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  • Katie Martin-Sperry

How to capture genuine smiles of your little ones during a photoshoot.

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Before you engage in a shoot with me, I always email my clients to give me some little insights about your little ones before our shoot session. Often, clients write, "it takes time for my little one to warm up", or "they aren't good with strangers", or "they are quite shy". FEAR NOT. This is why you have chosen me to photography your family.

Be prepared to watch me be the class clown. Having been doing this for over 10 years, I can let you into a few secrets which I have up my sleeve!

1. Props: As an icebreaker, find out about their favourite toy. You can have a little play around, put it on your head, throw it up in the air, these always tend to break a little smile.

2. Simple, kid-friendly jokes: Funny stories can lighten the mood and make kids laugh. Be ready with a few jokes or funny anecdotes to share during the shoot.

3. Play Games: Incorporate games into the photoshoot to make it more interactive and enjoyable. Games like peek-a-boo, Simon says, or funny face contests can elicit laughter and authentic expressions.

4. Tickling: Gently tickle your child or have a family member do it while you capture their reaction. Just be mindful of their comfort levels and ensure it remains a positive experience.

5. Be Silly: Embrace your inner goofiness. Make funny faces, do silly dances, or engage in playful antics. Your child may join in on the fun and start laughing naturally.

6. Sing Songs: Singing silly or favourite songs can create a fun atmosphere. You can even make up your own silly lyrics or incorporate your child's name into the song.

7. Engage with Them: Interact with your child during the shoot. Ask them about their favourite things, hobbies, or what they want to be when they grow up. Engaging in conversation can lead to natural smiles and laughter.

8. Capture Candid Moments: Sometimes the best laughs happen spontaneously. Be ready to capture candid moments when your child is naturally enjoying themselves.

9. Use Animal Sounds: Mimicking animal sounds like "moo," "quack," or "roar" can be surprisingly effective at getting kids to giggle.

10. Get Them Moving: Encourage your child to run, jump, or dance. Movement can lead to genuine expressions of joy and laughter.

11. Sibling or Pet Interactions: If your child has siblings or a beloved pet, involve them in the photoshoot. The interactions between family members or pets and children can result in heartwarming and candid moments.

12. Be Patient: Patience is key. Kids may take some time to warm up to the camera, so don't rush the process. Give them breaks as needed and let the laughter happen naturally.

Remember that the goal is to create a fun and relaxed environment where your child feels comfortable being themselves. By incorporating play, humour, and their interests into the photoshoot, you're more likely to capture those genuine moments of laughter and happiness that make for beautiful photographs.

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