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HOW TO // Document Genuine Expression

Have your child sit or stand in front of you. Choose good lighting and a plain backdrop so the focus can be on your child. Resist the urge to outfit your child, wash their face and brush their hair. Nothing encourages a melt down quite like primping does. When the urge strikes and the mood is right- get on it.

Make a variety of suggestions to encourage your child to be expressive- “Show me your angry face! Perfect! Now show me the face you have when mom surprises you with a fun treat…Great! Oh! What about your tired face…” And so on. Get creative. “Show me your grandma face…show me your cold water face.” Children don’t limit their expressions so don’t hesitate to suggest things that seem like nonsense.

Children love to see the images as you take them so stop and share. For a uniform look  just memorize where you are sitting/standing. I prefer to kneel in front of my subject while I sit them on a low stool. Most importantly- never discourage children as you photograph them. Comments like, “Not like that…no, show me your pretty smile” have no place in a photo shoot- neither casual nor professional. Please don’t poke a hole in your child’s ability to be themselves in front of a camera. On the contrary, celebrate and applaud every expression.

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