top of page

Jacie: How To Get Kids to Smile

How do you get kids to smile? I think that's the question on the mind of every parent...and every photographer.

Here's my advice: think beyond "say cheese!" That's just not going to capture the attention of little children, which means the photographer (me) can't capture the pretty smiles.

So, with this topic in mind, here are a few suggestions to use when "say cheese" just won't work:

1. Have them shout-out their favorite super hero or princess on the count of three.

This is easy. Instead of asking them to "say cheese," ask them to say their favorite hero or princess character. It makes it more fun for them and let's them see you as friendly and relatable. Especially if you can share your favorite character. All of a sudden, you have a new pal!

2. Bring bubbles, but save them for the end of the session.

Bubble shots are so cute! And by saving them until the end, you create an incentive for good behavior. This idea can also be used with ice cream or candy - anything that will make them happy but still lend itself to cute photos (even messy ice cream faces can be adorable).

3. Embrace silly faces.

When I'm trying to get posed photos and I have antsy kids, I let them lose the smile for a minute and make funny faces. After that, I ask for one more pretty smile, and I usually get it. Plus, sometimes the silly photos are just awesome in themselves.

4. Let them get the wiggles out.

Sometimes you'll actually get better shots by letting them run around and capturing more lifestyle, in-the-moment shots. It will be more work for the adult who is chasing after them, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. And rest assured - lifestyle shots can be just as frame-worthy as posed photos.

5. Let them see the back of the camera.

Again, save this one for the end, or use sparingly. You can't show them every shot - there just isn't time. But, if they show an interest in your equipment, promise them that you will show them their pictures on the back of your camera before the end of the session if they can give their best smiles. Some kids really look forward to that (maybe they are little photographers in training)!

​ Best of luck! :)

Recent Posts

See All
Artboard 7-04.png
bottom of page