6 Moments of Childhood to Capture Beyond the Obvious


If you are a parent, you probably pull out your camera to take photos of the big moments in your child’s life. You have almost certainly captured her first taste of solid food, his first steps, and her first day of school. You probably also have a handful of photos from family vacations, and you may even have an annual portrait for the end-of-year holiday card.


But, looking back, you are likely to find that these photos don’t tell you much about what life was like for you, and your child, during his early years. To help you capture the smaller, but special, moments of your little one’s childhood, be sure to take photos of these essential parts.

1) Your Child’s Friends

Your child will always hold a special place in his heart for his childhood friends. While it is tempting to always get shots of your child alone, you and your child will appreciate having photos of him with his friends to look back on through the years, especially if you, or a special friend, may one day move away. To make these photos even more meaningful, get a shot of the kids engaging in a favorite activity together – whether it’s playing board games, dolls, or soccer.


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2) The Fits

One look through your Facebook or Instagram feed, and you might think that all of your friends’ kids are happy, all the time. While your friends may work hard to make their little ones seem perfect, the reality is that disappointment is a big part of childhood. Don’t overlook taking pictures of your kids when they are in the midst of a temper tantrum, or when they are doing their Oscar-worthy performance to try to convince you to give them an extra 10 minutes of screen time.

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3) Bedtime

Bedtime happens every night, and by the time it rolls around you are probably just ready to get the kids to bed, and aren’t thinking about taking photos. But, there are lots of great memories being made at the end of the day. Your kids probably look adorable in their jammies, and brushing their teeth. If you read books before bed, getting photos of your child flipping through her favorites, while snuggled under the covers, will bring back memories of the books she loved the most, years later. On the nights you take out your camera, be sure to get at least one shot of your sleeping angel.


4) Their Little Quirks

Although they may not seem like picture-perfect moments, capturing the little mannerisms that your child makes as he grows up, will be precious to you when he’s older. Did your baby start putting his hands on his head when he’s upset? Does your toddler cross her arms to show she’s angry? Has your pre-schooler started covering her mouth with both hands when she’s excited? Whether these mannerisms are fleeting, or stay with your child for life, you will appreciate having photos of his little quirks when he’s older.



5) Playtime

Your child sitting on the floor playing with blocks, or on lounging on the sofa with his tablet, may not seem noteworthy now, but in a few years her interests will change. Having photos of your child at play, will bring back precious memories of what your child was like back then, and will help him remember specific toys and games he liked to play during that time.

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6) You and Your Child

There is probably no people more important to your child, than his Mom and Dad. If you are the one picking up the camera, you are probably not in a lot of pictures. Your child will want to remember what you looked like when they were little, and will treasure photos of you and him doing activities together, even if it’s as simple as playing a game or baking cookies. Find a way to get into some photos with your child, whether it’s by using a tripod and remote, handing the camera to a friend, or hiring a professional photographer.

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Do you have any other moments in your child’s life that you feel are important to capture in photos? Please share in the comments below your thoughts and your images.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Jamie Davis Smith lives in Washington, D.C. and enjoys exploring the best the D.C. area has to offer with her four children. She loves documenting it all with my ever-present camera. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • Neoh Soon Hueng

    I’ve 2 boys, and I love photographing them together. Either going to the stable, or acting like construction worker at home.

  • jom jose

    Nice work Jamie. I really enjoyed. See the pics by me.The first one taken by my wife and the other one I took while my daughter was enjoying in water.

  • Guru B

    My doughter photo, I just love photography

  • SteveR

    I was always the one with the camera. We have very few photographs of me with my family. For those of you who ALWAYS take the pictures, get a tripod and a remote trigger and include yourself. You will be glad you did.
    I also recommend printing some of the better photos. Flipping through an ipad is just not the same as holding a photo album while sharing moments later in life.

  • Sachin

    very nice pictures, specially the one shoot from River Bank.

  • Lesley Lee

    I make photobooks for my children and grandkids. They love them and because I’ve included a variety of special occasions and everyday events that were special at the time (collecting perfect frangipani flowers with grandpa?) they love looking at them and talking about the occasion. And yes, we have plenty of photos of the one struggling with his lunch, doing the washing up, or blowing impressive bubbles or learning to play badminton.

  • Gail

    I love looking at everyones photos and sharing some! Great article and pictures!

  • Gail

    I love looking at everyones photos and sharing some! Great article and pictures!

  • Gail

    I so agree with you! It made me sad after all these years to see so little of me interacting or being in photos. Time slips by so fast and leaving nothing behind when the time comes is unfair to your loved ones I fear! Point On!

  • I love all the pictures of everyone’s beautiful children!! Here’s one I caught of my husband and two year old daughter after he had just given her a bath, snuggling in our oversized chair.

  • My attempt at a X-Christmas card this year….thought the fit was more realistic.

  • Definitely agree with actually printing out photos instead of them never seeing the light of day in a hard drive. I make an annual photo book of my son covering birthday to birthday along with notes on his milestones. He loves flipping through the books. Great tips by the author on capturing the everyday moments.

  • Sachin

    yes, we have plenty of photos of the one struggling with his lunch,
    doing the washing up, or blowing impressive bubbles or learning to play
    badminton. http://gasbooking.net/

  • earl jules

    * * *
    Children always make the most delightful subjects… (enjoyed by all ages)…
    the most long-lasting subjects… (through so many generations)…
    and the most compulsive conversation starters. . .
    (everyone has something complimentary to say about it)…


  • Vijay Pyna

    nice work

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  • First picture is very nice i like it your website gives the best information i havent seen such a great website
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