As a local family photographer in Boise, Idaho, capturing genuine smiles from children can be both rewarding and challenging. In my experience as a family photographer during the 10 years here in Boise, Idaho kids are often unpredictable and can be shy or uncooperative during a photo session. However, with the right approach and a little creativity, I capture those precious moments of joy and laughter. In this blog post, I’ll share my expertise as a family photographer and provide you with valuable tips and tricks to help you get kids to smile naturally during family photo shoots.
- Create a Fun and Relaxed Atmosphere: Setting the right atmosphere is crucial for eliciting genuine smiles from children. Create a relaxed and enjoyable environment by engaging with them, cracking jokes, and encouraging their natural playfulness. Let them feel comfortable and at ease, as this will reflect in their expressions.
- Use Props and Toys: Incorporating props and toys can be a fantastic way to capture children’s attention and bring out their smiles. Use colorful and age-appropriate props that resonate with their interests, such as balloons, bubbles, or their favorite toys. These elements will not only entertain the kids but also add a playful touch to your photographs.
- I always bring a “camera buddy” to help kiddos know where to look!
- Involve Parents or Siblings: Children often feel more comfortable and relaxed when their parents or siblings are involved in the photo session. Encourage family members to interact with each other, exchange laughter, and share special moments. This interaction will not only create a joyful atmosphere but also capture the genuine connections within the family.
- Be Patient and Flexible: Patience is key when working with kids. Understand that they may need time to warm up to the camera and the unfamiliar surroundings. Allow breaks if needed, let them explore the environment, and resume shooting when they feel more at ease. Flexibility is crucial in adapting to their moods and capturing those spontaneous moments of happiness.
- Incorporate Games and Playfulness: Make the photo shoot a fun experience by incorporating games and playful activities. Ask the children to chase bubbles, play peek-a-boo, or engage in a tickle fight. These interactive moments not only result in genuine smiles but also create lasting memories for the entire family.
- Utilize Music and Sounds: Music has a remarkable ability to evoke emotions and create a lively atmosphere. Play their favorite songs or use funny sound effects to grab their attention and bring out their smiles. Sing along, dance, or create a playful rhythm that encourages their natural expressions to shine through.
- Capture Candid Moments: Sometimes, the most authentic and joyful smiles come from candid moments. Encourage children to be themselves, allowing their personalities to shine. Photograph them while they’re exploring, laughing, or engaging in their favorite activities. These genuine moments will create heartwarming images that truly reflect their unique spirit.
Capturing children’s genuine smiles is an art that requires a blend of creativity, patience, and the ability to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere. By implementing these expert tips and tricks, you can ensure that your family photos are filled with laughter, joy, and unforgettable memories. Remember, each child is different, so I adapt my approach to their individual personalities. With practice, you too can become a master at capturing those beautiful smiles that your family will treasure for a lifetime.
Kristy is a photographer in the Boise, Idaho area who specializes in families, children, lifestyle newborn portraits, and food photography. She is a master at capturing natural and joyful images. Find more information about family photo sessions here.