Ways to capture genuine expressions include setting up a fun activity to engage the child. Then you get natural expressions. The little girl is eating cookies at table, and playing with the sprinkles jar in front of her.

April 29, 2020


We all want to capture genuine expressions of our kids.  As we all know, it’s really hard to line up our kids, and have them give us the adorable photos we’re hoping for.  Right?!  It’s a nice day, they’re all wearing cute clothes (if we’re lucky!), and we promise them a popsicle, a movie, and a playdate, if they’ll smile for us and let us take a few shots.

But it usually doesn’t work as we’d hoped.  Don’t we usually get forced smiles, our kiddos elbow each other, and asking how many more minutes?  I know.  I’ve been there, years ago when mine were little, and I didn’t have the photography skills I have now.  I would get so frustrated, and mad at them.  And of course, the more mad I got, the worse the situation became, until someone stormed away, in tears.

Well, I’ve lived and learned!  And I want to share with you, my families, another approach, which will let you capture genuine expressions.

What we’re really after is capturing our children’s personalities, their enthusiasm, their joy, yes?  We can get that SO much more easily when we take pictures of them in the midst of doing something they enjoy.  Think of an activity, maybe something in the kitchen or playroom, or outside, where there’s plenty of light.  Light is important.  Set yourself up for success by planning the action in a light-filled spot.  See where I’m going with this?!… Spontaneous, but also planned…

Pick an age-appropriate activity, something you know you’re kids will enjoy, and set it all up ahead of time.

Get your ingredients, your supplies, before the kids arrive on the scene.  That’s KEY!!

It’ll avoid stress, delays and frustration, which would derail your plan to get great photos.  Then, when you’re ready,  get your camera (remember to charge the battery and have a memory card or film!).   And finally, choose a time of day when that sunlight is good.  If that means waiting a day, that’s fine.  Again, remember to set yourself up for success!

And THEN, call your kiddos to come play!!

As they explore the activity, get right up close to them and take your photos.  It’s important to get up close.  You really want to catch their faces, their hands, their cute little toes as they sit on the floor.  These details are great to capture.  They’re likely to be so interested in what they’re doing that they won’t mind the camera.  You can also get multiple kids together, just by quietly sliding them close to each other, or changing your angle.

Your results won’t be the same as the traditional line-up of your children standing next to each other, but you’ll be so thrilled with the adorableness and genuine expressions in your pictures!

Want to see other fun ideas for your kiddos?  Take a peek here and here on my blog.

How I Can Capture Your Kids’ Genuine Expressions/Boston Family Photographer