Quick Photo Tip | Combatting "Picture Smile"

G-Man is at that age. That age that all photographers dread. "Picture Smile" age. "Picture Smile" is that smile that all kids start to get. That fake smile that shows up when we tell them to say "Cheese!" This is G-Man's "picture smile."

I mean, he's still cute, but that fake smile makes me crazy.

"Picture smile" is my sworn enemy as a portrait photographer. I have a lot of tricks I use to combat it, but my favorite is one I used with G-Man the other day when we took the bluebonnet photos.

It's a pretty easy little trick. Instead of just telling him to smile, I have him run through the entire gamut of emotions.

"Give me your very saddest face!" "Your silliest face!" "Your craziest face!" "Your angriest face!" "Your most surprised face!"

I'm shooting photos the entire time (thanks to digital!) and by the time we get through a few emotions, he's laughing and I'm getting his natural smile.

Silliest:

Happiest:

Not every trick works for every kid, but with G-Man, this one works like a charm. And if that means I end up with a picture like this:

Or this:

Or this:

In order to get this:

Well, that is absolutely okay with me.

Try it the next time you take pictures of kids. I'd love to hear if it works for you!