As a mom of young children, there isn’t much that makes me happier than an image that captures the essence of who they are right now. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, most children learn the dreaded “cheese” and to flash their corresponding cheesy smile anytime a camera is pointed in their direction.
With a little added time and patience, it’s certainly possible for you (yes, you!) to elicit more genuine expressions from your own children anytime you pull out your camera or mobile phone. Here are a few quick and easy tips to put your kids at ease and make capturing those sweet faces fun for everyone. Any camera or phone will do!
- Talk to them. Instead of “Say Cheese!” try “What was your favorite part of today?” or “What was the silliest thing that happened at school yesterday?” Get them talking and wait for those expressions that you know and love. If you create natural interaction you’ll get natural expressions.
- Let them be silly. My kids know that when the camera comes out it’s going to be fun. Tell jokes, tickle them, sing silly songs, and let them lead!
- Ask permission and give them choices. By asking your kids if you can take their photo, you’re creating a feeling of respect and are more likely to gain their cooperation. As with many aspects of parenting, giving a choice usually makes kids happier. In this case, the choice is between two situations that still work for the picture you want to take! “I’d like to take a photo of you. Would you like to stand by the window or sit on your bed?” “Do you want to take a silly photo or a serious photo?” By letting them feel in charge you’re more likely to have them participate happily.
Love photography or interested in learning more? Clickin Moms is an online community of over 16,000 members with thousands of discussions, tutorials, and pictures for women who love photography. As a special offer to Merlot Mommy blog readers, you'll save 20% on a membership when you sign up at clickinmoms.com and use code: MOMMYMERLOT20 Code Expires 1/9/2015Kristy Dooley lives in Vermont with her husband and two daughters. She shoots natural light photography with a passion for macro, portraits, and lifestyle images. She is a member of CM Pro and a Mentor for Clickin Moms.