Say “fromage”!

Parents, please, please, please, don’t ever point a camera at your child and tell them to say cheese!
There is good reason for the term, “cheesy photograph”, or “cheesy grin”. And it is not a good thing. I don’t think I have ever had a usable image of a child saying “Cheese”. So why do so many of you still do it? And for that matter, when you have hired a professional to do photos of your child, don’t talk with the child unless the photographer asks you to. You don’t want the child interacting with you, you want him or her to interact with the photographer. Or even to be lost in their own world.

"Cecelia" is an outtake from a family session, taken during a break when she was relaxed.

Children are beautiful and generally have nice expressions without a big toothy smile. If you have to cheer them up you can always resort to poopoo or fart jokes and get a laugh. Let them be relaxed and natural.Neva Kate in pink. She was watching a cat outside the glass door, which provided the natural light.A photo session with a child should be a low stress situation. I have seen many times, that a child is so uptight about the photographer coming to photograph them, that the whole session was ruined. Let kids be kids. I prefer that the parents just tell them that Mr. Bryan is coming over to play with them, and let me take it from there. It is also best not to get them to wear something that they are not comfortable in. To take a child to the beach dressed in starched khakis and a white button down is torture for them. And invariably, the pictures show it. Let them wear shorts or a swimsuit, and maybe a nice t-shirt. The thing that I want to concentrate on is getting a pleasant, happy expression, and the eyes.

"Garner" is "painted" in Corel Painter.

The eyes are what creates magic in a portrait of a child, or anyone for that matter. And they are what I concentrate on.

Thanks and keep grinnin’, but don’t ever say “cheese”.


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