photograph a still photograph sequence, then select your favourite – or even make a gif from the images! Think how Boomerang works, but with a DSLR high-quality camera. 

Another tip for capturing motion is to get in front or even directly behind. You still get the idea of motion, but with less risk of blur on hands or feet. Plus I think one of the best things about kids moving is the expression on their faces, and the obvious way to capture that is front on.

Although a nice side on photo of your little one’s early steps is always a winner. Position yourself slightly away from them (a 50mm lens helps you crop in still even whilst sat back from the scene) and so your little isn’t actually in the shot. Wait until they start to enter the shot and keep clicking. Basically pan with them moving like filming, but photograph the action instead.

What’s your top tips for photography moving kids?

Read more of my photography tips in my Canon 200D review and my 50mm lens review

*collaboration project with Lifecake – all opinions and tips are my own.

16 responses to “Lights, camera, action – capturing kids on the move!”

  1. Sarah Pears says:

    My boy has just started walking this week so these tips will be super helpful! I can't wait to snap some photos of him! :)Sarah |

  2. Honest Motherhood says:

    Brilliant tips, my little boy is two and it's become a nightmare to try and take pictures of him! x

  3. Debbie - Hello Deborah says:

    He looks so happy! I've never tried using the SCN modes on my canon, I'll have to give them a try. My daughter crawls so quickly, I don't know what it will be like when she's walking!

  4. Gee Gardner says:

    It is so difficult to get action shots of toddlers! Great tips!

  5. Maisie Gibbons says:

    Such good tips! Tyler is always moving so I'll have to remember to utilise kids mode! Love the photos of him on the swing 😍💖 So bloody adorable!

  6. Five Little Doves says:

    Such great tips! Photographing children is so hard, mine are never still!! Such gorgeous photos! x

  7. Little B And Me says:

    My heart has absolutely melted at the swing images!You've captured some beautiful images.I love experimenting with images its great fun! x

  8. Mummy Cat says:

    such great tips!! im useless with the camera sometimes haha

  9. Me & Your Raising Two says:

    I've been taking a lot of notes as photography isn't my forte! Great tips thank you and I love your pictures! x

  10. Alice Spake says:

    He is just so adorable!!! I love the swings too, we can be swing buddies haha

  11. Ethan.n.Evelyn says:

    These are brillant tips. I must really learn how to do my photography properly. Kids are really hard to capture.

  12. Stella Olojola says:

    Aww lovely photos. Your little one is so busy. The swing looks like fun.

  13. Lu Lovely says:

    Oh my goodness. These photos of your little one on the swing are adoreable x

  14. Ivana Jeknić says:

    There is nothing better than making memories with your little one. I am melting with this photos

  15. Becky Blacow says:

    They're just too damn quick, aren't they?? Some wonderful shots here; you must be chuffed to bits!

  16. Nicole Davies says:

    As a photographer I love my canon! I'm not a Nikon lover! I use my canon and my 35mm lens! I also love the 50mm too! I'd suggest anyone who uses automatic mode to shoot uses sports or kids mode. The 750d has both of these! 🙂

Leave a Reply


As a mother who loves to travel, I’d love to take Henry on a trip to Disneyland Paris someday. The trip won’t be cheap, but I’ve learned that I can buy or rent a Disney Vacation Club timeshare on the DVC Resale Market at a steeply discounted price.