As a photographer, I dread hearing people say, "Say cheese!" while I'm trying to photograph families and children. They are honestly trying to help, but in the end, I get one of these weird smiles like this (and this is my own kid!).
One of the best compliments I received from someone was when they told me, 'You just seem to capture the real person, someone's genuine being. Not just a smile and nice picture.' I about swooned when I heard it because that is exactly my goal!
I want to capture a person's character... their genuine happiness. That's what I'm about.
I don't want to just hand someone pretty pictures with people smiling on them. I want to hand them gorgeous, not just pretty, family photos with true emotion and personality.
Each one of use is unique. Every child and person I photograph has their own personality. Some kids are just serious. Some kids are happy-go-lucky and have nothing but smiles. It's finding out how to capture them uniquely that gives me great joy.
Here are a few quick tips I use to capture a genuine smile on children anyone can use!
- Don't ever ask a person to say cheese. Just don't. They always look awkward. (see photo above)
- Ask them to finish this sentence, "We all scream for _________!" They'll scream ice cream and start giggling!
- Tell them not to smile in a very serious voice, then just keep repeating yourself. 9 times out of 10 they start smiling and giggling after about the 4th time I've told them not too.
- As them to jump, twirl, sing their favorite song! Children love being active and showing off for people.
I won't sit here and tell you this works all the time, but most of the time it does! Try it for yourself when you're out photographing your own family life!
A quick announcement!
Fall Mini-Sessions are open for booking in October and November 2018! Fall Mini-Sessions include 15 minutes and 8 high resolution digital photos for $150. Contact me to book yours today! firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-853-0899
Emily Ingalls is a professional photographer residing in Round Rock, Texas. She specializes in family and children's portraiture, lifestyle newborn sessions, and commercial lifestyle and publication. Emily serves the Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Georgetown and surrounding Central Texas area.