We’ve all been there. Maybe its a special event, or maybe you just want to grab a sweet pic of your kids with your phone. The moment the camera comes out, someone starts crying, or grimacing, or they all run away! This is one of the biggest pros of hiring a professional photographer who works with children, part of my job is gaining the trust of kids, and doing all the work to get them to interact with the camera in a happy way. But for all those photos you try to capture at home, I am going to help you out! As a former teacher, mom of three, and family photographer, I’ve got two quick tips that help you get your kids to stop and smile!
Okay, so the key to this one is drama. You have to use your intonation and voice to grab their attention. I start by saying in my most dramatic voice, “Okay, everybody listen! Whatever you do….DON’T LAUGH!” Typically this results in either immediate giggles for our more rebellious darlings, our it shocks them and gets their attention, which is what you want! If I’ve gotten their attention, I continue by repeating it again, and then going on to say, “DON’T YOU DARE! There is NO laughing….don’t do it…don’t do it!” If they weren’t already laughing, this will usually start bringing out the smiles and I start snapping away. The key to this trick is making the way you say it very dramatic, and most kids will start smiling and laughing from the ridiculousness of how you are acting and what you are saying.
Forgive me for this one, I know its a bit crass. But for most young children, poots, poop, and the word butt usually send them into hysterics. You can play this two ways, blaming it on them or blaming it on yourself. First you make an obnoxious gas noise using your mouth (can you tell I’m trying to figure out how to type this without using the word fart?) Once you’ve made the noise, you can either shout, “WHO DID THAT?! Was it you?” or you can just go with “Oh my EXCUSE ME!” Again, it’s all in how silly and dramatic you are when you say it.
So there you have it! Two quick tricks to get kids to smile for photos. Hopefully this will help you the next time you are trying to grab a smiling photo of your babies.
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Molly specializes in family & newborn photography in Greenville, SC. A former teacher and mother of three, she is known for capturing the joy & love of families. Photo sessions with Molly turn family memories into artwork for your home and for generations to come.