How to Get Natural Smiles in Pictures from kids

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Are you just a mom trying to get natural smiles in pictures from your kids? Or a photographer tired of the fake smiles? I feel your pain! I’ve been there, too, and I’m delighted to share my best photo tips for getting those natural smiles while taking pictures.

How to Get Natural Smiles in Pictures from kids

Don’t say CHEESE! Have you heard that before? It’s been roaming around the photography community for years. It’s dreaded. It pretty much never works, so erase the “say cheese” phrase from your vocabulary. Forever.

I’ve had 13 years of experience as a family portrait photographer, and even MORE experience trying to get my own kids to cooperate with a natural smile in pictures. It’s not easy! Seems like it should be though, right? They are HAPPY children, why won’t they just. smile. for. the. dang. camera.  Am I right?

How to Get Natural Smiles in Pictures from kids

  1. Music
  2. Candy
  3. Tickle
  4. Lens animal
  5. Potty Talk
  6. Ball
  7. Pretend Laugh

Above is the quick reference, I’ll elaborate below.

Tip #1: Music makes everyone happy, doesn’t it? Whether you sing your toddlers favorite song, or pull up itunes for your teens to rock out to, music can set a tone for HAPPY kids at any age.

Tip #2: Smarties are my favorite go-to candy that I just keep in my camera bag now. They aren’t messy and light in color, and the best way to get a smile is to give them one…let it settle, then hold it above the camera to get the toddlers excited about it. Not as effective on teens…haha! But a promise of treats after always helps.

Tip #3: Whether using your hand or a feather duster, or just the threat of a tickle often promotes a smile.

Tip #4: Lens animals are the best. You can follow that affiliate link to see on Amazon some of my favorites. Quack at the duck, look at the animal, it helps those littles!

Tip #5: Potty talk may not be my most favorite as a mother, but most kids think it’s pretty funny! “Does daddy wear diapers?” Is a silly question to ask, and any noises that might resemble bodily functions!

Tip #6: I keep a deflated emoji beach ball in my camera bag, as well as a jingle bell “ball” to play catch with kids. The anticipated smile on the face just before a throw (held above the camera) is the best!

Tip #7: Pretending to laugh can be hit and miss, but it’s AMAZING for the teenagers, as long as they keep eye contact with the camera (some like to look down or up) and keep their mouth close (no open mouth fake laughing)!  The awkwardness of a forced laugh often turns into a real laugh and just that extra “umph” that a laugh produces brings a natural smile.

>>>To download your free printable copy of the 7 tips quick photo guide, click here:  Photo Guide – Happy Natural Smiles – Color

I’d love to hear, what are your best tips for getting natural smile with kids in pictures?

If you want to learn how to better use your SLR camera, join The Camera Academy for Moms! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!!!

I used to sell this as a full course (and still do) but soon I’l be offering them as individual lessons!

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