How to get kids to smile for the camera

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by justa_e, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. What do you say or do to get nervous and shy kids aged up to 5 years
    old to smile for the camera? What methods do you use that have
  2. I smile myself.
  3. [​IMG] Have the kid watch her dad make silly faces.
  4. In the 3-6 age range, potty humor works surprisingly well. "I smell a fart! Did you fart? Woo-ee! Somebody made a stinkie!" Demoralising, perhaps. Crass? You bet. But boy do you get natural smiles! Potentially offensive to parents, so use discretion. :-D
  5. I use that one with senior citizens all the time.


    Just kidding. Good one Kim, I'll have to try that one next. (um, but with young children)
  6. I fart, and they smile every time! (^U^)

    Ok...I make faces, strange sounds (oh, we covered that!), and just the old routine of say: cheeze, pizza, hamburgers, etc.

    Dolls and toys don't seem to do it.

    I'm also using digital, so I just take many photos in rapid fire and hope for the best...not really good photographic form but it works.

    With very young children and babies, have someone quickly wave a piece of cardboard in front of their face and you get a cute startle response.
  7. With my 2.5 yo daughter, it can be a challenge because she quickly learns my strategies and starts ignoring them and the camera. That said, questions like "Hey, is your nose green?" have gotten me some warm, genuine sparkly smiles. But it is a constant challenge for this Daddy who, in his daughter's words, "takes too many pictures." And when she does tell me that, I take the hint and put away the camera.
  8. If you're not in the portrait business, and can take your time, just catch them when they are smiling, as opposed to trying to get them to smile. If they're your kids, try taking them someplace different- new park or playground, something to distract them.

    One challenge is to get kids to ignore the camera- get some good pictures when they just forget you're there and go on their way. Ang that works a lot better if you're not forever telling them to smile or look your way.

    As with adults, it doesn't require a smile on a face to make a good shot- quite often just the opposite.

    And if you ARE in the portrait business...can't help you, sorry!
  9. I have seen many samples of children portraiture that is very formal, like with antiques chairs and tapestry backgrounds, posed perfectly. I have no clue how they do it and I'm not really interested. I want to take photos of children being children, and the way I do it is to play with them. I'm a retired 5th grade school teacher so I guess I know a bit about kids. I may take too many shots, but when children play, that's to be expected. I am attaching a photo from last Monday of a young girl who loved playing around an old huge tree. I just kept shooting while she played.
  10. Hope this image is better. I have no clue why the above is so awful.
  11. Nope...I'll rework it tomorrow, but you get the idea.
  12. I found this idea to be pretty dang brilliant, and it should work for most all ages.
  13. Bubbles!
    Get one of those blow bubble on a stick washing liquid things. Kids can't help but watch
    those things. And if all goes well, they will smile.
    Good luck.
  14. A quick trick for babies-have mom or dad drag it up accross their face really quick-you'll get a grin every time.
    Feather dusters are fun for toddlers. Tickle their chins.(if that doesnt work, tickle their moms chin...that'll do it)
  15. Lot's of great ideas that make it fun to smile for the camera. Try a little toy birdie from "" and you can get some attention directed right above your lens. The lively bouncing action gets some great looks with the classic "watch the birdie" theme.
  16. it


    Some kids just won't smile no matter what you do. So just try to get a nice images that shows who they are and forget about getting smiley pix.

Share This Page