Welcome to the Melanie Foster Blog

celebrating OU seniors and Bartlesville and Tulsa families through photography.

Hey, y’all! 

I’m Melanie, the girl behind the lens at Melanie Foster Photography. Whether you’re getting ready for your upcoming OU senior or your Bartlesville or Tulsa family photography experience, I hope you’ll stay a while, pick up a few tips, and be inspired for your own MFP photo session! 

Maintaining Privacy for Children’s Portrait Photography Sessions


Nowadays, it seems like most people receive their images from their photographer and immediately upload it onto social media or the internet. It’s become a natural part of our lives at this point! 

But every so often, I have clients who prefer to keep their children’s identities protected during family and children’s portrait photography sessions. 

And since I’ve photographed a handful of sessions like these, I’ve learned how to strategically photograph families who want photos that don’t put all the focus on their children’s faces. It opens an entirely new world for creativity when it comes to capturing the personalities and essence of the little ones, while still maintaining their privacy. 

So, I’m sharing how I capture children’s portrait photography sessions while actively working toward keeping faces hidden!

Dad stands with daughter and young toddler, facing away from camera


Why Some Families Prefer to Maintain Their Privacy (While Still Enjoying Family Photo Sessions)

First, let me just touch on why some families prefer to maintain their privacy, while still enjoying family photos together. 

In my experience, the majority of clients who come to me asking for this type of family photography are cautious of security and safety when it comes to social media. 

But sometimes, families prefer to have a session that focuses more on the candid nature of their kids. 


The Joys of Finding Creative Ways to Hide Faces and Identities During Children’s Portrait Photography: 

Believe it or not, keeping children’s faces hidden in family portrait sessions doesn’t create a “less-than” experience. 

In most cases, I’ve found that it can enhance the experience and the photos! It’s an opportunity for me to think outside the box as the family photographer. These are just some of the joys I’ve found in creating ways to hide faces and identities during children’s portraits: 


1. Photos Can Become Much More Creative and Playful

Because the faces are hidden, I have to find other ways to capture the essence of the kids. That usually means I have to get more creative in how I prompt and guide families through the session. 

It also opens the door for more playfulness! They’re free to move around and play with the world around them. And in doing so, they inevitably create some of the most engaging photos.

Young girl plays in field


2. Photos Feel More Natural for the Kids

Part of my process involves gently guiding my clients into natural poses that look great on camera. I’ve learned how to properly angle everyone while prompting them through poses so they never feel awkward in front of the lens. 

But sometimes, kids have agendas of their own! They would rather explore and interact with the location, instead of having to look and smile at the camera. 

These kinds of family and children’s portrait sessions allow the kids to embrace the completely natural. Since we’re less focused on making sure eyes and smiles are in focus through the lens, the kids can move as they naturally would. 

I still offer guidance and prompting to make sure we artfully (and authentically) capture precious moments! So there’s still not any point during the session where anyone’s unsure of what to do next. 

And, of course, I also make sure I still capture what I call the “grandma shots.” These are the ones where everyone is looking at the camera! That way families can treasure these memories, including their sweet smiles, in their homes.


Creative Ways I Use to Conceal Faces and Identities in Children’s Portrait Photography Sessions

Just because a family might want to conceal their children’s faces and identities from the online world doesn’t mean they want to forego photos entirely! 

I’m such a firm believer in capturing as many milestones as possible, no matter what your stance is on children’s privacy. Because there’s going to come a day when the memories of how small your little boy was start to become hazy. There’s going to be a time when you can’t quite remember what it looked like when you and your baby girl danced together. 

So, I’ve come up with creative ways to hide faces in photos when families want to keep their children’s identities from social media and the online world:

Family stands together facing away from the camera during family photo session


1. Capturing Photos with Faces Turned Away

One of the best ways to do this is by snapping photographs while the kids are turned away from the camera.

But I like to strike a balance here! Without a creative balance, a photo of just the back of a child’s head can look like a mistake in the family portrait album. 

So, I balance that by capturing play or movement with the rest of the family. By doing that, it doesn’t look like a mistaken photo at all. Instead, it looks like a completely natural child’s photo!

Daughter walks through a field during children's portrait photography session while facing away from camera to maintain children's privacy


2. Focusing on Small Details

The details are some of the first memories to fade, which is why they’re often some of my favorite photographs to take. 

Small details like little fingers and toes are always a go-to, especially for newborn sessions

But closely-cropped photos that artistically showcase parts of the face without identifying anyone become some of the most beautiful children’s photographs! 

I love to strategically crop photos in my post-processing workflow. That way, I have a full image of the little one and one that’s artistically cropped so it protects their identity. I’ve found that moms love these kinds of photos because they have a private one for their home and personal enjoyment, and they have one they can share with friends and family on social media.


3. Keeping Children in Motion

It’s one of the golden rules of photography. But it especially comes in handy for these kinds of children’s portrait photography sessions. 

Capturing motion is a wonderful way to add visual interest to photos. It makes it look alive, like we’re really there witnessing the moment happen. 

And, of course, kids are such busy-bodies that it’s not difficult to keep them in motion! 

When it comes to family portrait sessions, I like to ask the parents to interact with the kids. Maybe that’s helping them walk and explore the area or it’s spinning them around in a sweet little dance. 

If the children are old enough, I also ask them to explore on their own. While they do that, I’m busy framing each photograph candidly to capture their personalities in the way they move!

Young toddlers explore field during family and children's portrait photography


Capturing these family and children’s portrait photography sessions fills my heart with so much joy! Every family deserves to have moments and milestones preserved for a lifetime. And photographs, even while maintaining privacy, are the best way to do it.

Mother dances with daughter for family photos


Find More MFP Family Portrait Sessions On the Blog! 

Share this post:

©2021 - 2022 Melanie Foster Photography | All rights reserved
Brand + Website by: The Kate Collective