Photographing Dad: Life’s Moments

With Father’s Day approaching, you may be thinking that a family photoshoot would offer a priceless gift that dad can enjoy for years to come. There’s only one problem: He hates having his photo taken. Just a brief mention of the word “photoshoot” is enough to give him nightmares about a tense afternoon spent in matching outfits and being forced into awkward poses.

But photos don’t have to be staged. There are plenty of ways to capture genuine moments – without the church attire and cheesy backdrops – that will bring a real smile to his face. 

Here are some ideas for taking cute Father’s Day pictures that he’ll proudly show off.

Activities Over Poses


While look-at-the-camera photos can be great for filling picture frames, those likely aren’t the photos that will spark memories for dad and your children as they grow older. Instead, why not capture dad while he’s doing what he does best: Being a father?

Instead of getting him to huddle together with the kids and forcing him to smile, prompt them to do an activity they love. Movement is great for photography, and games can help bring out dad’s natural connection with his children and better showcase his personality. They can also help ease any worries he has about looking awkward in photos, like not knowing what to do with his hands for a portrait. 

The prompts can be as simple as:

  1. Playing hula hoop
  2. Dancing to their favorite song
  3. Kicking a soccer ball
  4. Blowing bubbleS

No props? No problem! Ask them to spin, play piggyback, race to a nearby landmark or sweet kisses on the cheek.

Think about the interactions you love watching them have on a normal day, and use those as guides for picking activities that will create genuine joy and laughter. 

Giving control to your child is also a great way to spark creativity. Ask your children what games they want to play, or ask them what activities they want to see their dad do. Have them surprise dad with a tickle fight or sneak up on him with a big hug. Chances are, this will get a natural smile out of dad and help you capture the little moments that bring him the biggest joy.

Your children don’t have to be small to plan a fun, in-the-moment photoshoot that dad will love. If your kids are older, try recreating his favorite photos from their childhood, right down to the backdrop and outfits. Nothing will garner more natural laughter than watching your 26-year-old son try to sit on his father’s lap!

At Home

Dad changing diapers

A relaxed dad is a happy dad, and being at home is likely where he feels most at ease. Consider hiring a photographer for a laid-back photoshoot in your own living room or backyard. This takes the stress out of having to pack up props, get everyone ready on time and travel with the kids. It also provides more privacy for an intimate photoshoot – you won’t have to worry about strangers walking by or being in the background. 

Your home is filled with endless backdrops and props that help tell your story as a family. It’s easy to capture daily activities like mealtime, snuggle sessions and playing in the yard. Some simple prompts you can use for an at-home photoshoot include:

  1. Running through the sprinkler
  2. Baking a cake (don’t forget to lick the spoon!)
  3. Having a nerf gun or pillow fight
  4. Doing arts and crafts (Bonus tip: Ask dad and your child to draw each other. That’s sure to surface a few laughs!)

Another cute Father’s Day photo idea is having your child play dress up in dad’s clothes. What’s cuter than a toddler wearing shoes that are about 10 sizes too large and a tie that’s longer than he is?

Taking photos at home also offers more opportunities to capture the often “forgettable” moments in between games, like your baby falling asleep on dad’s chest, and the spontaneity of the dog jumping up to join. Home is also likely where your child feels most relaxed, and nothing keeps dad happier than having a happy child!

Giving Your Child the Camera

Daughter playing with her dad

Looking to capture photos from a whole new angle? Try giving the camera to your child and letting him or her run wild. Prompt your children to take turns taking photos of dad, and allow them to be in charge of giving the marching orders. Ask them to pose him and find a backdrop they think will make for a good photo. Encourage them to try shooting from different angles – whatever they think will best capture their father!

You can even go as far as letting them pick his outfit (though he may not let you post those photos for the world to see).

Not only is this activity sure to create some giggles, but it offers the chance for dad to see his relationship with his kids through their perspective. Your kids will likely have a blast doing it too!

Living in the Moment

Dad and his baby on his shoulders

The most important thing to keep in mind when capturing photos dad will cherish is to rid yourself of expectations. Instead of trying to get “perfect,” Instagram-worthy photos, treat your Father’s Day photoshoot like a family hangout session. Avoid going in with a specific vision and planned activities, both of which can make dad anxious. Feel free to get out a few toys in advance, but leave the rest up to fate and let your family’s individual personalities shine through. 

Capturing the little moments that make up your daily routine will also give your kids something to look back on as they grow older. They’ll love flipping through the photo albums and seeing pictures of memorable interactions with their dad, especially ones that were taken in their childhood home. These kinds of photos provide context for remembering exactly what day-to-day life was like when they were younger.

Photographers are well versed in the art of capturing candid, natural moments. PhotoBooker can help you find a family photographer near you that shares your passion for telling your family’s one-of-a-kind story. Plan ahead for Father’s Day by scheduling your photoshoot now!

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