It’s become a tradition in my family that if I want a picture like this:
Then I’ll also be taking one like this:
It’s such a simple thing to offer – “If you guys can cooperate and give me some good smiles, we can take a silly face picture after that. And yes – you can all come and see it.”
Getting just the right goofy face is apparently a process. It takes extra time and, frankly, sometimes it’s time I don’t have or want to dedicate (especially if we’re late for church on Easter Sunday or the sun is setting quickly). Overwhelmingly, I’ve found that the time it takes me to get a good shot without the offer far exceeds the time it takes me to snap the extra shots.
When we have more time, I like to let the kids pick poses after I get my shot. I’m surprised at how often one of their poses ends up being THE shot – either because they arrange themselves more naturally than I did, or everyone is in stitches and the emotion of the shot is amazing. Letting the kids pick poses not only gets me the shots I want, but helps them to see how different combinations and spacing look.
Once in awhile, I’ll offer to let them take pictures of each other (with my help) when we’re done with the pics I want to get. It takes the most time because everyone needs a turn and a couple of my kids can be just as picky as their mom is. When we take the time, though, these are the most rewarding to me. Not only do I get to see what they envision in their heads, I get to really share my love of photography with them.
Yes. I admit; I secretly hope that one day at least one will also have a passion for photography. Even if none of them do, I hope that these little forays into photography will help them see the world a little differently – to look for the beauty in small things and in light.
Waxing less poetically, I’ve been known to stoop to a bribe when all else fails. Just keeping it real.
Whichever method you decide to use the next time you’re trying to get some kids to sit (relatively) still and smile for you, try to remember that it’s most fun for the kids when it’s fun for you. Often easier said than done, but when I’m laid back the results are much better and we can walk away with smiles on our faces.