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Why I don't tell children to smile during our photo session

Smiling children. Family Photographer Plymouth
Sharing a secret never to be told.

I never like to tell children to smile for the camera during our photo shoot. Of course I want to gain pictures of your children smiling and beaming from ear to ear, but I want it to be genuine. You get what I mean right? The second you ask a child to smile for the camera, it either goes super cheesy and over exaggerated, often with slanty eyes and scrunched up noses, cute in its own way OR its empty and without emotion because its being forced to smile when they really don't want to. You can usually see the blankness in their eyes.

I love to take non smiley photos too, it shows your child's true personality, a snapshot of the moment, yes if you child cries during our session I will capture that too, will you put it on your wall? Probably not, but I would be a nice one for the album as a memory in years to come. I'm not against smiling photos of kids, I LOVE those photos, but they need to be genuine, internally-motivated smiles. But I also love the broody and moody, calm and peaceful, the absorbed and the angry, as these tell the stories of our children rather than asking them to say 'cheese' and smile for the camera.

First day of school - family photographer plymouth
No, don't send me back to school! Please!

This is my son, it was his first day back to school in year 1. He wasn't happy about it, he hated school. For me this said everything about the moment and who he is and his personality and the fact he truely hated school, or should I more say going to school and leaving me. I often hear from parents when moodier images end up in their gallery that the picture I have taken, although may not be the one they put on the wall, has captured the very essence of their child and often makes them laugh out loud.

So if I don't ask children to smile during my sessions, how do I get so many smiling photos? Truth is simple. I get you to play with your children. They adore to play with their parents and siblings and even there family pet. When a child is playing, they will be happy and their smiles are genuine and shine so bright, something you can't get from telling a child to smile.

Playful family photos. Family Photographer Plymouth
Lets play catch the photographer!

Playing with mummy. Family Photographer Plymouth, Devon
Tickle time!

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Cheryl Peach - Photographer Plymouth, Devon

More about the Author.

Cheryl Peach is a family photographer based in Plymouth, Devon who specializes in maternity, newborn and family lifestyle photography, creating natural photographs that show the emotions and uniqueness of every family. Oh So Peachy Photography was

created in 2016 when Cheryl found her passion for photography whilst photographing her own children and wanted to create memories for other to cherish for years to come. To book a session, please get in touch.

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