Photographing kids is always a challenge, especially when the kids are your own. When I work with adults that take direction, the job is almost too easy! The great thing about working with kids is that you never know what sort of expression you’ll get.
In this smartphone age, kids are bombarded with cameras. Many have become conditioned to snap out a smile as soon as the camera comes up. But do you really want a cheesy smile all the time? I certainly don’t.
You’ll almost never hear me ask anyone to directly smile in front of my camera. A forced smile is obvious on anyone. And with a child’s playfulness, it doesn’t take too much to get a far more interesting expression.
So mix it up next time you pull out the iPhone in front of your kids. Ask them to do anything but smile. Ask them to sing a song, do a little dance, whatever comes to mind, and grab a few shots. I bet you’ll get some new looks! Before long, you’ll have quite an outtakes reel (like this shot). But you could also catch a timeless shot perfect for the mantle.