5 Amazing Tips For Getting Your Kids to Smile in Family Photos

Tried and tested no fuss ways for happy faces all round

The outfits are picked, the location has been decided and the amazing family photographer is booked (yes, the one with the dreamy family photos that you have been following for years…). It’s family photograph time! Lots of little details go into your family photography shoot, but we are certain the thing that parents stress about most is getting their children to look happy and smile in the photos. Although the cranky 3-year-old or the pouty 6-year-old might make for a funny photo to look back on (and yes keep those ones for the 21stbirthday!), they don’t really scream out to be made into a massive canvas for the wall.

Family photography sessions do not need to be lots of drama. Here are some easy tips for how to make sure your family photography session is fun and your little munchkins.

  1. Dress the kids in something comfortable that they like. We know that the cute vintage dress is exactly what you were looking for, but if it’s itchy, scratchy and uncomfortable, she’s never going to show those pearly whites. Dressing your children in something comfortable will go a long way towards a happy vibe on the day.
  2. Try not to stress to much. Kids can tell when you are feeling agitated and they pick up on the vibe. If you are overthinking and worrying about what the photographer is going to think of your family, you are setting the tone for the whole shoot. Make it fun! Keep the emotions to a minimum and relax and go with the flow.
  3. Do not, we repeat, DO NOT make threats about what you will do if the children don’t smile. Or beg them to smile repeatedly before the shoot. Or put a whole lot of pressure on the idea of smiling. If your kids are like most kids, it’s going to have the opposite effect. Family photographs are meant to capture exactly that- your family! And if you focus more on being silly and happy and light hearted, that will naturally have a flow on effect to your whole family- and the photographs will reflect that.
  4. Play a game! Have you ever played the show me your cranky/ angry/ sad face game with your kids? When having family photos, pull out the expressive face game and all play along. Get them to show the photographer all of their faces, and of course make sure you throw in the happy / silly/ overjoyed/ excited/ funny faces. You are sure to get a few great shots in amongst them all. The best way to make a little one smile is to tell them NOT to smile! Of course, there’s also the peek a boo, tickle, I’m going to get you type games and the ‘who’s the stinkiest in your family’ type jokes that will help elicit those grins.
  5. Bring along something they love- a favourite toy or book or blanket. And snacks… nothing brings a bigger smile and kills a grumpy food mood better than snacks! Making the kids feel at ease with some familiar things around them will lift their spirits and help them feel relaxed enough to smile, smile, smile.

What’s your best tips for getting through a family photography session with lots of relaxed, happy and natural smiles? Share them in the comments below…

Are you searching for an Australian Family Photographer? Stop looking and start finding! You can find family photographers from all around Australia listed on Find A Photographer. Click here to search.

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