How to Get kids to smile naturally with Real, Genuine Smiles
As a photographer, I know that getting kids to smile naturally on cue doesn’t always happen. We all know that smile. The toothy, goofy, “cheeeeeeeeeeese” smile. It’s the one that comes out every time we reach for our camera. It’s unnatural and not the smile you want when you have your photos taken by a professional. To avoid ‘cheesy smile syndrome’, I’ve put together some easy-to-follow tips that will help get your kids to smile naturally during family photos.
My first tip is, don’t ask them to smile. In fact, don’t even talk about smiling ahead of time. If you have young children, tell them a day or two before your session that you’re going to a park with a friend and she’s bringing her camera. It’s going to be really fun, and you’re really excited.
Don’t put any pressure on your kids or yourself and everyone is more likely to have a good time. It’s important that you don’t arrive at the session with preconceived notions of how the session will go (especially with toddlers). It’s the job of an experienced photographer to set the children (and parents) at ease and have a good time. Sessions with little ones should be fun, enjoyable, and natural.
Mom and dad, this tip is for you! If your children see that you’re having fun, they’re bound to jump in and have fun too. Don’t be afraid to be yourself in front of the camera. Be goofy. Dance with your children as you normally would at home. The more comfortable you are in front of the camera, the more comfortable your children will be too.
Make a list of things that your child thinks are funny and send it to us prior to the session. This way, we can be prepared and add these things into our bag of tricks.
Don’t ask your kids to say cheese during your family photos. Please and thank you. There you have it. My best tips for getting rid of ‘cheesy smile syndrome’.