Getting Kids to Relax and Smile for Pictures

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Sometimes I have a client who is worried I won’t be able to get good pictures of their kid.  Maybe you’re in the same boat.  Have you ever thought, “If I can just get one good picture from this session, I’ll be happy?”  Well, trust me, you’re not alone!

Certainly, it’s a common fear… but, let me help you relax.  I’m used to working with kids, and I have so many tricks up my sleeve to help kids relax and smile for pictures.

My solution is always to start thinking creatively.

I ask myself…

“What will get this particular child to open up to me?”

“Is there something I can say or do to help bring out their silly side, to help them relax?”

In my world, there’s no such thing as an unphotogenic child.  Every child is beautiful, and every child photographs beautifully.  Some kids just take more time to get to that place where we can create the kind of portraits you’re looking for.

Some of my solutions?

  • Interact them on their terms
  • Listen
  • Let them press buttons on my camera
  • Act silly

Because it’s important for me to help your kids relax and feel comfortable, I’m going to spend a lot of time focusing on your kids. Kids will be kids, and I know how to work with that.

So, trust me, ok?

Take a deep breath.  Relax.  And let me work my magic.

Case Study: Sarah’s Kids

Finally, before I wrap up this blog post, let me share a few photos from a sibling portrait session we did in the studio.  Sarah brought her kids, Conor, Grant, and Lila, in for a portrait session a while back.

Let me be honest, these kids did not have much interest in sitting still for the camera.  Lila was a wiggleworm, ready to move and explore.  Conor and Grant had no desire to sit still for pictures either.  Naturally, they all loved the toys I brought out to break the ice!  First, they checked out a miniature piano, which all three kids wanted to play.  Then, we moved on to trains and other toys — each boy picked something they wanted to hold before sitting on the bench.

Now, Lila wasn’t old enough to sit on the bench, but no problem.  In situations like this, I have mom sit behind the kids and be a stealth safety backup.  With mom’s hands keeping her from moving, Lila was not going anywhere!

This was one of those sessions where, no matter what — the boys just didn’t want to smile.  But, I snuck some smiles out of them, as you’ll see below.  Enjoy!

sibling portrait, portrait of kids, kid photographer ann arbor michigan child portrait photographer
Sometimes it takes a few minutes for kids to settle into a new place. For this session, I brought out a tiny kid piano and let them make some music. I love how the boys’ little sister got interested too!
sibling portrait, portrait of kids, kid photographer ann arbor michigan child portrait photographer
These kids did not want to stay put. Mom was actually behind the bench to hold her daughter in place, as it wouldn’t have been safe otherwise. Score for safety!
sibling portrait, portrait of kids, kid photographer ann arbor michigan child portrait photographer
This one is pretty cute, don’t you think? Sure, we have some toys in the picture, but that’s ok. There are days when that’s just going to be how it is 🙂
sibling portrait, portrait of kids, kid photographer ann arbor michigan child portrait photographer
Love those expressions!

Are you ready to book a portrait session for your kids?  Or maybe you want to talk about how we can make this happen.  Either way, I’m here.  Give the studio a call at 734-424-0472 or use the web form to get in touch today!

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