I often hear people say they find it difficult to photograph their kids as they don’t stay still long enough and give cheesy smiles.
My children are no different!
So, I thought I’d take you on a journey of the shenanigans and mischief I get up to in order to capture photos that really represent my children.
These photos were from our recent holiday (or ‘vacation’ for my American friends).
Me: “Hey kids, lets go to the beach.”
Kids: “Great, but you’re not bringing your camera are you?”
Me: “Yes, but don’t worry you don’t need to look at me.”
Then it starts, “The sun’s in my eyes, she’s squashing me…”
Me: “Who wants 100 biscuits?” Mr C is old enough to know that would never happen, Miss S is too young to know better.
I catch them by surprise by calling out some silly words that always make them laugh.
Me: “Isn’t your sister the cutest little girl you’ve ever seen.”
He’s thinking, what will she do if I pull her pony tail. She’s thinking, just you try it and see what surprise I have in store for you.
He settles for squashing her instead.
There’s a little of, “oh my goodness look at that shark behind you, look at that flying dinosaur behind you …” from me.
There is also some, “this is so boring, you’re killing us” from them.
I appeal to their love for each other. “Miss S, do you love your brother?” She adores her big brother and he knows it!
“Mr C, you are so fortunate to have a sister that loves you so much.”
Then I crescendo with, “We’re done, you’re free, go crazy.”
I shoot throughout the conversation and most of the photos I end up loving are the ones where the kids are interacting and doing their own thing, natural photos that really showcase their personality. I never ask them to smile because they’ll just give a forced cheesy grin.
So while sometimes it can be frustrating, planning ahead will help limit frustrations for both the children and yourself. I sometimes shoot just before snack time or at a park and limit the time I shoot, otherwise we all end up cranky. Pre-empt how they are going to react to something you’re going to say and shoot just before you say it and then as you are saying it. That way you’ll capture their reaction and the laugh or expression rather than a forced smile.