Photographing Children: Tips from Isabel Pinto


Isabel Pinto (left) and Catherine Monteiro de Barros (center) at work on a photo shoot.

Isabel Pinto (left) and Catherine Monteiro de Barros (center) at work on a photo shoot.

An obvious key to Papo d’Anjo’s success is the investment we have made in gorgeous lifestyle photographs that not only capture children’s natural innocence but also highlight the romance of Portugal. For the past six years, we’ve been lucky to have photographer Isabel Pinto leading our photography team.

Born in Lisbon and raised in Africa, Isabel is a natural at bringing out the best in the children she is photographing. Part of her skill comes from her personal life — she’s the mother of three children, ages 17, 15, and 11. Her youngest, Miguel, is so used to being on the other side of the lens that he  models for us. 




Photographing children — as I’m sure most of you have learned from trying — can be tricky. Since it’s the time of year when many families are starting to think about their holiday cards, I asked Isabel for a few tips for how to take beautiful shots that bring out your children’s personalities. 

  • Take your time. Between sports, music lessons, and other activities, it can be tough to block out a weekend morning or afternoon to just be with your children and photograph them while they play. But making that investment will pay off in photographs that are spontaneous. Instead of lining your children up and then shooting, follow their lead. 
  • Turn off the flash.  The harsh light of a flash is tough on children’s fair skin. Take photographs outside  (early morning and late afternoon have the best light) or near natural light sources such as windows or open doors. If you have no choice but to use a flash, convert the photos to black and white.
  • Get close.  A common mistake made by most amateur photographers is that they stand too far away from the person they are photographing. Don’t be afraid to get in so close that your child takes up almost the entire frame.

Every year, Papo d’Anjo receives countless photographs of children wearing our clothes. If you would like to email any of your favorite shots, please send them to I look forward to seeing them and will post a few on this blog. 

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