Simple ways to get great vacation photos of your kids

linnaedesignsPhotographing your children

brother and sister wading in lake

Mr. Cranky Pants and Miss Uncooperative

When my kids were two and three years old, we went to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. We were standing in front of a beautiful African-inspired landscape called Serengeti Plain.

Rhinos, zebra, and giraffes roamed the field. I desperately wanted to get a photo of my children standing in front of it because, well, that’s what everyone does. But my children kept turning their backs to me to watch the animals – and who can blame them? Watching a herd of antelope frolicking is way cooler than having their pictures taken.

Every minute or two I would say, “Ok, now let me get a picture. Turn around! Look at me. Smile, please. No, look this way!”

We were all getting a little frustrated and let’s just say that I can’t show you any brilliant examples of my photography from this day because there weren’t any.

I’ve come a long way since then – both as a mother and as a photographer.

If I could go back to that time and do it over, I’d ask my kids to look at me and act like the animals we were watching. I’d ask them to roar like a lion, scratch themselves like an ape, or make an elephant’s trunk with their swinging arms.

You may be thinking: “But what if I don’t want pictures of my kid’s face all scrunched up in a roar?” Well, guess what kids usually do right after they act silly? That’s right, they start laughing! Be sure to laugh with them. Keep it quick. Keep it moving. And keep it playful. That’s when you’ll get your best shots.

As a professional photographer, I’ve learned a lot about how to interact with kiddos and elicit natural expressions. During the sessions with the families below, I asked the kids to pick a flower, climb a tree, twirl in a circle, and yell as loud as they could. With the photo above, I asked the children if they could see any fish. Experiment with this approach yourself and I bet you’ll be surprised at the sweet results.


Pick a flower
lifestyle child session

Climb a tree
active photo

girl twirling
Yell as loud as you can
boys at boathouse

Lifestyle Family and Child Photo shoots

For more information about a photo session with Asheville, North Carolina, professional photographer, Linnae Harris, please call her at 828-230-1462 or email at CONTACT.


Let me capture you family. You’ll end up with connected, love-filled photos and we’ll have a blast at the same time!

Contact Linnae