How to get natural kid’s smiles

Most people don’t smile naturally on command, especially kids.  I want to share with you how I get so many great shots of kids, so you can use these tricks at home.

When I’m shooting family photos on Kauai, and I want to shoot individual close-ups of the kids, I ask the parents not to ask their child to smile, or mention “pictures” the camera or call attention to me in any way.  We want them to forget all about the fact that we are taking photos.  I ask one parent to place the child in a stationary position in front of them, maybe at arm’s length, and to engage them in some sort of fun conversation.  As the child becomes engaged, and responds to the parent with all their cute little expressions, I shoot over their shoulder with my telephoto lens.  Many times, I’ve had the child look right into the camera and smile the perfect smile, but remaining so engaged with the conversation they are having with their parent, that they still don’t “notice” me.  The goal is, rather than telling the child to smile, simply to make them smile.  That way we avoid the two undesirable options of a.) having the child be shy or uncooperative, or b.) being cooperative and giving us that cheesy forced smile you so often see.

As Kauai’s family portrait photographer, I can take care of all your family’s photography needs, making it a fun and pleasant time for everyone.

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