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Getting Natural Smiles From your Kids in the Family Photo Shoot

Updated: Mar 7

My philosophy when working with the kids is to help them be themselves! They are naturally so photogenic. I let them be who they are and as they naturally fit into their family. This is key to getting natural smiles from your kids in the family photo shoot.

Instead of worrying that you have to bring all the smiles, I help you out by bringing a few to share.

Family Pictures Don’t Have to be Miserable

I can just see it on my mom’s faces when they drive up and the pressure leading up to the San Diego photo shoot. The last minute lost shoe and the family fight it took to get to the photo shoot on time.

Then there is the photographer. A stuffy family photographer can set the whole stage for a stressful shoot or a personable one will set it up for one full of love and laughter.

I’ve learned setting the right tone in the first few minutes really helps the kids to relax. Instead of ordering them around I let them be themselves for a minute and getting a giggle from them to set the shoot up right.

Tricks to Getting your Kids to Smile during a Photo Shoot

I found the trick is to let my guard down so they can let down their guard, the dorky jokes, the simple songs, and dances. Take a second to ask for that last high five before the shot. Sometimes just I lean into the good ole… “Don’t smile! Whatever you do don’t smile.”

Kids are so authentic and so easy to get a giggle out of. I lean into their strengths. We laugh a lot in the sessions. I also have families bring props like a blanket or favorite truck, and instruct them to layer their clothes.

When you book me- I do all the work with the kids and I let kids be kids. All the sudden the San Diego family photo shoot is less stressful and everyone is having a good time. I have them run and play and throw autumn leaves. They get to make all kinds of funny faces for me and we giggle a lot!

I'm a San Diego, natural light photographer who specializes in High School Seniors and Family photography. I shoot from Poway to La Jolla to San Diego and Coronado. I love photographing connections and capturing memories for you to keep and hang on your walls!

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