july 4 kids photography tips

If you, like many, are gearing up for a great holiday weekend, then perhaps it’s time to brush the dust off your camera and get it set for some great picture-taking activity. With friends, food, and family all around, July 4th is a terrific opportunity to capture amazing pictures of your kids, as well as others you care about. Here are some tips:

Glow Stick Photography

With a few red, white, and blue glow sticks you can create fun images with your kids while celebrating Independence Day. Ideally, dress your kids in dark colors and make sure your flash is turned off. It may take a bit of experimenting with shutter speeds, but your kids can have fun tracing shapes while you shoot.

Check out Martha Stewart’s page for some ideas.

Record History

As older generations age, we lose the opportunity to capture a piece of history, or to memorialize the sacrifices they may have made. Find a veteran and ask if you can take their picture, then jot down some notes about their story. You can turn it into a photo project with you and your kids – and you’ll both learn some amazing things along the way.


If you haven’t tried fireworks yet, now’s your chance! With a tripod and a shutter speed of about 2 seconds you can capture some stunning photos. For the best result, go as wide as possible to capture some of the surrounding terrain, such as water, boats or skyline.

This image is a great example.

Photo Booth

Although these involve a bit of preparation, photos booths are a great July 4th activity for kids of all ages. It doesn’t take much, just a camera, tripod, background, and some props. You can print out some free props here, or head to your dollar store for some themed props (I hear the Uncle Sam beard is a bit hit). For best results you can have someone man the photo booth, or set up the camera on a timer.

Check out our post on Kid’s Photo Booths

tips for july 4 kids photographyFace Painting

Does someone in your extended family have a bit of skill when it comes to the brush? Perhaps you can recruit them to set up a face painting booth. Once the kids are all dolled up you can snap their photo, or get a group shot when everyone’s all done.

Check out Pinterest for some great face painting ideas!


It’s not just about taking great photos of your kids, it’s about showing them off too. Rather than force everyone to watch (“groan”) – set it up in the corner of your yard. Include friends and family too – people love seeing photos of themselves in days gone by and it’s a great conversation-starter.

Remember to have fun, be safe, and enjoy the festivities!

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