If you’re having trouble getting genuine smiles for pictures, get ready to try these 5 tips with your kids! As a professional photographer, I’ve gone through the struggle of getting real smiles out of little ones. But after implementing these strategies, it’s very rare that I can’t get a true smile!
- Don’t say “cheese!” I still have trouble with this one, but if you ask for cheese, that is what you’re going to get. Avoid saying cheese because this will for sure cause them to fake smile.
- Make it exciting and fun! There is usually a lot of stress involved when families show up for a photo shoot. The first thing I like to do is make sure the kids are comfortable. There will be no real smiles if they aren’t feeling it! Let them play with the camera and take pictures of you, or do silly faces for a while to loosen them up. Kids love pressing buttons and being silly, so use that to your advantage!
- Don’t force it. If all of a sudden your child is done and over it. It’s ok to take a break. Forcing them to continue to take pictures will only make things worse. Let them run around for a bit and try again when they’re up for it. At photo shoots, I’ll usually take pictures of another child during this time. I make it look really fun so the other littles will want to be a part of it again!
- Do what makes them normally smile. You know your child the best! What do they love to do? Sing a special song? Play hide and seek? Do they absolutely love being tickled? Your best bet is to be playful and do what normally makes them smile.
- Ask them what they want to do. Sometimes we just need to empower the child and let them tell us what they want to do! If it’s their idea, they are more likely to be excited about it. Once they tell you what they want to do, you could say, “That sounds great! Let’s do that, then we’ll let Mommy pick what we do next!”
I hope these tips help you the next time you go to take pictures of your little ones! My favorite pictures are the ones that aren’t posed, but the ones that catch them in their element. For example, if I gave my three year old a pile of dirt – she would be all smiles and I wouldn’t even have to try! Remember to make it fun for them. You don’t want to look back at that picture and think of how you forced them to smile, but rather how much fun they really were having.
If you have any questions at all, please comment below! I’d love to hear from you!