5 Photography Tips For Getting A Real Smile

Oh, kids. Don’t you hate it when they say “cheese!” and give you that canned grin? That look is something between “This hurts!” and, “Is there something in my teeth?” The fact is, every kid has a beautiful natural smile. When that camera comes out, though, they turn into little smile robots. Would you like to get a natural smile every time? Then read along and discover my 5 fail-proof photography tips for getting a real smile.

Photography Tips For Getting A Real Smile

  1. Relax. Nothing cans up a kiddo faster than when Mom or Dad is tense behind the camera. So loosen up and make a few silly faces. Instead of staring straight into the camera, giving orders, make eye contact with the kids and show them you’re trying to have fun.
  2. Use Reverse Psychology. Believe it or not, if you tell your little ones not to smile, you may very well elicit beaming, radiant grins. So get overly serious, open your eyes wide, and tell them they Must. Be. Completely. Serious. No smiles, no matter what. And be ready, because grins and giggles are on the way.
  3. Capture the action, capture the moment. Instead of asking your kid(s) to stay still and smile for the camera, let them just do their thing. Whether they are going down the slide, swinging at the park, or exploring the backyard, they are happy and in their element – and that makes for great photos.
  4. Be willing to be natural. In the age of digital images, it’s fine to let bloopers happen… and lots of them. Kids have so much energy that it may not be realistic to expect that everyone will be facing forward and smiling nicely. Mouths will be open, one kid is sure to be facing another direction, and the unfortunate bunny ears will likely appear. Let it go and keep shooting. In a moment of pure joy, you’re much more likely to capture something magical. Some of my favorite photos of my clients are the ones where no one is looking at the camera.
  5. Get gross. Once you’ve tried the above tactics, here’s a last resort. Kids think gross words are hilarious, and even more so if a straight-laced adult uses them. So stretch your imagination and let loose. Stinky socks. Boogers. You know what works with your kids. As a warning: you may find these words totally unravel them to the point of no return, so save this tactic for last.

photography tips for real smiles

The perfect photo is one that captures your loved ones in a moment of true emotion. Let go of your idea of perfection and capture your kids just being kids. You may not end up with “perfect” photographs, but you’ll perfectly capture the memories that matter.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2016Are you still looking for a few amazing gift ideas for Mother’s Day?

I am thrilled to have gotten the chance to contribute to this Mother’s Day Gift Guide that was prepared with the help of fellow North Carolina members of The National Association of Professional Child Photographers.  We teamed together to bring you a handful of great ideas from our favorite stores, and we also featured our favorite gift idea inside. Check out page 7 to read all about it!

This Mother’s Day Gift Guide was created with contributions from:

Jeannie DeSena of Words & Pictures by Jeannie DeSena, Jody Dixon from Jody G Photography, Sara Brennan from White Box Photo, and Carolyn Ann Ryan from Carolyn Ann Ryan Family Portraiture.

I hope you enjoy and if you use any of the ideas within this document, please let me know!

Download here:  Mothers Day Gift Guide 2016

5 Newborn Photo Session Tips

Having a newborn is special. Your days are filled with sweet yawns, happy smiles and moments of awe. But, the time you have with your newborn is short. Before you know it, you will be wiping peanut butter from your curtains and chasing monsters out from under your toddler’s bed. So, how do you capture that special three months when life is just beginning? With a newborn photo session, of course.

To help you with this process, I’m sharing 5 newborn photo session tips regarding what you will need to keep handy.

5 Newborn Photo Session Tips to Help You Prepare

newborn baby hands photography1. Light Clothing

Prior to the session, be sure your baby is dressed in clothing that is easy to remove and will not wake them upon removal. Better yet, have only a loose fitting diaper on and wrap them in a blanket. This way, the baby can be minimally disturbed when preparing them for the camera.

newborn baby and mother bonding

2. A Warm Space

Start by making sure your baby will be comfortable throughout the photo session. This means you should warm up your home and create a space that will be comfortable and warm for your baby. Doing so will help keep your baby relaxed and happy throughout the photo session.

newborn baby sleeping

3. Necessities

You will also need to have handy any necessities to care for your baby during the session. This could be bottles and formula, soft blankets and pacifiers. Diapers and warm wipes are good to have too. Cold wipes can startle babies.

newborn baby in crib and baby held by dad

4. Soothing Items

Sometimes babies can become a little fussy during the photo session. For this reason, I recommend having soothing items nearby, like a pacifier, toy, blanket or white noise sound machine. Also, I always encourage feedings during my sessions. Anything to keep baby happy and relaxed.

