Getting Kids to Relax and Smile for Pictures

posted in: Photography | 0

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!

Group Portrait of the Ann Arbor Grail Singers

posted in: Local | 0

Because of all the musicians in my family, you could say music is in my blood.  And yes, I play occasionally — most often piano accompaniment these days.  A year or so ago I was able to join the Ann Arbor Grail Singers for a performance, which was really fun!  Sadly, my schedule didn’t allow me to continue on singing with them, but I was really excited to be able to come back to photograph the group last year right before their performance!

Now, usually I photograph groups or individuals with some kind of studio lighting, even on location.  But in this instance, we didn’t have time to set up any kind of lighting, as the photoshoot happened right after the dress rehearsal and about five minutes before the doors were opened to the public.  We literally had less than five minutes to get this group portrait taken.  So, we made the best of it!

First, let me show you the beautiful space that the Ann Arbor Grail Singers performed at, and then I’ll share two group portraits of the Ann Arbor Grail Singers with you!

church architecture, musical group, ann arbor photo on location, ann arbor mi photographer, ann arbor grail singers
Here’s a pullback of the entire sanctuary. I loved getting to climb up in the choir loft at the back of the church (or is it organ loft? I don’t know…). There’s just something to be said for the ethereal feeling of old style churches. The choir was just rehearsing while I created this photo, it was not posed by any means.
ann arbor grail singers, ann arbor mi photographer, musical group ann arbor, ann arbor musicians, group photo
Here’s the entire group of musicians. Aren’t those robes colorful? They were hand made by an artist at the Ann Arbor art fair (if I recall correctly).
ann arbor mi photographer, ann arbor musician portrait, ann arbor grail singers
And one final frame of the Ann Arbor Grail Singers.  After this last group portrait was taken, I hightailed it out of there with my gear so that the doors could open and people could come inside to hear some lovely music performed by a friendly yet professional group of musicians.

If your ensemble or group is in need of a group portrait for publicity purposes, please contact the studio at 734-424-0472 so that we can discuss your needs and come up with a plan to fit your vision!  We can plan for your group portrait to take place either on location, as the Ann Arbor Grail Singers did, or at the studio.  It’s all up to you!