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Kids are completely unpredictable. They can be so adorable and easy going and laughing uncontrollably one minute, and the next minute, turn that charm off completely.

They will typically smile for you all day long until you put them in front of a camera, then they freeze up like a deer in headlights. We want to avoid the gritted teeth and bug-eyed forced smiles during our session.

Here are some things you can do:

1. Make a list of things that your child thinks are funny and send it to your photographer prior to the session. This way, your photographer can be prepared and add these things into their bag of tricks.

2. Also give them a list of icebreakers for your child. Think things like the kinds of shows they watch, music they listen to, friends’ names, favorite story, etc. This will give your photographer something to talk to them about, and will help them to forget that they’re are in front of the camera.

3. Practice phrases at home to see which ones will evoke the best smiles from your child.

(Please, oh please, avoid “Say cheese!” unless that really works for you child.)

4. Try out a couple of jokes with them. During the session, I can ask them to tell me a joke

and this will typically loosen them up as they tell it to me.

5. If there is a song that your child loves, load it up to your phone and bring it along with

you, or be prepared to sing it for them during the session.

6. Bring along or prepare a bribe (such as a toy, a trip to the zoo, etc.) and show it to them or remind them of it, during the session.