The Bag Of Tricks Every Child Photographer Needs


If you’ve ever photographed a kiddo younger than 10yrs  old before you probably know what this post is about by just reading the title.

Photographing little ones can be challenging and in most cases you must call in the troops, the jokes and my favorite… THE BAG OF TRICKS. 

The younger they get the harder they are to photograph sometimes.

Whether it is getting their attention or holding their attention, bringing some back up with you to your session can make all the difference.

When I think of a bag of tricks I think of things that will make funny noise, genuine laughs and smiles and get kids involved in the experience other than doing the old reverse psycology  trick, “don’t smile… don’t do it…”  Which we all know can be a hit or miss.

Maybe it’s because I was an elementary school teacher or just a kid at heart but bringing my bag of tricks with me to use during sibling shots in a newborn session or a child portrait session makes it a little more fun for me too. This is our job, shouldn’t we be having some fun as well?

I’m always looking for new “tricks” to add to my bag but here are a few of my all time favorites I wanted to share. Hopefully they will inspire you to get your own bag to use during your sibling shots for newborns or child sessions.  Each one of these items can be used for different ages and some can be used on all ages, even on the grown ups during a family session.

Pez Candy

I love how the Pez Candy slides right on top of the hot shoe of the camera.  It’s an eye catcher, plus a small piece of bribery to use for the end of the session.  The best ages I’ve found that love this trick are older than 3yrs.

False Teeth

These are terrific to use with older kids or family members. You can pop them in and watch the laughs and smiles blossoms. They are also perfect for those older kids or dads who are not as fond of being in front of the camera.

Noise Makers & Ticklers

Cat toys and dog toys that tickle or make noises are my go-to every time for sitter sessions and 1yr old sessions. Babies are so ticklish and  can be easily redirected to look at the camera with a jingle of a bell, honk of a horn or squeeze noise of a toy.


Clown Nose

Who can resist a funny red nose? Whenever I see sad faces I bust out my clown nose. You can still hold your camera to your face and get some authentic fun smiles while you show off your best clown face. This trick gets the laugh every.single.time.

Funny Faces

Similar to the clown nose, putting this funny face on brings those belly laughs out of older kids especially. Be aware when using them with younger babies or kids who seem more sensitive or sky, as they might be more afraid than entertained.

Finger Puppets

Finger puppets are wonderful to get younger kids involved and interactive. They can slip them right on their fingers and go to town with imaginary play for more candid shots.  These small puppets can also be slipped over the Pez Candy on the hot shoe as well for a distraction such as this,  “Hey look at Spiderman on my camera, how’d he get there?”  Puppets on top of your camera can help a lot if you are looking to get more eye contact with the lens from your little subjects.

These are just a few items in my bag of tricks. There are many, many more items that you may have already and use. No matter what bring your bag of tricks to child session is sure to go down as a good time.

Happy Snapping,


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Malia Battilana


It’s an honor to be photographing the world’s newest little human beings. It takes that special touch, patience and a pure love. She believes emotional connection makes for influential newborn portraiture and that anyone seeking that, can find it.

Malia lives in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with her most supportive husband and her 3 fun-loving children. As the owner of Malia B Photography, she photographs the cutest babies in the Valley of the Sun.