Field of Dreams: think of it when you start to say these words to your children…”say cheese!”
Stop… take a moment, a breath even! Stop and think of the line in Field of Dreams…”If you build it, they will come!”
It’s the same way with the natural smile and the natural laugh we all want to see in our pictures that we take of our kids!
Sure that goofy, super cheezed up toothy grin is amazing in it’s own time! Trust me… I do love it. I do want it and there is absolutely a time and place for the good, old fashioned “show me your biggest, best smile”!
But the best images are those where we capture our real selves… the natural smile, the natural laugh, the candid captures of our personality and who we are to depths of our souls! (Ok yes, I know that got a little deep).
So… how do you get that natural smile from your always moving toddler, or your sassy six year old? YOU create it!
You have to build it, just like in field of dreams. You have to create an environment where they can relax and let loose; where they can come and be themselves!
The best piece of advice I can offer for this is to let them be themselves~!
Sometimes Linc is super serious and very intent on what he’s doing! He has this super intense stare (we call it blue steel) but it’s real brooding and dashing in a way! I love when I get to capture that on camera because that is absolutely the real him! It’s a side of him that not many people get to see too often! I like Linc to understand that he can be exactly who he is in front of the camera and it’s beautiful no matter what! I love for him to see all the different faces he makes and how he looks and then see his reaction!
But I get it! Sometimes you are just dying to capture that amazing smile to share with family or friends! I want to capture it too. The best way to do that is to make them laugh! Build an environment of fun and crazy! Let yourself go a little bit and be silly, trust me you will get a laugh or a reaction from kids if you (the adult) starts pulling out all the stops!
Some of my favorites especially for little boys because they can be the hardest little critics:
- Animal noises! Who doesn’t love a great animal noise?! Plus animal noises from a grown adult… pure silliness! The elephant and the monkey seem to always win out for me!
- Ridiculous songs! This works really well for girls too. I sing the name game song so many times on sessions and sometimes I have to be careful I don’t let a word slip out that shouldn’t be there!
- Body noises… This is a real winner for little boys! The more disgusting the better, they can’t get enough of them. Boys are so weird!
- Silly faces! This is the BEST! I always ask my young and older kids when I feel like I’m getting the usual “Fake” smile to give me their best silly face! I will do this again and again and again until I get a break and a laugh! It always works and then it breaks the ice a bit as well!
There are all sorts of things you can do to make your children laugh or smile. You know them the very best so get out your camera and start shooting! Remember it’s only a silly noise or a silly face away. You just have to be willing to create that environment and let them be themselves!