Why I don’t Ask Kids to Smile for the Camera

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As your family photographer, I want you to know I respect and support your parenting choices. Honestly. I’m a mom to a very opinionated and strong 6 year old. I know how hard parenting is and how much work we put into achieving any kind of goal when kids are involved. And this question keeps coming up, “how do I get my kids to smile for the camera?”


When I give you advice that seems more like parenting advice than photo related, is because I believe it will help you have a relaxed and enjoyable time during your family session.


Now, one thing that I will keep going on and on about is this. Please, for the love of pancakes, don’t ask your kids to smile during your photo session with me. 


Here’s why…




Not all Smiles Are Made Equal



Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself to smile. Do you see that? Now, look at yourself in the mirror and ask one of your kids to walk in and say something funny. Now we’re talking, right ?


A forced smile will never, ever, feel the same as a genuine one. I can find you a million quotes on Pinterest that prove so.

During my family sessions I make a complete fool of myself trying my best to entertain your kids to get them to show all the joy they have inside of them. Most often though is the parents who will say something silly or sweet that lights up their face. So, instead of spending your time asking them to smile, you can spend that same time thinking about things that you can talk about that will make them happy, that’s when the magic happens.




All Emotions are Beautiful




Every photographer has their own personal style and artistic vision. My vision as an artist is to show the world that all emotions are valid and beautiful.

I believe pain, joy, fear, love, anguish and so many other emotions are all equally important.

For that reason, I’m not looking to only get pictures of you and your family smiling. That would not be, in my opinion, a truthful way to tell anyone’s story.

I value every emotion and expression you and your family give me during our time together. In fact, I long to find in the pictures those quiet moments when I can see deep inside a human soul. And that very rarely happens when people are smiling.

So, if you are looking for photos that only portray the happy and joyful side of your family. I’m probably not the right photographer for you. And that’s ok! 

But if you, like me, want to see your story in pictures in the most raw and truthful way, then I’m here for you.








Kids are Natural Smilers 




The reality is. Kids smile. They do. They smile quite a lot. They smile when they see a squirrel running in the park, or when mom makes a silly face. They smile when dad tickles them and when their brother tells a fart joke. They smile when their sister is being sweet and hold their hand. There are a million ways to make a child smile. Not one of them needs to involve telling them to do so. 


Now, if you are on team “tears are beautiful too”, let’s book your session! Click Here





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