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8 Ways to Avoid Cheesy Kid Smiles

Capturing natural photos of kids is a challenge, I know this very well! I thought it might help to share some of my top tips on capturing natural smiles from kids so you can try these at home yourself.


1. Say Anything But Cheese

Unless you want the "kindy smile' you are best off to ask your child to say anything but cheese. Literally, anything else. "Undies!" is my fave, but pizza, chocolate, brocolli, smelly-monkey-fluff-bum-hippopotumus all work well too.

Literally, anything but cheeeeeeese.


2. Sit on the Special Stool

I have a cute little stool. I also have a cute swing. And a vine rocking chair. The prop list is embarrassingly long so I will stop there, but I am a professional photographer so of course I have these really cute pieces in my prop collection to draw on.

In your home, have a think about the fun spots they would like to sit or a cute prop you can sit them on in different locations. Having them seated can help them keep their feet still and make them feel special and ready for photo time.


3. Do a Silly Dance

This works in both directions. You can dance, making them smile and giggle, or they can dance which really gets them to relax and let their personalities shine through.

Copying each other's move can also be loads of fun and make way for some great shots.


4. Squeeze Hugs!

Kids love hugging their siblings. *Cough cough*

I find that kids will go along with me because I'm not their mum, but for my own kids I tell them to hurry up and get it done, make it as corny as they like, pull silly faces at each other and then one more normal one for me. See, it wasn't that hard was it?


5. Walk and Talk

A great one for families of all ages - I love the informal walking photo of everyone looking towards each other. Depending on the age of the kids, they usually have a great time walking, dancing or playing chasey.


6. Do a Dinosaur Roar

Ask them to dino roar at you, then act really scared of the roar. The kids think it's hilarious to make adults fake scared, and there's your moment to take the photo.


7. Simon Says

For fidgety kids I love this game. I usually go with something along the lines of:

"Simon Says put your hands on your head" (no photo)

"Simon Says touch your nose" (no photo)

"Simon Says wag your bottom" (photo of giggles)

"Simon Says put your hands in your lap" (usually nice photo)

"Clap your hands.... I didn't say simon says!" (photo of giggles)


8. Just be Kids

Talking to kids about their hobbies, music, friends, parents, a whole range of topics will help to relax them down from a nervy "Cheeeese" photo or a pouty selfie face and help capture the true person inside. Younger kids like to explore, and those inquisitive moments are just as beautiful as looking at the camera.


I hope you have picked up a few tips for the next time you are capturing the perfect photo of your kids. At Family Photography by Natarsha March the focus of all of our sessions is to make them as pleasurable as possible for those being photographed. For kids, that usually means lots of giggles and playing and I think we could all do with more of that!

Happy snapping!

Contact Natarsha today to book your family photography session.

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