Using photography to build your child’s self-esteem.

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Many problems in our society are caused by people who lack self esteem. A poor self image can lead to insecurity,  acting out behavior, and underachievement.   People with a lowered sense of self esteem are often afraid to try new things for fear of failure.  In general –  the higher a person’s self esteem, the more successful they will be at dealing with life and achieving their dreams, and the easier it will be for them to resist negative peer pressure.

What can parents do to help their children feel important and proud? To give them the confidence they need to take on the world? Plenty! Parents have great influence on children, especially in the formative years 0-5.

We all want our children to feel good about themselves. One simple way to boost your child’s self esteem is through photography. It is such an easy way to demonstrate your love to your child(ren) and your pride in them and their accomplishments.

Using professional portraits:

Use the photography session as a topic of discussion.  Talk with your children before your session, and even on the way to the portrait session. Ask questions, and use these talks to discover things that are important to them and interest them.  What is your child good at? What does he wish he were good at? What is unique and special about him? What does she want to be when she grows up? What are their favorite colors? Who are their friends? When does he/she feel most proud of herself? What makes him/her happy?

When you know the answers to these questions, you’ll know what to include in your photographs. Maybe your toddler is great at discovering bugs, her best friend is the family dog, and she is most proud of herself when she baked a cake for mommy’.  Use these little bits of information to capture their  pride and joy as an explorer, with her favorite dog, and proud she creates something in the kitchen. Then have your child get involved in framing the the pictures or putting together an album and display them prominently. Your child will feel so important! Your 7 year old might be great at softball. Perhaps he wishes he could hold a frog , she may want to catch a butterfly, or he dreams of being a fisherman. This will guide you on what types of portraits might make your child feel happy and proud. Displaying these pictures allows your child to feel happiness and pride each time he looks at the pictures or shows them off to family and their friends.

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Then carry it out at home:

Catch your child doing something right and document it on film. Give your child a great gift by creating evidence that he/she is  capable, loved, and worthwhile. And what parent doesn’t want that? The added bonus is you will treasure the memories.

Now, a few words about technique for when you are capturing those candid moments on your own:

*Move in close.

*Shoot from your child’s level. Or shoot from below to make your child look bigger than life.

*Use natural light, when available, to avoid redeye and a flat look you sometimes get with a flash.

*Take a lot of pictures! It may take a lot of clicks to get a good one… thankfully the digital age has allowed us all to click away without buying film!

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

3 thoughts on “Using photography to build your child’s self-esteem.

  1. Very true! Unfortunately I can’t remember the source of the article, but I read something once that said that children who regularly look at photos of themselves and family will be more secure growing up. It’s almost as if those photos remind them that someone loves them!


  2. True! I didn’t realize that it is possible until last year. I can say that photography is a wonderful, safe, and natural self-esteem booster. My 14 year-old loves the feeling of pride she gets when she takes pictures of her friends and they turn out good. When she downloads and sees them on the computer she’s in 7th heaven. And, of course, she loves sharing them with her friends. Too, she’s very photogenic so that’s a great self-esteem booster in itself. 🙂


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