I attended a wedding the other day, and it was beautiful. The weather was great, the decorations were incredible, and it seemed like the whole town turned out in great spirits. With so many happy people around, it was easy to make candid portraits and see a lot of fun emotions. You should absolutely make candid pictures in public places.

But when you want to photograph kids, it’s a good idea to ask permission first–especially if you’re a man.

Don’t Be Creepy

It just makes parents more comfortable if you ask permission before making a picture of their kids. In the USA, it’s not strictly required that you ask permission before making pictures of anyone in a public place; of course, parents aren’t required to ask your permission before they call the police to come check out a creepy guy taking pictures of theirs kids, either.

How Do You Ask?

I’ve had great success asking permission to make pictures. Here’s what I usually say: “Hi, my name is Levi. I’m practicing photography, and your kid is adorable. Do you mind if I make a picture?” 90% of the time, they say yes. Sometimes they ask what I’ll do with the picture. “Well, I’d be happy to share it with you right now” and I beam it over from my camera to my phone to their phone.



Making candid street portraits or photos at events is fun. If you want to photograph kids, don’t be creepy and just ask permission. If you get turned down, say thanks and move on.

Portrait Tips come out each week, and you can see them all right here.