No cheese, please | atlanta child photographer
I don't know about you, but I can't stand when people tell their children or other little kids to say "cheese" when having their picture taken. I totally understand why they do it. Supposedly when you say cheese it looks like you're smiling. In reality, it can look like the child is in pain. Or maybe their expression makes me feel pain when I see it. Hmm, I'll have to think about that one. Either way, it's just not a good look. Just so you know, young children don't really know how to smile on cue. Well heck, there are adults that can't do that either. Anyway, when we demonstrate how we want them to smile, it's usually forced and unattractive and that's exactly what the children portray. They are only following your lead and you are leading them down the wrong path when it comes to smiling.
When having your child's portrait taken, I would imagine that you want the most authentic image of them. Now if they run around with their teeth firmly pressed against each other and their lips spread in a grimace on a regular basis, then fine. But if that is not the case then something has to be done and saying cheese is not it. Here is an example of the grimace that I so dislike.
Now here's one of him with his real smile. See the difference?
First of all, I photograph children because of how genuine they are. What you see is generally what you get and I appreciate that. Secondly, children, depending on their age, do not care what they look like. Besides, they can always say it wasn't their fault the way their mother dressed them. Aside from that, when children are having fun or find something funny, they will give an authentic smile or a laugh or giggle. That is what I do. I make them laugh and we have fun so I don't ever have to have them say cheese. I don't necessarily even ask them to smile. We play or sing or talk funny until I get the smile or reaction that I'm looking for.
You might ask, "What about the children who are generally very serious?" Well, if that's their personality, I photograph that. Even though there are very serious and thoughtful children out there, they do smile every once in a while. If I know they don't smile often, then that lets me know that I don't have to work extra hard for a smile that I may not get. I just let things flow naturally and if they have fun they will share a smile with me. Like this little fellow here. He was very serious, but after spending time with him and playing with him, he showed me that he has a beautiful smile.
Knowing that he wasn't much of a smiler, I don't believe I asked him to smile at all. But when I got the above image, I felt that he trusted me and decided to reward me with a smile. Just to let you know, I had to do some serious searching to find an image with the "cheese smile". Since I don't use that tactic those types of images don't really exist for me. If cheese was ever uttered it was not by me, I assure you. Usually, I have some awesomely helpful parents. I love the assistance, but please don't tell your child to say cheese. I will sing their favorite song with you, do a dance, whatever, but please don't tell them to say cheese. If you want them to say something, tell them to say something that will make them laugh. One of my little clients was thrilled to get to say the words "pee pee". That cracked her and her sisters up!
So, if you have images of your child with a pained expression on their face that's supposed to be a smile, bring them to me. I can fix that for you! And remember, please don't say cheese, unless you're ordering it on your sandwich.
Keywords: beautiful, child photography, children, children's photography, fun, fun with kids, happiness, happy, life, photography, photos, portraits
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