We are on to Day 11 of our Month of Photo Fun and I've got another simple but effective tip for you. Today I'm going to share with you a few ways to get those authentic expressions from your subjects.
And again I'm going to use images from one particular session to show you.
First, loosen up yourself! Whether you're the one shooting the images, or the one in front of the camera, you've got to relax and enjoy yourself. If the kids see you having fun, they will relax too and smile, laugh, and have fun for real.
I love to have the kids in my sessions fall onto mom and dad, or watch mom and dad kiss (do your kids yell "EEEEWWWWWW!!!" when you kiss too?). This gets everyone laughing.
I also keep mom or dad close by. Some photographers will discourage parents from being around during kids' portrait sessions as it makes the kids nervous and more stiff. But if you are relaxed and you encourage mom and dad to relax as well, then you can use them to get the real expressions from their kids. After all, who knows better how to make a child smile than his parents?
Here I had mom and dad behind me and dad cracked jokes to get this great smile from James.
It's so important for the adults involved to relax and have fun with the session. And if you're the one shooting, it's your responsibility to make that happen, so take time to chat it up with the adults you are photographing. Ask lots of questions about them, their kids, their first date, their wedding, whatever! Anything to get their mind off your camera and onto each other and the fun they are having.
And of course, it never hurts to have a dad like this around to get everyone giggling!
Great shot, Jason!
What do you like to do with your kids or friends to get them relaxed in front of your camera? How do you get those authentic smiles?
I'd love to hear your tricks!