Monday's Behind My Lens #5

Many have ask how do I get my 4 kids so look so happy or smile in photos,
so I thought I's share a few tips I've learned over the years.

Were not all smiley happy people holding hands.

First I never bribe my kids, ever! I want them to look natural and not have a fake awkward
smile just to get a piece of candy and I never promise anything in return either other than if
they smile the faster we'll be done and usually the reward of being free from Mommy's
picture taking is enough. So over the years they've become quite good at smiling. Our
annual holiday photo shoot is finished in 20 minutes or less and I'll have a ton of images to
choose from.

One thing I wish parents wouldn't promise before a photo shoot is candy or treats, after a few
 clicks of the camera the kids are looking for that reward and we have a long way to go
before the session is over. I've also had parents teach kids to say cheese to the camera, ugh!
Have you ever looked in the mirror and said cheese? I looks nothing like a nice natural smile.

Kids need to be comfortable around a camera, sometimes I'll let them hold my camera or
look at themselves on the screen, the camera no longer becomes an unfamiliar object between
 me and them and I've seen kids do a complete 180 and we finish with an amazing shoot.

I've always let my kids play with real camera, an old point and shoot is a great way for them
to play and learn about photography.

It's not always easy and not everyday is a good day for every kid, as a photographer I have to
be flexible, you can't force a child to sit still and smile but making them feel a part of the
 decision making helps or maybe it's that person behind me jumping up and down and
standing on their head that works the best.

There are many moments where a child's face is more compelling without a smile, these tips 
are for the moments you want them to smile.

I love letting them be silly and have fun!

(Our Christmas Card 2009)

.....and my kids know that even if they don't smile it still goes on the Christmas card.

(Our Christmas Card 2007)

and then, she {snapped}


  1. These are great tips. I always let my boy see the shots I made and help me pick out the favorites on the computer.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, the kids love helping me edit on the computer too!

  2. great tips... and beautiful work....I use most of the same prinicples.. except for the occasional starburts for little ones..LOL

    1. Starbursts in the pocket might be a great back up plan, Thanks!

  3. Great tips. I love your 2007 card. So cute.

  4. great tips, I will have to remember when I am taking my kids photos :)


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