Don't Say Cheese
I've often expressed my love of photographing toddlers and preschoolers. That's not to mean that I don't love photographing bigger kids, I just find them to be more of a challenge than little kids. But it's a challenge I work hard to overcome because I 100% believe that it's important to capture photographs of our growing babies at every stage. We tend to leave out our older kids and Tweens when it comes to photographs. We have thousands of photographs of our babies and toddlers, and we make Senior portraits a priority for our older teens, but we have a tendency to leave out those all important middle years.
So I want to make beautiful pictures of older kids, because it's important. But I need your help. You see, it's not the big kids fault that they are harder to photograph...it's societies. From an early age, we constantly tell our kids to "Say Cheese", which has evolved to not really requiring the subject to actually SAY cheese, but to put on a fake CHEESY smile and look directly at the camera. Please can we stop doing this?
"Say Cheese" is the number one issue with photographing big kids. They have been so conditioned to stop what they are doing when a camera is pointed at them and put on a super fake smiling pose. It's SOOO hard to overcome this and capture real genuine expressions. Adults do it too, because we too have been conditioned with "Say Cheese." It's so bad, that often during shoots as I'm chatting with older kids or adults in an attempt to get them to loosen up and relax, that they respond to my questions through clenched smiling teeth, making my attempts to capture genuine express through our conversation essentially impossible. This is exactly why I often tell my clients that the only rule is that no one has to smile if they don't want to. Because guess what...if they don't want to smile it's going to look fake anyway.
So I will keep working hard to overcome this problem and work on using sarcasm, acting a fool, fart jokes and other such methods of getting big kids to loosen up and act real. (And don't these three just look absolutely stunning...after we got them loosened up they did AMAZING.) But please help me out and stop the cheese madness. Cheese belongs on pizza, crackers and most any food imaginable but it does not belong at a photo shoot.
Love these pictures? I would love it if you would leave a comment below and consider sharing this post with friends!