Photographing Your Kids around New York City

As a new parent, documenting your kids’ lives is an important part of the parenting process — you want to have the memories in digital form to look back at and to show your child when they’re older. However, in the first few years of a kids life this could crack your budget because there’re so many moments you’ll want a photographer to capture — the birth, the Christening, the “official” family portraits, the first birthday, etc. The most budget-friendly thing you can do in this instance is ditch the photographer and whip out the powerful camera that’s right in your pocket/purse 24/7.

Over the past decade (since the arrival of the first iPhone), smart phone cameras have become quite a force in the photography world — some people have made careers of “smart-phone photography.”

However, when shooting pictures with a smart phone, there are some things to keep in mind.

  1. A smart phone can’t truly replace the quality brought by a picture taken with a DSLR (example above), but it’s still a decent, cost-effective alternative.


A great picture with a smart phone is really all about the lighting — no phone camera on the market holds well under low light. And do not under any circumstances use your flash — the only thing worse than a low-light image is an image with flash. The flash furthers the pixilation of the image — making it blurrier. This is something to keep in mind when debating whether to hire a photographer or not. For example, Churches are usually darker and don’t have much natural light pouring in — so for a Christening and/or Baptism you should consider hiring a photographer. But for something like a kid’s birthday — which is often outdoors, save your money and just use your phone. Chances are all the parents there will also be taking photos so you’ll have a wide array of photos by the end.

  1. Movement

Kids aren’t going to sit still for a long period of time — they’re impatient and want to play so for those photos with a lot of movement consider using the burst feature on your phone instead of just taking one individual picture. For most phones this just means holding down the shutter button.

  1. Close-Ups

Just as I said not to use your phone flash, also do not ever use the zoom feature on your phone. The second you take your two fingers and zoom in — the picture quality reduces by a significant amount. If you’re having an event where you want intimate-close up pictures, but don’t want to physically be up close shoving a camera in people’s face, then hire a photographer. There’s a reason the lens on a DSLR is so long — it’s the difference between digital zoom and optical zoom. Optical zoom doesn’t sacrifice the quality of the image — digital zoom just blurs and pixelates an image.

While a phone camera cannot be matched with the superior quality of a DSLR, you’d want someone who knows what they’re doing when dealing with a camera like that which would involve a photographer — but as said above, hiring a photographer every time you want a good photo is just not realistic or financially responsible.


Author: Aaron Bharucha

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