Photographing a genuine smile! | Round Rock Family Photographer

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!).

Definitely not a genuine smile! He was probably thinking if I just smile nice I'll get this over with. Alas, it didn't work and I ended up with a crazy smile.

Definitely not a genuine smile! He was probably thinking if I just smile nice I'll get this over with. Alas, it didn't work and I ended up with a crazy smile.

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!

 

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  1. Don't ever ask a person to say cheese.  Just don't.  They always look awkward.  (see photo above)
  2. Ask them to finish this sentence, "We all scream for _________!"  They'll scream ice cream and start giggling!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!  emilyingallsphotography@gmail.com 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.

The power of the printed photograph

When I was growing up, there was no such thing as digital photos.  Everyone had a film camera with 24 or 36 exposure shots on it.  I took the photos on with my camera, dropped off the roll to get developed, then waited 2 weeks to get the roll back to see how my photos turned out.  There was no instant display or multiple shots to get the perfect image.  You had one, maybe two chances, to get your picture, then crossed your fingers and prayed all was well.

And the excitement of going through all the prints when the roll was finally ready to be picked up was amazing!  Sifting through the photos, laughing at all the cuteness or ridiculous faces you captured on film was priceless.

Nowadays, we take pictures with our phones, see them instantly, then retake if we decide the photo was off or someone wasn't smiling or we just don't like the way we look.  And I'll admit, I am 100% guilty of doing this as well.

But today we tend to forget the most important part of the whole reason for taking photos, and that is the printing of them.

What's the point of capturing your family's memories if you're not going to display them for everyone to see?  The answer is, sadly, not much.

Printing photos is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, your kids, and the next generation.  Seeing a photo on a wall, book shelf, or even a fireplace mantel gives a whole new meaning to keep your memories alive.

At my parent's house, my mom has a couple of dozen photo albums full of 4x6 or the old school instant Polaroid prints where you can write on the bottom of the photo (you know you remember those old instant Polaroid photos that you had to shake to dry off the ink and hope you accidentally touch and mess it up).  Anyway, I love those old photo albums.  I love looking at my childhood on print, take the photos out, and have a trip down memory lane.

I want that for my own children and (fingers crossed) their children one day.  To show them the prints of photos of their childhood, awkward years, and fun everyday memories to share and reminisce.  My own children love going through the photos I've had printed and figuring out how old they were and what were they doing. I just have to get those photos into an album, and I'll be set!

I love the fact as a photographer I can offer my clients the digital prints of their families and newborns so they can print as many photos as they want.  I want they to print their family photos and share them.  Not just keep them on a hard drive for years to come.  It's awesome to see my clients send me photos of their home wall galleries and see their photos on display.

It saddens my heart to think the next generation is losing out of the power of the printed photograph.  Nothing makes a house a home like seeing your families history on the walls with photos.

Whether it's a snapshot you took on your phone or your family photos you had taken by a professional photographer, print them out!  Display them!  Put them in albums for everyone to look back upon and remember the fun times!

And if anyone ever needs a recommendation on where to have your photos printed, email me at emilyingallsphotography@gmail.com  I'll be happy to recommend a some consumer labs to you!

My family Christmas photo from last year! 

My family Christmas photo from last year! 

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Emily Ingalls is a professional photographer in Round Rock, Texas.  Emily specializes in family and children portraiture, family lifestyle photography, and newborn lifestyle photography.  She loves traveling, coffee, and martial arts.

Family Photo Sessions | Round Rock, TX

I love photographing large families.  Whether it's large extended families or just immediate family members, the craziness of a family session is really energizing for me.  I know from experience trying to get all your kids to look at the camera, relax, have fun and smile seems completely impossible.  How do I know this?  Because trying to photograph my four children in one nice photo for their grandparents seems near impossible to me.

But getting a large group of kids who aren't my own to do it?  Piece of cake!

These kids were great!  Even the youngest who kept wondering off was fun to be around and photograph.  Family sessions don't have to be stressful.  Just walk in knowing I, the professional photographer you hired, has it under control.  Just sit back, relax, and allow me to capture your family is some fun, great photos.

Family and Senior Photo Session | Round Rock, TX

School is almost out for the summer!  And honestly, it can't come fast enough.  As a mom, I'm done making lunches, making sure homework gets done, waking children up in the morning, etc.  I'm ready for a slightly less hectic schedule.

Check with me in the middle of June and I'll probably be ready to send the kids back! :)

I had the pleasure of photographing this family, who happens to have a senior at Round Rock High School this year.  They were a fun family to photograph.  The boys were all making each other laugh.  And Mom and Dad had no problem acting a little silly.  All-in-all, it was one of those photography sessions I won't forget any time soon.

Teen and his Labrador Photo Session | Pflugerville, TX

Photographing this handsome teenager and his beautiful yellow Labrador was a lot of fun.  These were a surprise Christmas gift for some family members, so we had to keep the whole thing under wraps until after Christmas.  The Lab, whose name is Baxter, was definitely an active boy during the photo shoot.  It took a bit of bribing and some commands of 'sit and stay' from Mom and I to get him to cooperate.  I'm pretty sure the doggie treats helped out a lot!  But he was a really good boy (and so was his teenage buddy!).  Check out these two handsome young fellows!