Friday, September 6, 2013

Tips for Photographing Children


One of my biggest pet peeves in our day of digital photography is the "fake smile."Everyone has a digital camera, ipad or iPhone and children are used to hearing, "I am going to take a picture, smile!
 
And then they proceed to give the best fake smile they have in them.

I don't like those pictures.

The children don't look natural.  They look fake.  

Nothing worse than a fake child, reckon?

I am one of four siblings.  We are a picture taking family.  The four of us lined up before church on many Sundays for a quickie photo and on every special occasion during the year.

But "not" every day.

Looking back at the old albums, I don't see many fakers.  We took lots of photos but we didn't have a camera in our face several times each week.  We didn't need to learn the faker.

We said, "Cheese."  That was all it took.

We thought saying "cheese" was hilarious.  I know, I know, "cheese" is so yesterday.

Kids today are just too dang smart for "cheese."  They have created their own signature faker and by gosh, they are going to stick with it.


















The day I shot this photo, Evan wanted to be goofy and make silly faces.  He had a lot of energy going on.  I suggested that he burn off some of his energy by running in the field.

And he did.

He was being "natural" and I got a good shot.  I focused on Casey while Evan acted goofy and it worked.



















THIS is what I was up against. In the midst of all the goofy faces, I got one smile.

This one.  His is very best faker.


















This is another one of Evan's fakers.  He is 4 years old here.  His faker has come a long way.

But wait....





















In this one, we were being silly "with" them.  We got down on their level, talked about silly things that we knew would make them laugh naturally.

It worked.





















We got this beautiful smile by asking Casey to "patty cake."  We know that she gets excited about patty caking so again, we got down on her level and patty caked with her.

I am just sayin' that in order to get a natural smile, you have to get down on their level.  Be goofy, crazy and say silly things that causes them giggle.





In this photo Jackson had a goofy/faker combo going on.  


















This one was taken after I suggested to Jackson to, "Look at Julie like you love her."  And he did.  And he did it very well.  Just look at his eyes.

The look on Julie's face is a total girl thing.  It is as if she is thinking, "I know you love me but I am going to pretend that I don't."





Evan was two years old in this picture.  I know you are not going to believe this but he was smiling. He was beginning to learn the faker.  

Yes, he is smiling.  Really.  He is.  I promise.  

He is taking photos of himself with a cell phone and he was having a blast.

Yes, really.

He is smiling in this picture also.  I know it looks like he is being tortured but.....uhhhh, no.  Just a big, toothy faker.  

Just in case you think that rocking chair is a "rocking potty chair" it is not.  But I understand your concern.  We have all had this look while using the potty at one time or another.

Oh come on, you know you have. Don't be shy. We are friends here, remember?

It looks so painful, doesn't it?

Excuse me, I am laughing so hard right now, I am crying.  I need to take a break.

There is really nothing we can do about the faker.  When we say, "Smile," that is what we get, baby.

If we act goofy to get him to smile naturally, well that is different.




Wait.  What is that?

It is a natural smile.

Big difference, ya think?








Okay, okay, before you go running off to report me to the department of child services, here is one more of Evan with his big, toothy faker going on.

I know.  He looks like he is in excruciating pain but he is not.

He is sitting by himself enjoying his cupcakes.  He is happy, people.

H-A-P-P-Y.

He is not being tortured.  No one is touching him.

A cupcake makes everyone smile.  Even if they are fakers.

I can't stop laughing.

THIS is what we have created.


















By the time he was 4 years old he had mastered his signature faker.

Much better than the last year.  Not so "painful" too look at.

If you want a great pictures of your child, it may take a little more work other than just telling them to "smile."

If they are not in the mood for photos, forget it.  You will end up with a hundred bad ones anyway so why bother.

I know you would rather have just one great photo of your child than hundreds of fakers.

I would.

If they are being goofy, just go with it.  Natural action shots are cool.

Natural anything is cool.

Be silly with them.

My number one tip is for YOU be the silly/goofy one.  It is guaranteed to get lots of giggles and natural smiles.

Maybe we should bring back "cheese."  Ya think?

Has your child mastered a "faker?"  I would love to hear about it!

Donna
xoxo








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