Photosanity – Capturing Natural Eye Contact and Smiles

Hi All!

As you probably know, I’m mentoring a group of San Diego photographers who have signed up for Photosanity. It’s an online workshop that helps parents take better photos as well as get a handle on organizing, editing, and sharing them! You saw a post about the first week’s lesson on the five triggers here. This week’s lesson is filled with lots of tips and strategies on how to get your children to cooperate in front of the camera. I hear it’s not an easy task! :) The lesson is filled with all kinds of tips and strategies. I’m going to share a couple tips I like to use to capture natural eye contact and smiles!

I mentioned Sophie’s story when I was interviewed for the NestingNYC blog as part of my mentorship with Photosanity:

Little Sophie was taking a while to get warmed up to me, so I asked her to help me get her mommy and daddy to smile at the camera. She was a fantastic assistant! When I showed her the image I captured of her parents, she had a huge smile on her face! I told her it was her turn, and I was able to catch this precious shot.

So, my first tip is to get your child involved in the photography process! Perhaps you have another child (or friend or spouse or pet) that you can use as a subject for a few moments while your child is playing around or otherwise not paying attention. Not only is it a great opportunity for you to capture him while he’s in his own world, but you can quickly call his name to snap an image while he’s looking right at you with that inquisitive eye.

Another tip is to keep them occupied with something else. I took this photo at a recent session that we did right before Valentine’s Day. I took along some of my mini red heart cookies and had Lena hold one for a couple shots. She was more interested in eating it than in holding it for a photo, so, in this image, she’s pulling the cookie up to her mouth, as if she’s about to take a bite! Her mom and I kept saying that she could have it once we got the photo we wanted, so I love the little smirk she’s giving since she knew she wasn’t supposed to eat it. :) And don’t worry–we let her chow down right after this shot!

I’ll be blogging about future workshop lessons so make sure you “like” me on Facebook to get the latest updates! In the meantime, you can also check out the free Photosanity video lesson on the top 5 tips to take better photos of your kids!!


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I love the idea of including the kiddos in the process and be your “assistant” . . . The photo you captured was precious!