how to get your kids to smile for pictures – part 1

When you have children, you welcome photography tips for better pictures since moms and dads take more photos of their kids than tourists take of the Eiffel Tower.

I remember before I became a professional children photographer, it was an epic quest to capture a real smile with each click of the camera—and what I wound up with were those cheesy grins. You know, the fake kind where they clench their teeth so hard that you can just hear “CHEESE!” being forced out of their slightly misshapen yet adorable teeth?

Vancouver kids photographers

These phony smiles are not the genuine expressions of joy we’re looking for when we look at these photos 10 years from now. Sure, their camera smiles could be cute, but we’re after those real authentic smiles that happens naturally when kids are having fun.

3 simple photography tips to engage children when taking pictures of them

Vancouver kids photo

play simon says

Have Simon say to jump up and down, wiggle your shoulders, flap your arms, hop like a bunny, or even shake your booty. If you’re trying to get them to pose in certain positions or angles, try saying things like “Simon says turn sideways!” or “Simon says sit down!”

get them to tell you a joke

Have you ever heard a little kid try to tell a joke before? They don’t make sense half of the time, but the kiddo will think they are the funniest person on the planet. Give them a chance to show off their budding comedy skills and ask them to tell you a joke. If they’re shy, tell one of your own. Better yet, takes turns telling jokes to really get the chuckles out.

children photo vancouver

do something silly and unexpected

How many grown-ups do you know walking around in public with socks on their heads? Babies and toddlers especially think this is so silly. Random oinking, ribbiting, quacking, and other animal sounds work well, too. Sticking out your tongue, making silly faces, starting an impromptu dance party with yourself and messing up your hair—these are all sure-fire ways to get some smiles out.

Try these photography tips – you and your kids will have a blast, guaranteed!

Crystal Allen -

Great post. I’m always trying to do silly things to get my daughter to smile for photos. A new technique I’ve been using is asking her to tell me about something that I know brings her genuine joy. “Tell me what you would name a kitty cat if we got a new pet.” “Tell me about the coolest animal you saw at the zoo.” etc. It works pretty well. I love the idea of playing simon says.

how to get your kids to smile for pictures – part 2 | Connect & Bond With The People You Love -

[…] week, I suggested 3 simple photography tips when photographing children so you could capture their real […]

get more smiling photos of your kids – part 2 | Connect & Bond With The People You Love -

[…] week, I suggested 3 simple photography tips when photographing children so you could capture their real […]

Merry Spooner Kuchle -

Love this post. I hate the “cheese” smile. I will ignore it and then make a joke or talk about something funny so my son forgets the camera is there and smiles for real.

Laurie Stallard -

Great ideas! Wish I’d taken the time to photograph my step-children more. Nothing I enjoy more now than photographing our grandchildren. Family has started asking me to do their portraits now, so I’m really glad to get your tips!

worst thing to say when photographing kids | The Connection We Share -

[…] How To Get Your Kids To Smile For Pictures […]

Katie Turner -

These are great! I’m definitely going to try these!!

Samantha Driesel -

Great ideas! Thank you so much! My girls are very tricky and these ideas sound great! Thanks!!