Famed photographer Elena Shumilova says consistency is the most important thing for photographing your kids.
By photographing them daily, the kids become comfortable around the camera, and you'll get more genuine shots that don't look posed. She also tells a story of almost missing her most famous photo:
...because she almost didn't bring her camera along and was frustrated by previous failures:
Before I took this photo, my confidence was at a pretty low point. I had tried for a photo of my son and dog 14 other times — not 14 other photos, but 14 full photo shoots, all failures.
I was convinced that my hands were too clumsy, or my dog was not the right dog for it, or my kid was not the right kid for it. I was just feeling desperate that day and didn't even want to bring my camera.
But something told me to bring it. And on that fifteenth day, it all just came together.
This dog of ours is now famous — but he's not all that photogenic from most angles. He's actually a pretty difficult dog to work with. From the previous 14 photo shoots, I'd learned what angles and body compositions work for him and my son.
It's easy to get discouraged. It's easy to think, "Oh, why bother, it won't work anyway." And it may not for the first 14 times. Those 14 photo shoots weren't failures though, because I learned from them. And they're what made the fifteenth one possible.
While most of us won't be able to take photos as gorgeous as these, it's a good reminder to never give up.
How to Photograph Your Kids [SmugMug]