Tips for Getting Kids to Smile Naturally in Photos - Secrets from a Children’s Photographer

Tips for Getting Kids to Smile Naturally in Photos - Secrets from a Children’s Photographer

Everyone has been taught from birth how to get a kid to smile.  You just tell them to say "cheese" and they respond with a nice big natural smile, right?  Well, anyone that's actually tried this can testify to how well it works (if you didn't catch my sarcasm... it doesn't).  You end up with a photo of a kid with clenched teeth, a scrunched nose, and raised eyebrows. In this article, I'm going to give away all of my secrets that I’ve picked up as a professional children’s photographer for getting nice, natural smiles out of children.

Taking Family Photos with a Smartphone

As the saying goes, the best camera is the one that you have with you.  And these days, most of us always have a smartphone with us.  Modern smartphones (and also point-and-shoot consumer) cameras can take some amazing photos.  There are some things that smartphones are great at and other things that smartphones aren't so great at.  In this article, I'm going to teach you how to take advantage of the strengths of a smartphone camera when taking photos of your family and kids.  

Crying Newborn Shots

Newborn sessions can be quite stressful.  The newborns don't always cooperate.  Sometimes they are hungry, sometimes they poop, and sometimes they cry.  In my shoots, when a newborn cries, I usually keep snapping away.  I often tell the parents that they may not appreciate these crying photos now, but I promise that they will in the future.  After all, a photo of a clearly miserable kid isn't that appealing right?  However, I don't think the goal of lifestyle newborn photography is to simply make beautiful photos. 

Lifestyle Newborn Photography Tips and Tricks

Right now there are two popular styles of newborn photography.  The first style is that posed look where everything is perfect, the baby is usually wrapped in something fluffy, and propped in a perfectly baby sized basket.  This style is super popular right now.  The other style is more of a lifestyle feel, where the family is naturally interacting with the baby in the family's house.  Families can get great photos either way.  My own personal style is the latter, a more natural lifestyle feel.  Below are some good tips and tricks to get great lifestyle newborn photos.  

My favorite Philadelphia area locations for family portrait photography

Before I get to the locations, I feel like I should mention a few things.  First, I'm located in Conshohocken, so that's the nucleus of where I shoot.  I usually work with each client and pick a location near their house.  Secondly, there are a few major things I look for in a location.  It's not just the scenery.  A few of the major traits that make a good location for me include:

Camera Buying Guide for Non-Photographers

Camera Buying Guide for Non-Photographers

As a professional photographer, I often get asked about the best lens or camera for taking photos.  My usual answer is that it really depends on what kind of photography you're planning on doing.  Like the saying goes, "the right tool for the right job".  You could probably cut a board in half with a hammer, but it wouldn't come out looking very nice.  The same goes for photography gear.  So, the first question I would ask is what is the camera for?  Is it for travel, family, kids, sports, landscapes, etc...

How to Get a Child to Cooperate for Photos

As a parent, getting children to be happy and willing participants in a photo shoot isn't always the easiest thing in the world.  Below are some quick tips that I've picked up along the way to get children to happily participate for a photo session.  The tactics I recommend are different for each age group.  

25 Tips for Taking Amazing Photos of Children

Anyone who has ever tried to take pictures of children knows that it's quite challenging.  They don't have attention spans, they don't listen, and they switch from happy to grumpy within seconds for seemingly no reason.  As a professional family portrait photographer, I've picked up a few tricks over the years to get good photos with uncooperative kids.  Below are all my secrets for working with children and creating a successful photo shoot with children and families.

The most important component to making a good photo

I often get asked by my clients some variant of the following question: "What's the most important component in making a good photo?  Is it the camera, the lens, or the processing?"  I'm not big on suspense, so here's the answer... It's a combination of all three, plus two more very important items: the environment, and skill.  Let's dig in to each component and find out just what makes it special.