Newborn baby lips and hands

5. Relax

Along with all the things you need for your baby, make sure you remember to relax at the same time. Babies can pick up on tension so being calm is a great way to keep your your baby relaxed too!

Newborns grow and change so quickly. They really can look very different from one week to the next. These tips will help you have a successful newborn photo session and help you capture those precious first moments to enjoy for years to come.

Interested in an in-home newborn session? I would love to hear from you!

Swansboro NC newborn photography | Baby Fletcher

I really love newborn sessions! By providing in home newborn photography, I get the chance to glimpse at families unique lives. It truly is an honor. Each family has their own special story and telling it through photographs is my passion! In home newborn photography is more than just getting a picture of the new baby – but collecting details and memories that tell the story of this amazing time in your family’s life.

Swansboro NC newborn photography – Sweet Baby Fletcher

My husband was awesome to have shared my business card at his work because it brought me to this really sweet family. Baby Fletcher was awake and kicking about on the couch when I arrived. I quickly set up my posing pillow and backdrop in big sister Lila’s light-filled playroom. As I got started photographing her baby brother, she seemed very curious and watched from afar. I was able to get some sweet shots of baby Fletcher before he made it known it was time for a break. When babies get a little fussy, it’s usually because they are getting hungry or need to feel mom or dads touch. At that point I love to sit back, observe and photograph the natural interactions of the parents and babies. Those are the sweetest moments! Mom did a little feeding and then dad took over with a little burping. True teamwork! Watching both mom and dad tenderly hold baby while also taking care of big sister’s needs really pulls on my heart strings and reminds me just how much I love what I do. We finished the session with a few shots in the nursery room, with the family enjoying their newest addition.

Swansboro NC newborn photography

 

Decorating With Photographs Is Affordable And Personal

decorating with photographs
I am convinced that there is nothing more beautiful or inspiring to hang on the wall of your home than a photo of someone you love. Decorating with photographs of your children sends them a message:

“I see you. I find beauty in your existence. I love the silly moments when you’re just having fun. I love the serious moments when you’re focused and determined. I am proud of who you are and want to share my pride with everyone who enters our home.”

However, decorating with photos is usually so expensive that you only want to invest the money in hanging up picture-perfect professional photographs.

Decorating With PhotographsDecorating With Photographs: A Personal Touch

I love the incredible canvas prints and beautifully mounted photos that are easily worth the investment for a lifetime of beauty preserved on display. However, I also love the idea of hanging up photos of your daily life, taken candidly as the mood strikes you. Proudly display your messy toddler in the high chair, the photos of a first lost tooth, and the time your kid cut their own hair. These photos don’t have to be painstakingly prepared to be displayed, and I recently learned of a fun, affordable way to print large paper posters of some of your favorite casual photos, perfect for hanging in a kids room.
This website offers 16×20 inch poster prints for just $3 and 18×24 inch poster prints for just $4. The shipping is a $10 flat rate, so the more photos you print the cheaper the shipping becomes per poster. The paper posters are matte only, not glossy, so these won’t be prints you want to spend money framing. They’re just fun, big posters you can hang up in your kids room and not worry if something happens to them, because they were an affordable design choice that let you share some of your favorite moments with the world, even if they aren’t technically perfect photographs.

Decorating With Photographs

I love sharing tips like this on my blog whenever I come across them, to help you celebrate your family in all its silly, messy, fun day-to-day glory. However, I also want to help you capture the professional family photos you will cherish for life. I think there’s room on your walls for both.

 

Welcome

I'm Erika and I am a maternity, newborn, and family photographer based near Wilmington, NC. I'm also a mom to two cutie boys, wife to a handsome captain, lover of backyard gardening, wine and Amazon Prime.

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Serving Wilmington north carolina and surrounding areas

910.719.3633 hello@erikariggerphotography.com