My kids are 7 and 3. They are very cute. However they are not easy to photograph.
I’m not the only parent who wants that perfect Pinterest picture. The kids dressed perfectly, smiling in a beautiful pumpkin patch. I want them looking at the camera too. Is it too much to ask?????
It really is. Pinterest pictures are not realistic. It’s not real life. Real life is imperfect and not always pretty. My son has autism and rarely looks anyone or anything in the eye. My daughter is going through the boxy smile phase and has two missing teeth.
I took this picture in Downtown Buford, Georgia in front of the United Methodist Church. They are selling pumpkins for donations.
The church members suggested I take their picture there. So I did. It is with my iPhone 6S. It was a hazy and humid day. They were tired and didn’t want to take a picture. They didn’t want to sit still especially my son.
So I accepted that and took some quick shots.
I pleaded for smiles and looking at the camera but there is not one picture of that.
But I captured this picture. I cropped it. I made it black and white. I think it’s perfectly imperfect. It’s real and authentic. The smiles aren’t fake. The clothes don’t match. My son is trying to run away. My daughter’s hair is frizzy.
I have to say I love this picture. There is a contagious joy expressed here. I love my daughter and her snaggle teeth. No one cried and no one was exasperated.
Kids aren’t robots. They don’t need to be like puppies and smile on command. Here my daughter is laughing and happy. She’s having fun and it’s in the picture.
So when taking pictures of young kids here are some quick points.
1. Take tons of pictures. 1 or 2 will be good.
2. Let them be themselves
3. To help them smile naturally have them say hello or poop. I found that making kids laugh gives a better smile. Saying cheese gives them a fake smile.
4. Dress them how they want to dress. Show their personalities. They are little for a short time.
5. If there is any crying involved, take a moment to snuggle with them and find a way to make them laugh.
6. Don’t take forever to take the pictures. Kids do not have that kind of attention span. Remind yourself it’s ok if they don’t smile or look into the camera. You aren’t taking pictures to impress others but to preserve their childhood.
There is beauty in imperfect portraits. Pictures invoke memories. I don’t want my kids remembering mommy being evil and frustrated. I want them to remember how fun the pumpkin patch was.