Isn't that what we yelled the last time we took pictures?
We seem so conditioned to encouraging that overused, wide-mouthed grin. Is the big cheesy smile really the most flattering way to show our kids? Well, maybe not. It often distorts the face and often comes across as contrived and fake.
What's the goal?
Kids grow up so quickly and go through many subtle changes that we want to remember as much of it as we can. Yes, especially when they are small and cute. But, they are not only cute when they shout the c-word. Kids show such a wide array of emotion that it's a shame to limit them to a big cheesy smile.
Look to capture their personality... in their world and on their terms.
How can we add creativity and excitement?
Of course our kids are not always smiling and some of the more memorable times are when they were busy digging through the pots and pans in the cupboard; grinning from ear to ear when they think they've done something special but you are left wondering how you are going to get those coins out of the DVD player!
Grab your camera and try some of these ideas:
Encourage them to play with their favorite toy
If they're old enough, ask them tell you about their toy
Get them to pose their toy for the picture
Ask them to show you how much they love their toy (see picture)
Challenge them to teach "teddy" how to look happy, serious, funny, look like dad, etc.
Tell your toy a secret
Get a tripod, set the timer and be in the picture with them
See the world through their eyes to add a fresh perspective to pictures. Things look very different at their eye level instead of shooting down at them! Add toys and other props to show them engaged. Yes, these steps will help increase the warmth and originality of your pictures because they show: personality, energy and innocence.
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