Catching that smile


December 17, 2021

Dear Photographer,

Catching that smile

Do you want your person to smile when you take his or her picture? It depends on what you want to convey in your photograph.

How do I as a photographer encourage a natural smile for portraits and family reunions. ( I don’t do weddings)  One wouldn’t think this a problem. Smiles are a natural thing we all do. But this can be a challenge when we are in front of a camera, right? I warm myself up to people and usually everyone is comfortable by the time I click my camera but in one click of the camera, the smile can be gone. Whether I’m doing a portrait or a family reunion, getting everyone to smile can almost be awkward. They want to look good, right? It’s my job to make sure of this. Do I want sad faces, do I want them to look like they’re like being together. Do they need to look at the camera?  Of course I want to prevent a fake, strained smile. I try to catch my people in a natural way. Getting them to laugh at a joke, but having them say words like CHEESE is very tempting sometimes. I sometimes tell them to say SEX and this one gets a chuckle and a natural smile but not all crowds or people are alike. I once was told by a photographer that telling them to SMILE is not being a good photographer. I believe this, I want natural smiles.

I learned from one of my workshops that if you have your subjects say hi, this will work beautifully. We’ll, I need practice with this too. My son now has a better smile when it comes to his picture being taken because I told him about saying hi when he’s in front of a camera. Most of the time this works and can for all of us. So now it’s 1, 2, 3, say Hi, click

If you have any ideas on how you encourage your people to smile in front of your camera, Please share.



D. Lind, Photoartisan

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