5 phrases to replace “look at the camera and smile”

If there was just one thing I could say to my clients before there photoshoot it would be this:

You do not need to spend the whole shoot telling your kids to sit up straight, look at the camera and give me a big smile.

To be perfectly honest, if you were looking for a photographer who will deliver a gallery of photos where everyone is staring at the camera with a forced smile… you’ve come to the wrong girl.

Because I’ve got something way better in mind.

A collection of images that express connection and authentic emotions.

I absolutely want to capture your beautiful smiling faces, but I want those smiles to come from an expression of love and joy – not threats and bribes.

(That said, I 100% bribe my kids with ice cream when we get photos taken – so you will get zero judgment from me either way.)

So, “what should I say to get gush-worthy images?”

I’m so glad you asked – here are 5 prompts you can give your little ones to get the best out of them during your shoot.

“Would you like to dance?”

Honestly what could be better than dancing around a beautiful beach or field with your mama.

This is an absolute favourite prompt of mine, it is guaranteed to result in gorgeous photos. I always bring a Bluetooth speaker with me to shoots, so we can pop on your favourite tunes and twirl to your heart content.

For younger babes you can hold them in your arms while you dance.

“Do you know what colour flower this is?”

One of the best ways to get kids to relax and settle into the location is by encouraging them to interact with their surroundings.

This might be picking wildflowers, collecting sea shells, or balancing on a log. Be sure to participate right along side them and ask lots of questions along the way.

This gives me a chance to capture lots of intimate moments and genuine emotions from your little one.

“Can you see any boats?”

Asking your kids if they can see any boats (or birds, or aeroplanes etc) is a great way to distract them if they are starting to get a little over it.

It also allows me to get those beautiful deep-in-thought shots as everyone looks out to the same direction.

“Do you want to hear a secret?”

This one works especially well for shy kids. Tell them you’ve got a secret, cuddle them in close and whisper sweet words in their ears.

Take the opportunity to tell them how much you love them, how proud of them you are… OR say something really silly to get the giggles started.

“Watch out, I’m going to tickle you”

My kids absolutely love tickles (I personally don’t get it haha). But just the mention of impending tickles causes such an adorable reaction.

Crinkled noses, wiggling bodies and the most amazing giggles.

These are just a few ideas that I’ve found work really well, but there are so many more.

Hopefully you now feel a little more equipped for your shoot and how to get those beautiful candid shots we all love.

Ready to book a photoshoot? Send me a message

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