We always grew up with our parents yelling “say cheese” at us when we posed for photos so it’s natural for us now to do that to our children. But do you know what “cheese” usually gets you?
And that’s actually not his worst cheese face. When you say it over and over enough, peoples faces start to tense and become just a grimace looking smile-like expression that does not represent their true beautiful simile.
Now, if you’ve ever had a session with me you may have heard things like, “guess what? chicken butt!” or maybe even “who farted!”. Gross? Yes. But the subsequent expression you get out of each other is totally worth a second of grossness. See? 5 seconds post “chicken butt”.
I often get families that say they hate to have their photos done because they’re all awkward or that their kids are just not good at listening or that they just don’t look their best etc. Newsflash – a majority of people are awkward at least some point in the session, kids who’ve left their listening ears at home is a common occurrence, and you’re beautiful just the way you are.
I have tricks of the trade to distract you from what I’m really doing – pointing an 18 inch long lens in your face and snapping away. So, when I tell you to have a seat on the blanket however you feel comfortable I really mean it. Plop down and get comfy, I’ll move the parts I need to move and then ask you to do silly things. Tickle the babies, look at who took longest to get ready, everybody look at momma are all common things to be asked. My goal is to get you to be you.
And those earless wildlings, well, we let them be them. My favorite cooperation tactic is to let them call some of the shots. They get to pick poses in exchange for doing a few of mine. Running around mom and dad or throwing leaves all break up the “sit and stare at the camera” mood.
So, when you hire a professional portrait photographer, you’re not just hiring someone to push a button. You’re hiring someone who has experience dealing with those earless children, to help read your family and help them to be less awkward, and to help pose you in the most flattering way possible. We’re there to capture your family as you truly are. And to never ask you to “say cheese”!! (although, “selfie!” was a fun one to use)
My hope for every portrait session is that you walk away from it smile and laughing. I often hear, “That was so much fun!” and it makes me so happy to hear it.
So, if you are on the ledge about booking a session, just do it! You won’t regret having these images of your family for years to come!!