July 13, 2010

she's at that age~so here's a tip

you know
that goofy age
when they look at you with a smile that you've never seen before
that isn't them
at all
they're smart enough to escape the candid shots
you're trying so hard to get
that's my sweet and adorable niece right now
i went outside with her
told her she had to smile with her eyes
that her lips had to stay closed
for adults
this is easy
children have a hard time
not smiling
~there must be a lesson here~
the next time you're with a child whose smile is
"not them"
ask them to smile with their eyes
the few moments it will take them to try to understand what you're asking for
will usually end up being the best time to grab some shots
after that
those little smarty pants will figure out something else
to not look like themselves


  1. WOW...that second shot!! I'm mesmerized!

  2. When I was in college I used to work at one of those ticky-tacky antique photo places at a mall. Ours was less ticky-tacky than most, but that's beside the point. ANYWAY, since we wanting to mimic those old photos without grins, but wanting to still play to the modern sensibility of looking pleasant in photos (so they'd buy them!) we'd use the same trick. Worked like a charm. I'd never thought of using it on kids before, though. Great tip!

  3. The black and white picture of your niece is wonderful. Which one is her favorite of herself?

  4. Ahhh haaaa... so that's the trick. She really has it down well in the first one! they are both staggeringly beautiful portraits.

  5. What a great idea, and she is an absolute doll!

  6. AnonymousJuly 13, 2010

    i actually did that with my son the other day. i asked him to smile with his eyes, and he looks at me funny and goes, "does that mean the corners of my eyes have to move up? because i can't do that."

  7. I love the sun burned nose and cheeks:)

    Can't wait to see if this tip will work on an almost 5 year old....

    word verification= gringli:)

  8. well. this is wonderful and if i thought the photographer who worked for us would actually do this, i'd tell him, but if it comes from me, he pays no attention. gorgeous & smart!!


  9. Oh I like that...smile with your eyes! Wonderful shots Beth. Your niece looks to be my daughters age...so I get it :)

  10. Good tip! Everyone has that collection of pix with the staged smile or whatever one calls it. I'll have to try this.

  11. Beth...this is wonderful~!

  12. Beautiful photos!! And what a great assignment to give her! She did good too!

  13. brilliant trick girlie... LOVE.
    and beautiful portrait. 'sigh'

  14. Love it! Thanks for the tip. She is a cutie.

  15. She is so completely adorable. And 'in her skin' at such an early age. You captured her spirit totally!!!

  16. LOL have you been watching too much Tyra? if you start saying fierce I'm going to crack up.

    wonderful shots

  17. AnonymousJuly 14, 2010

    i love this advice beth! i am going to try that with my youngest.

  18. AnonymousJuly 14, 2010

    Love the colored photo and how it shows off her rosy, pink cheeks. Such a sweet photo.


  19. i HAVE been playing too much to even sit at the computer. off again soon.
    But love visiting your blog.
    your last 5 posts are all amazing. I love this one of your niece. I agree, there is a stage where the natural is hard to catch. You did good.
    I love love love the pics of yo below! SO great.
    You are beautiful.

  20. Oh clever you. I'll have to remember that.. though I don't tend to take many photos of this nature. She's a beauty, that child.

  21. I love love love the black and white of your niece. The framing is perfect...up close and personal. I love your blog writing style too. :o)

  22. Lovely photos but, of course, the photographer is a true genius.


**I love reading the comments you leave, as they make me feel like we're sitting in my kitchen, having a cup of tea, discussing life and wondering where all the time has gone ...beth