Smiling Tutorial

Hey! After I finished the portrait makeup tutorial, I thought it might be nice to do a brief tutorial with Smiling Tips for Portrait Day!

In addition to those listed in the video, I thought of a few more ideas:

1. Make a list of a few memorable funny moments you had together as a family.  Make sure it won’t hurt anyone’s feelings are be a tease-fest for one particular family member! Tell the story again and get people laughing and happy.  Refer to the list when there is a lull or whining.

2. Make a plan to go somewhere after the portrait and get a treat or see a movie, so that you can anticipate it.  This is kind of a bribe, but what I meant in the video was, don’t make wild promises out of the blue in the midst of a desperate non-cooperating/smiling situation.

If baby is unhappy you can stuff cheerios in her mouth one at a time.  And maybe you can be on a secret mission to pop m & m’s in bigger kids mouths but be secretive about it. Make the kid think the photographer doesn’t allow it and as long as they keep obeying and smiling, you’ll sneak one his/her way.

3. Have water and snacks available that are NOT MESSY and do take breaks.  Have the photographer shoot you having the snack! (so bring a pretty picnic baskets and cloth napkins!)

4. Take a break and do funny faces or jump or a big hug or a pile on Dad…. choreograph it so the kids know this is an exception to the rhythm and they have to go back to organization again after the chaos. If you know your family and know they will never be reigned in, save this for the end.


5. Be straightforward about the day. Make some rules about behavior, to listen to the photographer, try not to get messy, etc. Let the kids put on their photo clothes right before the photo, and take them off right after.  Be sure they know first we take a picture, then we go to our favorite restaurant!  Then all you will need is gentle reminders throughout the shoot about the plan in place.

6. Talk about the “old times” as Lolly would say, and imagine what it would be like to stand really still and hold your face serious for a really long time while the camera worked, and how worse life would be if you were doing that.

7. Avoid bright sun. Nobody likes it.

Can you tell I have had some stressful family photo situations before? But most of them have gone really well.

Enjoy the video:


2 responses to “Smiling Tutorial

  1. I don’t know if you mention this in the video (b/c my computer is messed up and I can’t watch videos right now), but my photog. that we’re using in a few weeks suggested we bring a kite to the photo shoot. We are taking family photos at the beach and while she’ll of course get photos of us a little more “posed”, she said with little kids it’s always good to have an activity in mind, too. So she can take photos of them and us just playing and being natural, plus it distracts them/gives them something to look forward to. Another photographer I used did this too, when T was one year old. She has us bring a favorite ball so he could play with it in some photos (not all of course). So maybe if kids are little, bringing a prop that they love could help break up the “smile and stand straight while your photo is taken” thing.

    • Kristy Glass

      I love the kite idea, especially in a beach setting. Unless you are me and can’t get a kite to fly. ; )

      Sent from Kristy Glass’ iPhone

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