Don’t Say Cheese


A picture says a thousand words, but sometimes getting the right shot of your beautiful family can take a thousand tries.

So we got some sage advice from three SavvyMom tried and tested (and we have the gorgeous pics to prove it) Toronto-based family photographers on how to get the most out of your family photo-op.

Keep It Focused

Thea Menagh from A Fitting Image shared her tips and tricks for keeping the kids engaged and happy (‘cuz you are trying to capture a happy family moment after all):

  • To keep 1 to 4 year olds from tugging at their hair or putting their hands where they shouldn’t be, wrap a bit of adhesive tape around the forefinger of their left hand (if right-handed) or give them a small bracelet (clear plastic or other). They will sit still for 30 seconds playing with it, and you’ve got the shot you’re looking for.
  • If you’re using a digital camera, show the kids their photos every time you take three or four. They’ll enjoy posing or following your instructions when they can immediately see the results. We all know instant grat is big with kids! Their love of the camera will also permit you to get some great close-ups.
  • When your children have had enough…STOP! Maybe “just two more” if they’re agreeable, but if they can’t trust you with the camera, your next attempt may be far from successful…or fun.

Cut the Cheese

Kelley Soeterik from Little Cupcake Photography had some advice that might be worth changing your old routine for:

  • When your children are posing for their picture, don’t get them to smile by asking them to say ‘cheese’. Despite the wide use of this ‘cheesy’ technique, it’s bound to create unnatural smiles and expressions. A better way to get a great smile is to do or say something silly. Ask them if they ‘had ladybugs for lunch’, sing the words to a favourite song incorrectly, count to ten while mixing up the numbers, or do a funny dance.
  • Don’t be afraid to get close when taking pictures. Move in close and fill the frame of your camera with your child. By doing that you will make sure that your child is the focus of the photo, not the distracting background.

Light and Easy (No Plaid and Polka Dots)

Jennifer Pearson from Jennifer Pearson Photography had some illuminating tips for getting the best pics:

  • Shoot where the light is consistent on those in the picture. Avoid shooting in bright sun which creates shadows and squinting eyes or mottled light—shade is best. When indoors, best to avoid using the flash (less red-eye) and try to use natural light, like near a window.
  • Have everyone wear solid coloured clothing that compliments each other. Don’t wear patterns, logos or stripes.
  • Don’t forget get to kid level by bending down or sitting down so you can better engage your kids.

If after all this, some of the one thousand words still include &#(!(*@ and $#!&*!# as you try to capture your family on film, you can always call in the specialists a.k.a Thea, Jennifer or Kelley.

A Fitting Image

Little Cupcake Photography

Jennifer Pearson Photography

Photo Credit: Little Cupcake Photography


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