Not So Photogenic? 9 Ways to Make Your Photos Better
We've all been there. The scene and outfit are perfect, but your child won't look at the camera or he squints and flashes a forced grin. Relax! Wave your magic wand and follow these tips for taking great pics regardless of your child's mood.
Don’t get hung up on smiles. If your child isn’t in the mood for smiling, capture the beauty of a great serious face. The more your child associates picture taking with your commands of “Look here!” and “Smile!” the more agitated she will become with the experience. Capture your children just as they are.
Make picture taking fun. My daughter forgets I’m taking pictures when I turn it into a game. We play “Red Light, Green Light” and “Simon Says,” and while she’s following the game commands, I’m shooting away and capturing pure joy and excitement that is anything but forced.
Assign a Job
Give your child a specific job, and be nonchalant about taking pictures. For this photo, I told the little girl, “See the flowers in this field? I need you to pick 10. Do you think you can do that for me?” She was so focused on completing a task, she never even noticed the camera.
Tell a Secret
All eyes don’t have to be looking at the camera for a great shot. I love the relaxed and authentic look of a photo that represents a real, candid moment. For sibling or friend photos, have one of the subjects tell a funny secret to the other. This is a foolproof way to induce a true giggle.
Ask for expressions. Kids love the game of showing off their best faces, so ask to see their surprise face, their angry face, their scared face and their silly face. You are guaranteed to capture some frame-worthy shots, and you’ll both be laughing through the process.
We All Fall Down
Knock me down. This trick has never failed me yet. Sit on the ground and tell your child that when you count to three, they’re allowed to run and gently knock you down like a bowling pin. The second I say “Three!” the perfect photogenic moment always follows—unleashed energy and a beautiful open smile.
Some of the most authentic moments captured of my daughter have been photos of her telling me stories. Find a comfortable spot, lay down with your camera and ask your child to tell you a story. You’ll catch mannerisms and expressions that represent who your child truly is.
Food and beverage treats provide great distractions for kids who are getting their picture taken. Let your child hold an ice cream cone or sip a milkshake, and the camera will be the last thing they’re thinking about. In this photo, the retro soda and popcorn box add a nice extra “pop” to the photo as well.
Hugs and Kisses
Always balance taking photos with putting the camera down and giving hugs and quality time to any child. Taking photos can be fulfilling and fun for both parent and child when it remains a relaxed and enjoyable activity.
Kelle Hampton is a mom, photographer, blogger, and author who lives in sunny Florida. To learn more about her, visit Enjoying the Small Things.
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