Please click on "View More" Say cheese... What? STOP!
We have all done it… You are taking a photo of your child or friend(s) and you say to them, “Say cheese.” What? Where did that saying ever come from anyway?
Do we really want that fake smile or would you prefer a spontaneous, natural one? The answer is obvious. Getting someone to that place where they’re naturally smiling is an art, and one that can take a lot of energy, practice, and persistence.
One thing to remember is it isn’t necessarily what you say but how you say it that will makes a difference. Your subject(s) has to be comfortable and relaxed. You have to be comfortable and relaxed. You have to be having a good time. YOU HAVE TO SMILE.
Here are some ideas:
Mention that them they look great. Tell them that you like what they are wearing, or you like their hair, orsomething that gives them some confidence.
If you are photographing children old enough to take to, ask them about their favorite TV show or cartoon character. Talk about school, their weekend plans, and/or their friends. Having a conversation with them can help relax them and create a more natural photo.
If everyone is smiling except one person, you could say, “Everyone smile except ___________.” (Which usually produces smiles) Another approach is to ask them to think of a special someone, whether they’re real or make believe. Sometimes this will produce an instant softening of the eyes.
Don’t be afraid to be silly yourself. And don’t be in a hurry. Always be ready for that shot.
Portraits that are posed well often have heads close together.
Telling someone to squeeze their partner helps bring out the smiles especially when you say, “Tighter! Tighter!”
Memorize a couple of jokes. Knock, knock jokes are fine.
Knock! Knock! Who’s there? Hanna who? …Hanna partridge in a pear tree!
Or – have them tell a joke.
Have one of the people kiss the other on the cheek. Or if there is a child with two parents, have them both kiss the child. Do a raspberry on someone’s cheek.
Tell them all to make a funny face. Put rabbit ears behind each other. Stick out their tongue. Tell them to pinch someone on the bum. Have them all jump into the air. Cry, “Tickle fight!” Hold hands and spin around (which could end up with falling on the ground). Be ready to shoot all the smiles.
Have them pretend they are in a photo booth. Tell them the photo booth will take four consecutive photos and they are to pose differently for each one. Count down: 3, 2, 1, and then shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot. This creates movement and spontaneity.
There are some go-to lines that usually do the trick. With girls, try having them walk a few steps towards you and then do a modeling pose as if they’re on a runway at a fashion show. Many girls love the thought of being a model and will respond favorably. For guys, have them talk about their favorite sport, or musician, or hobby and strike a pose like they were one. Use a prop.
There are always the super hero poses for fun.
If a child is small enough, tossing them into the air. This always brings a smile on both the child and parent. For adults, you can lift your partner into your arms or put them on your back.
The key is to have fun. Loosen up and remember a few of these tips.