One of the hardest things to do is to get kids to smile, not the cheesy weird smile a lot of kids will give you when you tell them to smile, but an actual real smile. There are a lot of times even as a photographer I have a hard time getting a real smile out of a kiddo. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve though for how to get kids to smile for pictures, and I thought I would share them with you.
If you’re looking for a fail proof way to get your kiddie to smile, this isn’t it. I’m sorry, but it’s not, not every kid is the same and in that same sentiment not every tip is going to work for every kid, you have to be willing to act goofy and get on their level and mindset, but here are my simple and easy ways I try to get all my kiddos to smile…
Get them to talk to you.
When you start asking questions about things that make them happy, they tend to start smiling. You have to show them the session is about them. I try to ask questions if they have a girlfriend/boyfriend or what their favorite class is at school or their favorite food that mom makes. They tend to loosen up at that point and their smiles are more genuine
Tell them to laugh as loud as they can
I rarely have a session that I don’t ask my clients or my kids to laugh as loud as they can. It sounds ridiculous and most of the time it starts out being ridiculous and fake, but it always ends in real genuine laughter.
Make sure you plan your session for the right time of the day.
Moms know their kids, I’m sure you know exactly when your kiddo is going to be hungry or tired, when they are used to taking a nap or eating and what kind of mood they are in when they are this way. You don’t want to plan your little mini session when you know your kiddo is used to taking a nap, because they are not going to be willing to participate and if they are, they won’t be in a good mood.
Play their favorite song.
Awesome music always makes me want to smile and dance and have fun, and kids are the same way!
Let them play!
Some of my favorite images are ones that are not posed. Being the fly on the wall, will not only allow you to capture some good genuine smiles, it will also allow you to capture their childhood they way they remember it! You will be so glad you got those images when they are older and looking back at those photos.
I hope these little tidbits help to get you back to capturing genuine moments in no time. I always love to walk into a home and see all the wonderful moments framed out for everyone to see. Don’t forget to print them though! I always suggest using Mpix.com to get the best look with your iPhone images.
Oh! One more thing, don’t forget to get in the images yourself! When you’re looking back your kids aren’t going to want to see only images of themselves, they want to see you having fun with them, and those are always the best memories to make! Talk to you soon!