With Mini Sessions a plenty this Holiday Season, and families desperately trying to get their little ones to smile for the camera, I thought I would give some tips for us photographers on how to get the best smiles out of those little ones! If you’re just doing Mini Sessions for the Holiday Season or thinking about becoming a Family Photographer, hopefully these tips will help! I find there are two different types of photographers. Those who REFUSE to photograph children and those who LOVE it. I’m one of those photographers who loves it, but can understand how frustrating it can be at times.. I’m going to write these tips in lists because shamefully I have a hard time reading articles unless there are lists, and I know a lot of people are the same way even if they won’t admit it ;)
1. ALWAYS smile! Even if the children are screaming and crying. Dont let the child or the parents see that you’re frustrated. Children are more likely to stop crying if you remain happy and excited!
2. Take some time before you start your session to get to know the children. Show them your camera, ask them if they’re excited, be overly excited yourself! This way they start to trust you instead of just look at you like some crazy person with a huge camera in their face.
3. If the child is NOT having it and refuses to give you that genuine smile, then try some of these poses that I have found to be fool proof!
-Have your child in the middle of the parents and say “Ok now everybody kiss _______!” Theyre bound to smile with Mommy and Daddy giving them a big kiss!
-Keep your camera out even when one of the parents is trying to console the child, because you never know when they’ll shoot you a smile!
-Have the child stand in one spot, run a few feet away and then have them run towards you. They’ll love it and laugh the whole way towards you!
-Have two family members swing them in the air while walking towards you
-Utilize your surroundings. At this particular session there was a playground a few feet away. After struggling to get smiles out of these boys, we put them in the swings and they were laughing the entire time!
-Smell the flowers or throw the leaves! If its Spring grab a flower and have them smell it! If its Fall, compile some leaves and have them throw them up into the air!
-Have them jump as high as they can in the air!
-Candids all around are a great idea. I've had sessions where there have only been a few smiling photos and a ton of candids and the parents were over the moon! They know their child (usually a toddler) is always on the move and when they’re running around they’re normally smiling, and as long as you can catch that, everyones happy!
Hopefully this helps your family or mini sessions go off with a bang and have happy parents and smiling kids!!