7 Ways to Get Kids to Smile for the Family Photo

Family photos can be lifelong treasures that capture fleeting moments when children are still young. Unfortunately, kids don’t always cooperate when flashbulbs start firing. Here are some practical tips for getting young children to show their pearly whites for your family pictures.

1. Tell them to make a serious face

Kids generally have a difficult time maintaining a serious look without breaking into a smile. This technique is also a good way to get kids to make more natural looking grins, instead of the dreaded stiff smile on demand.

2. Practice together

 Young children are often unaware of how they look when they smile. This can cause them to go overboard, grinning to the point where their eyes squint and their jaw hangs open. Try practicing your smile alongside your child in front of a mirror before your photoshoot. This will help him or her better associate the way a smile feels with the way it actually looks.

3. Tell them to hide their faces

Spontaneity is a powerful tool for getting kids to offer up authentic-looking smiles. Many professional photographers ask children to hold their hands over their faces and then remove them to reveal a big smile after a count of three. This can help eliminate the anxiety of waiting. It can also reduce the chances that your child will get tired from holding a prolonged smile while waiting for the photographer to snap a photo.

4. Use a trigger

It can be especially difficult to get babies and toddlers to smile on demand. Many times, you can coax a quick smile by holding up a favorite toy, book, or even a flower just before you snap a photo.

5. Make sure they are proud of their smiles

Sometimes kids are worried about smiling because they are self-conscious about their teeth. Make sure your child maintains regular dental visits to check for crowding, and to keep their teeth sparkling white.

6. Tempt them with silly pictures

Many younger children feel nervous and unnatural when they are forced to dress up and sit in front of a camera. You can help them relax by taking one or two “goofy” pictures before you snap the “serious” image. Most kids are happy to offer up a nice smile after they’ve been allowed to express their silliness.

7. Take a lot of pictures

When it comes to photographing children, quantity leads to quality. It’s almost impossible to get a great smile on the very first take. Expect to take dozens of pictures so you can improve your odds of capturing that magic moment when everyone in your family is smiling together.

Make sure your kids’ smiles are photo-ready. Schedule an appointment at your local Gentle Dental.