The Ntataise Guide on Safely Capturing Moments with Young Children

Photographing young children captures fleeting moments of innocence and joy. However, it’s essential to approach this responsibility with care, especially when sharing these memories on social media. This guide provides best practices for photographing young children and responsibly sharing photos online.

1. Obtaining Consent is Crucial

Before photographing young children, especially in formal settings like nurseries or playgroups, obtaining consent from parents or guardians is a must. This consent should be explicit and cover how the photos will be used.

  • Written Consent: Aim to secure written consent where possible.
  • Verbal Agreement: If obtaining written consent is impractical, ensure a clear verbal agreement is reached and documented.

2. Understanding Privacy and Dignity

Young children are especially vulnerable and deserve their privacy and dignity to be protected.

  • Avoid Identifiable Details: Be careful not to share photos that could inadvertently reveal a child’s location or personal information.
  • Steer Clear of Embarrassing Photos: Children are not able to give informed consent about the implications of embarrassing photos shared online. Such images can have lasting impacts, potentially leading to bullying or embarrassment as they grow older. Always choose images that respect the child’s dignity.

3. Platform-Specific Considerations for sharing images

Every social media site has its rules. Learn them to keep your posts private, sharing only with close friends or family. When you upload your pictures on another platform, like the Ntataise APP, consider taking photographs of children from behind.

4. Tips for Taking Photographs of Young Children

  • Focus on Spontaneous / Unposed Moments: Candid shots, rather than posed ones, often capture the true essence of childhood.
  • Use Natural Light: Whenever possible, use natural light. It’s flattering and avoids the harshness of flash, which can startle young children.
  • Get Down to Their Level: Physically lowering yourself to the child’s eye level can make photos more engaging and personal.
  • Keep It Short and Sweet: Young children have limited patience. Keep photo sessions brief to ensure they remain fun and stress-free for the child.

Taking pictures of young children from behind can be a thoughtful approach to photography, especially in contexts where privacy and anonymity are essential. Here are some tips on how to take such pictures effectively, along with reasons why this method is beneficial:

Tips for Taking Pictures of Young Children from Behind

  • Focus on the Environment: Capturing the child interacting with their surroundings can tell a powerful story. Aim to include elements of the environment that add context to the child’s activity or interest.
  • Look for Silhouettes: Early morning or late afternoon when the sun is low in the sky can create beautiful silhouettes. Position the child between the camera and the light source to capture their outline.
  • Capture Movement: Photographs of children running, jumping, or engaged in play can be dynamic and engaging, even from behind. Try to capture the sense of motion.
  • Pay Attention to Details: The small details can evoke strong feelings—think of little hands holding a favourite toy or playing on an obstacle course. These details can tell more about the child’s personality than a facial expression.
  • Be Mindful of Composition: Use the rule of thirds to compose your photo, placing the child off-centre for a more exciting and balanced image. 
  • Capture Relationships: A photo taken from behind can show a child holding hands with a parent or sibling, emphasising connections and relationships without needing facial expressions.

Reasons Why Taking Pictures from Behind is a Good Idea

  • Privacy Protection: In an era where digital privacy is a significant concern, taking photos from behind helps protect the child’s identity. This is especially important when sharing images on social media or public platforms.
  • Focus on Activity and Environment: This perspective shifts the focus from the child’s facial expressions to their activities and interactions with their environment, offering a different storytelling angle.
  • Encourages Imagination: Viewers can project their feelings and memories onto the image, making the photo more universal and relatable.
  • Avoids Direct Sunlight: Taking photos from behind can help avoid squinting or discomfort from looking directly into the sun, especially in bright conditions.
  • Reduces Camera Shyness: Some children are camera shy or uncomfortable with direct eye contact with the lens. Photographing them from behind can be less intrusive and allow for more natural and candid shots.
  • Emphasises the Smallness: Showing children from behind, especially in a vast environment, can emphasise their smallness and innocence, adding a poignant element to the photo.
  • Encourages Storytelling: Without facial expressions, viewers can imagine the child’s thoughts and feelings, adding a layer of narrative and mystery to the image.
  • Reduces Disruption: Taking photos from behind can be less disruptive to the child’s activities, allowing for more candid and natural shots as the child remains unaware of the camera.

Remember, the goal of photography is to tell a story or capture a moment. Taking pictures from behind can be a respectful and creative way to document children’s experiences and adventures without compromising their privacy.

5. Educating on Digital Footprint

The concept of a digital footprint can be abstract for young children. Still, it’s never too early to start conversations about the importance of privacy and consent in the digital age.

  • Model Responsible Sharing: Lead by example. Show children that you respect their privacy and the privacy of others when sharing photos online.

What is a digital footprint?

A digital footprint is like a trail of footprints you leave behind on the internet. Whenever you visit a website, post something on social media, sign up for an account, or even send an email, you leave a mark online showing where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Like footprints in the sand can tell someone which way you went on the beach, your digital footprint can tell people much about you based on what you do online.

When you post images of young children online, those pictures become part of their digital footprint. Even if they’re too young to use the internet themselves, the photos you share contribute to a trail that represents them on the web. These images can stay online for a very long time and be seen by many people, which is why it’s important to think carefully about what pictures of children we share on the internet.


Photographing young children requires a thoughtful approach that respects their privacy and dignity. Adhering to these guidelines can help ensure these memories are preserved safely and shared responsibly. Let’s commit to protecting our youngest generation’s digital footprint, one photo at a time.