Around 3 or 4 years old, little kids figure out the fake smile. You know the one, too many teeth, crazy eyes and a strained neck. Yep that one. It’s a right of passage but as a mom we also know that there is a sweet smile hiding in there too. But how do we get it out when the fake smile is taking over every shot? Well as a Dana Point Family Photographer I have some tips.
First of all, don’t yell “SMILEEEE!! Hey Johnny, smile, just smile, look here and smile”. I know thats a hard thing to avoid but honestly it makes a huge difference. Would you smile at someone who is yelling at you? I sure wouldn’t.
I say it again and again but I try so hard to make my sessions stress free. Less stress = more smiles. The number way to stress a kid out is a loud voice. Instead keep your voice soft, crouch down at their level and talk about their favorite things. Promised them ice cream afterward, talk about what flavors they’ll get. Know they’re favorite song, sing it to them or recite their favorite story ( because I know you know it by heart!).
My next tip is be playful! Tickle them, swing them around, chase them. These playful moments will bring on genuine smiles and that is what we want. Plus these are also the moments you’ll want to look back on and remember. Those genuine smiles will be coming from you as well!
Lastly, remember the fake smiles are just a stage and honestly a pretty cute one. I promise you I’ll get a couple good genuine smiles but you may get a couple fake ones too and that’s okay because thats who they are at this time. Isn’t that what we want to capture anyways?