Getting A Child To Smile Isn’t Always As Easy As You Might Think
Smile Please – Absolutely the best advice I can give you is, from the moment you walk into the house, or meet the children, smile, and keep smiling. I don’t mean to the point where your face seizes up, I mean show the children you are of a happy disposition and mean them no harm.
Children of all ages are highly perceptive to emotions and moods. Even if they are your own, especially if they are your own, they need to know that what you are doing is fun!
If you are not particularly good around children, you don’t like them or are not at ease around them, then this may not be the career for you, they will grind you down and kill your love of child photography! (Watch the film “Uncle Buck” if you don’t believe me!).
Keep your eyes open for what toys they have and what they are “Into”. For example, if you see Winnie the Pooh toys scattered around, say something like “Wow, Winnie the Pooh! My son is really into him, he has all the toys. Which is your favourite?” You will be surprised at how this can connect with the child/children.
Again, take your own props with you and if you have done your homework before the shoot, you may well already know what the kids are into and take something to do with that. What is current at the moment? What is on at the cinema? What things are “in” in the playground at the moment?
If all else fails, ask the parents, carers or any other family members or friends to help out and join in the fun. They could even be part of the photo. It is sometimes a good idea to start out shooting as a family shoot including the mother or father if possible and then once the kids are relaxed, ease the parents or adults away.
Make the kids feel that you aren’t just a stuffy, boring grown up, and play with them. They will start to like you and then you are home dry! Failing that, you could always just ask…”Smile Please”!
Read paragraph 4 of this great site, it will emphasise what I mean!