As a professional photographer, one of the most important skills you need to have is good people skills. Often times, having the ability to make people smile is just as important as capturing that smile on your camera. With kids this is an even greater challenge, especially with large groups when it can be difficult to get the kids to hold still, and smile when you need them to.
Let me give you a few ideas that might help you keep the kids smiling (besides the usual jumping up and down and waving your arms like a lunatic) so you can focus on other aspects of a great family portrait.
- The first idea I have is to bring along a little friend I like to call Elmo. While you may have heard of bringing kids puppets to photo shoots before, I’m talking about the actual show. Investing in a small portable TV that can play snippets of Sesame Street could really attract small children. Not only would this keep their attention, but if you choose the right snippets to be played on there you will have a whole basket full of opportunities to capture their smiles. Adults like Elmo too… J
- My second idea is to jump up and down, waving your arms like a lunatic. Just kidding. This idea involves a simple little toy that kids have loved since the beginning of the universe – bubbles. You can buy a small, battery-operated bubble machine at Walmart for cheap and set it up behind you. Kids will love watching bubbles floating around, and you will get some good smiles out of them if you start jumping around trying to pop them! The only down side to this one is that kids will be tempted to get up and pop them too – which actually might make for some great pictures!
- The last idea I would like to present before you involves the mini TV again. This time, instead of Sesame Street, bring a recording of a kid’s comedy performer. You may have seen these guys – they tie balloon animals and do a lot of silly things that kids like, things like accidentally banging their heads and stuff that kids think are funny… J These kinds of shows can really grab the attention of children and is one of the best ways I can think of to get them to naturally smile over and over again.
If all else fails, just jump up and down, waving your arms like a lunatic! Good luck and just remember that as long as you are always smiling, other people are more likely to smile too.
If you live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and need a great family photographer, I would strongly recommend Lynn Brown Photography. To learn more about her portrait services, please visit www.lynnbrownphotography.com/portraits. She also specializes in wedding photography and high shcool senior pictures.