We all want our kids to look at the camera during photo-taking. We also want them to smile. And we want them to keep their eyes open. And we want them to pose, sometimes. And what’s worse, sometimes, there are more than one camera aimed at the child. Or we take multiple shots (once with DSLR, once with mobile phone, another once with another mobile, and yet one more with the other mobile which takes better pictures!) How do we get the kids to co-operate so that we can take wonderful shots?
I find it tougher when there’s more than one child involved in the photo-taking. We tried saying CHEESE to LOOK HERE to OPEN YOUR EYES. And in the end, the photo always ends up with grouchy looking children with fake smiles on their faces. And there goes that moment!
Through the 9 years parenting my 3 kids, I learnt that there’s a technique that has proven to be quite effective. I am assuming that the photographer has already chosen the best position with proper lighting and adjusted his camera with the right aperture.
Here are 3 steps to get a perfect photo with kids. (The person speaking has to be excitable, and not a domineering discipline master-type)
1. Tell the kids: “Everyone come close together and FREEZE”
This is when you see if there’s any body parts blocking another person’s head. You can shift the hands and heads as they are in freeze mode. Do this another one more time to perfect the positioning of the final photo. DO NOT TAKE OUT YOUR CAMERA!! The sight of the camera always takes out the spontaneity of the shot.
2. Then say, “We are going to have a special competition. You have to shout as loud as you can, but your eyes must open as big as possible.”
Do this only once. Get them to shout something random like “Look at ME!” This is a dress rehearsal. You should standby your camera to take a shot if possible.
3. Finally, say “Now I will say FREEZE and we will shout out “abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz” as loudly as possible. Remember to keep your eyes open. Are you ready? FREEZE! now, at the count of three, you shout… One, Two, Three!!!”
Snap away!!! The phrase “abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz” that you get the kids to shout should be related to the event you are in. For example, at a birthday party, “Happy Birthday John!”, at a public holiday gathering, “Happy National Day!” or at a food place, “Yummy Chicken!” or at an event “Mickey Mouse”.
Try to use a phrase of no more than 3 words. Always use easy words that even the youngest child can try to emulate.
We hope this works for you, it works for us most of the time! The other times are attributed to the unpredictability of the kids!