You know your kids have great smiles, but unfortunately just saying “smile!” or “say cheese!” may not be enough to get them to give you a stunning, natural smile for your photos. Try out some of the following tips to encourage more smiles in your kids photos.
Get Great Smiles with Toys
Let your kids play while you photograph them – it will make the session a fun one and will result in more natural facial expressions. As a photographer, you’ll have more luck if you get down on their level (i.e. the floor) and use a continuous shooting mode, which will let you capture those minute, fleeting smiles.
Bribes? Maybe Sometimes…
Remember before you had kids and you swore you’d never use bribery to get them to do something? So do most parents. When it comes to really uncooperative kids sometimes bribery is the only option to get them to play along. Try not to make it a habit; otherwise they’ll be expecting candy every time you pull out the camera. You can also incorporate your “bribe” into your photos with some ice cream or a trip to the spray park.
Good Timing is Key for Great Kids’ Portraits
Try to plan your photography sessions with your child’s mood in mind. Right before nap time or when they are hungry are not likely to result in a positive session. If you schedule photography sessions for when they are in a good mood you’ll have a much easier time eliciting smiles. Letting them have some time to play helps, you’ll also have the opportunity to get some candid kids photos.
Distractions Can Help
Is there a particular activity that you child loves to do? Painting, baking, making a mess, or building a snow fort will let your child have fun and will give you a chance to capture their personality while they are doing something they enjoy. Take a look into lifestyle photography, it might be just up your alley for getting natural kids photos.
Give Up (and Try Again)
There’s not hard and fast rule that your child has to always be smiling in your photos; you want to capture all sides of their amazing personalities. Sad, tired, temper tantrums, or just plain mad – take a few minutes to capture all their moods. Alternatively, call it a day and try again later!
Do you have a tried and true method to get your little one to smile for photos? Please share!