6 Bright Ideas for How to Smile for Pictures (Kid Edition)

How to smile for pictures – it seems easy enough, right? Wrong! Adults are often self-conscious about their smiles and struggle to smile naturally. Kids, with their unparalleled energy and minuscule attention spans, can struggle even more. But, never fear; there are some easy, practical ways to get kids to smile for photos and make the entire experience seem less daunting.

So, how can you make your next photo session a success for your kiddos? First, communication is important. Talk to your photographer ahead of time about your little ones; explain their ages, interests, and behavioral tendencies. Ask questions about how comfortable he or she feels working with young children.

Then, send your photographer this link and try implementing some ideas from this “how to smile for pictures” list. You’ll love the results and will no longer dread your annual family photo session!

Read More: What to Wear for Incredible Photos with Family

Use Your Words

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Let’s start this list of “how to smile for pictures” list off with the basics. Forget the “say cheese” instructions. The kids have heard that a million times. They are either going to go incredibly stiff with forced smiles, or they’ll tune out altogether.

Instead, use words that are more fun. Instruct them to say their favorite princess or superhero. Or, have them neigh like a horse. Tailor the instructions to their interests. On the count of three, you’ll get genuine smiles.

Pack Your Bag

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Even if your photographer has plenty of props, always be prepared with items you know your little ones will like. 

Some common props that kids will love include bubbles, streamers, and balloons. These usually create beautiful photos. You might also consider confetti if you don’t mind the mess. If you’ll be taking pictures outside, make sure to get biodegradable confetti to avoid harming the wildlife.

If you’re planning an indoor session with a bed or couch, you might consider letting your kids bring a favorite stuffed animal or blankie – those are fun for snuggly, cuddly photos. They provide texture in the photos and help the little ones feel safe and secure.

Read More: 6 Perfect Photo Locations for Any Occasion

Wiggle It Out

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Don’t be afraid to get silly! Have dad tell some corny jokes to break the ice. Turn your phone on to a favorite song and get a dance party going (try Meghan Trainor’s “Better When I’m Dancin’”)! The giggles will be so genuine that you’ll laugh every time you see the final pictures hanging on your wall.

Also, if you’re trying to get a few posed shots, promise your little ones that if they smile and behave well, they can take goofy photos right after. The kids will hold you to that promise, so make sure your photographer is on board and instruct them to be gentle looking at the expensive equipment. Who knows – you might like the goofy pictures even more!

Get Candid

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Candid pictures are amazing. They capture your family as they truly are. It’s time that we all embrace more candid photos.

Consider scheduling your photo session at a playground and, after a few posed shots, letting the kids just play. Capture them midair on the swing set or shooting down the slide. They might get a little muddy, that that’s okay. Similarly, you could go get ice cream and simply go for a family walk. Will you get sticky fingers and melted treats? Absolutely! But you’ll also get an incredibly fun experience.

So, go candid and capture the belly laughs, tickle wars, and messes! Candid photos take off the pressure of perfectionism and fight the onslaught of comparison we all feel nowadays. Plus, the kids will have fun and you’ll have this memory recorded in the most beautiful way. 

Read More: Daily Mom Expert Corner: Photo Collage, Turning your Favorite Photos into Masterpieces

Let Them Help

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This is where your big little helpers can shine! Before you even go to your photo session, let your kids have a say in their outfits and poses. Even if everything doesn’t match perfectly, or if they say that they want to take a photo doing a handstand, everything will still look great. And, allowing them to have input will help them see the photo session as less of a chore and more of an opportunity. 

At the session, let them know they are being helpful when they listen, follow instructions, and have happy faces. If you have older kids, ask them to make silly faces to get the toddler to laugh. Sometimes, little tykes just adore their older siblings, and it shows!

You might ask your photographer if your kids can see the back of the camera after some of the shots. Children are often fascinated by the camera and how it works; if they know they will get a chance to see themselves on the screen, they might make more effort to follow instructions and give their best smiles.

Bribe Them

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Don’t be above bribes! As moms, we’ve all done it.

Promise your kids to take them out for ice cream after the session if they do well. Or, if you have young ones that need more immediate gratification, bring suckers, fruit snacks, candy, Teddy Grahams, or marshmallows. Or, if you want cheaper, food-free options, promise a trip to the playground or family movie night at home.

No matter the bribe, communication is important. Remind your kids throughout the session of your promise, and make sure you have the time and budget to follow through. Then, they’ll trust that they will indeed have fun and be rewarded the next time you plan a family photo session, and they will more likely be on board from the get-go.

Read More: DIY Photo Shoot Props For Kids

Good Luck

So, did we answer your question about how to smile for pictures? 

With kids, it can be difficult to get good family photos, but it’s not impossible. Kids want to be happy. You know them best. So, find what makes them shine and use it to your advantage during your photo session! 

Don’t forget to book a photographer who is good with little ones and can offer patience throughout the process. Make sure he or she has experience photographing kids. A professional will communicate well with you, respect you as a mom, and love spending time with your kiddos.

In short, make it a fun time for your kids and enjoy the experience. You’ll cherish those photos all the more for highlighting true, genuine, sincere family moments of love and bonding.


How do I make my smile photogenic?

Have fun and wear clothes that make you feel great!

How can I smile naturally in pictures?

Try candid photos. Just have fun and let the photographer snap away.

How can I be more photogenic?

You might say, “I don’t know how to smile for pictures,” but you just have to be true to yourself. Pick a location you love. Pick clothes you love. Pick props you love. And, pick a photographer who can guide you with kindness.

Why can’t I smile for pictures?

You might ask how to smile like a model, but you don’t have to be a model. You just have to be yourself. Photography is all about capturing special moments of YOU in YOUR life.


WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Daily Mom’s Parenting Section for more advice, tips, and tricks.

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