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How to eliminate fake smiles during your session

How to Get Real, Genuine Smiles From Your Kids


Kids are completely unpredictable. They can be so adorable and easy going and laughing uncontrollably one minute, and the next minute, turn that charm off completely. They will typically smile for you all day long until you put them in front of a camera, then they freeze up like a deer in headlights. We want to avoid the gritted teeth and bug-eyed forced smiles during our session.

Here are some things you can do:


Make a list of things that your child thinks are funny and send it to me prior to the session. This way, I can be prepared and add these things to my bag of tricks.


Also give me a list of icebreakers for your child. Tell me the kinds of shows they watch, music they listen to, friends’ names, favorite story, etc. This will give me something to talk to them about, and will help them forget they’re in front of the camera.


Practice phrases at home to see which ones evoke the best smiles from your child. (Please, oh please, avoid “Say cheese!” unless that really works for you child.)


Try out a couple of jokes with them. During the session, I can ask them to tell us a joke and this will typically loosen them up as they tell me.


If there is a song that your child loves, load it up to your phone and bring it along with you, or be prepared to sing it for them during the session.


Prepare a bribe (such as a toy, a trip to the zoo, etc.) and show it to them, or remind them of it, during the session.

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Five Feathers Photography, located in Chapel Hill, N.C., specializes in maternity, newborn, lifestyle and family photography.

heather@fivefeathersphoto.com | 919.260.1412

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