Virtual Photography Class: Photographing Your Child’s Eyes

My favorite thing to photograph is obviously my children. But more specifically, I most recently love photographing their eyes. There is something about a child’s eyes that capture the timelessness, beauty and innocence within them.

This post has very little to do with your camera and very much to do with positioning yourself and your child. In fact, even those of you with point-and-shoots might be able to glean a few tips with this post!

Here’s how to beautifully capture the eyes of your child(ren):

Step 1:  Go outside and position your child facing the sun while they’re actually standing in the shade. Take a few test photos prior to photographing your child in order to ensure you have the settings how you want them on your camera. I would recommend using your camera in AV (aperture priority) mode (more about this here). Oh and by all means, don’t use your flash.

Step 2:  Sit your child down. A tricycle works wonders. You want them to be stationary, otherwise it will be difficult capturing that glass-like quality in their eyes.

Step 3:  Stand on a step-stool, a ladder, or even on the back of your car. As long as you are above your child. They might hold still just to see you up that high!

Step 4:  Get their attention to look up at you and into the camera. This may require a moment of goofiness. Go for it…it’s worth it.


My friend Rachel’s little boy

And if you’re more of a visual learner…

There you have it.

Go outside. Right now. (Or tonight…or tomorrow morning, depending on when you read this.)

Try it. Leave a comment and tell me what you think.


And if you absolutely cannot get outside, place your child in front of a window and stand up on a stepstool (or just have them sit on the floor and you stand up).

And remember…take any and all of my photography “tips” with a grain of salt, I am the student! I am not a photographer and know very little about photography. But I’m trying to learn. And the best way I learn is by trying to teach someone else. So thank you for indulging me.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to read the other posts in this series:

Overview of Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO
Depth of Field
White Balance

And in case you’re wondering, I have a Canon Rebel (a relatively affordable dSLR) and I almost always use my 50mm lens.


  1. I love your photography tips. I am trying to learn also. I have two questions. For the outside shot, should I be in the shade with the camera also or does it matter if I am in the sun with the camera. For the inside shot in front of a window, can you explain the positioning for the child and the camera. Feel free to email me. Thanks!

    1. Like I said, I’m not an expert…but I was in the shade as well for the pictures I took outdoors. And indoors, I like to have them stand in front of a window, facing the window as much as possible. It isn’t really possible to get a straight shot (unless you were outside taking the picture), so you’ll probably have to angle them a little bit. Some people don’t like the direct light, but I do. :)

      1. Yes… and that smiley face keeps me from crying =). We broke two of our snow shovels last winter and apparently were in enough denial that we don’t have any right now (who knew that winter with all the snow arrives every year =)

  2. I think you are absolutely awesome for sharing this photography info with us all! My oldest is finally getting to an age where she’ll sit still for a couple seconds enough for me to take a good shot, so now I’m more interested in thinking about taking good shots! So thank you, thank you! Perhaps it will encourage us all to take a photography class!

  3. I stumbled upon your site through Pinterest and LOVE it. I agree with you, the best way to learn IS to teach. You snippets and suggestions are bite-sized beauties. I’ve been an amateur photog for many years but stopped shooting when film was too expensive and my camera was stolen. 15 years later I got a Canon Rebel and digital photography opened a whole new learning curve. I love it! Thanks for posting, Jenae. I’ll be coming back. Thank you!

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