Getting Kids To Smile For Photos

As moms, we know that kids aren't always the happiest little creatures. Here are some tips to brighten your children’s smiles and avoid the tears during photo sessions.

Sibling portrait session

You're funny, man

If you know someone whom kids just love to be around, bring him to your photo session. Jasmine Conrad of Jasmine Amber Photography sometimes brings her husband to shoots, because she knows kids can't resist his goofy acts. With his silly words and antics, she is guaranteed a candid smile.

Let him be

If you can't get a smile out of little Johnny, just let him be. Give him some cute props with which he can play (maybe a little firetruck or a funny hat), or play some of his favorite music and let him dance it out. Stand back, let him create his own poses, and snap away. You just might be able to coax a smile out of a relaxed and calm child.

Chat it up

Don't limit the shots to stiff poses with cheesy, head-on grins. The owner of Jennifer Anderson Photography talks to children and gets great shots of their expressions and reactions to the conversation. Some super-silly questions to ask for funny, happy faces include "Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?", "What do your feet smell like?" and "Would you kiss a frog?"

Go outside

The outdoors can make a great backdrop for family poses, and most kids are happier outside than in. Let kids be wild in the grass, run through a field or dance in an alleyway. You might even engage them in their favorite outdoor activities, such as going on the swings, having a tea party or doing whatever your child likes to do best outside.

Let them be involved

Give children sneak peeks at how the photos are turning out to get them interested in the photo shoot. Jen Anderson says this is a great way to make children feel like they are involved. Knowing how great they look might just jazz kids up to model for you just a little bit longer.

MORE FAMILY PHOTO IDEAS

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Teaching kids to take better pictures
Best photography blogs for moms

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