My daughter Claire, who is two months shy of 3 years old, has recently adopted a "Cheese" face. Each time I point a camera in her direction she yells CHEESE as loud as possible and her expression is the opposite of relaxed and natural.
After trying to explain to Claire that while her cheese face is lovely, a more natural smile would be great - I get this face:
Cute. Then add my 15 month old son to the equation and well, I am lucky to get both of them in the frame. Not to mention that this is AFTER I have chased them around the house for an hour, trying to get them into clean outfits. Basically an epic fail. The best photo I got was this one - and while they are both looking at the camera and Claire is giving me a normal smile, it did feel a little forced. It doesn't capture their joyful spirits, the ones I know and love.
After scouring Pinterest for tips on photographing toddlers, one tip panned out: Forgo the forced smiles by trying to capture them actually laughing and having fun. You start to feel like you are trying to seek out and photograph the Loch Ness monster, like the conditions have to be perfect, the stars have to align, you have to have your camera at the ready for that one nano second when both children are happy and happy together (oh yeah and hopefully they do not have snot dripping down their face and syrup in their hair). What worked for me was photographing them in the morning and I managed to hold the camera and tickle them which led to them tickling each other....I prefer the candids to the posed photos even if they aren't completely crisp and perfect.
Holiday Card Success! What about you - do you have any tricks up your sleeves?