Picture Day brings out all different personality types, and just as parents know, one minute a kid can be as happy as a clam, and the next, the world appears to be ending.
Smiling nicely is easier for some kids than others. For those not feeling the photo-day excitement, expert photographers at Lifetouch keep a few tricks up their sleeve to ensure every parent gets a photo proof of their child grinning proudly.
There are many strategies photographers try, but no matter what, they create a no-pressure, fun setting for children. With that in mind, here are some of the most successful smile-inspiring methods Lifetouch photographers use so you can try them in your own home:
Kids have short attention spans. If you spend too much time taking a photo, you'll either get a forced smile or your child will start to get annoyed. Try to take the photo quickly and move on.
- Cut to the cheese
"Say cheese" is the classic call for a smile, but with young ones you can be extra silly to inspire a grin. Say "purple cheeseburgers" or "fluffy flip-flops" and kids may just laugh out loud.
- Say something silly
That flash can hurt little eyes and cause tears rather than smiles. You may not have access to professional lights like in a portrait shoot, but you can look for areas with plenty of natural light.
- Use unobtrusive light
Young kids love jokes. Share your favorite knock-knock joke and watch them roll with laughter. That smile of pure joy makes the perfect photo.
- Tell them a joke
For some kids, taking photos feels like work. Shift their perspective by getting them excited about the results. Talk about how you want to frame this picture so every time Grandma comes over, she sees it.
- Talk about the results
Kids reflect the energy around them, so it's important to keep a positive, fun attitude, even if they aren't reciprocating it. You'll be surprised how often it eventually rubs off on them.
- Have a fun attitude
If they're feeling a little worried, let them observe other kids getting their photo taken so they see they have nothing to fear. You might even jump in front of the camera yourself.
- Show them
We all have off days. Kids are no different. If you've tried these ideas and your kids still don't want to smile, take a break and try again later or the next day. You'll likely have better luck.
- Know when to call it
We understand that sometimes a child won't cooperate for pictures (and that's ok!). It's why we formed a partnership with JCPenney Portraits that allows parents to take their child for picture retakes at a local JCPenney studio at your own convenience. Click here to find a JCPenney studio near you and schedule a session.That means no sitting fee— just a fresh start so your child can relax and smile.
Check out how we get kids to smile on Picture Day! Our tips come straight from one of our expert photographers that you can use in the classroom or at home.