After six years of blurry photos, tear-stained faces and red eyes that no amount of photoshop could remove, I can honestly say that I get it. Trying to get your kid to smile for the camera is a real bitch.
Before you start banging your head against the wall, I’ve pulled together ten tricks to get your kid to smile for a photo that are guaranteed to work every time:
#1: Congrats – it’s a baby! Like every new parent, you should go out and buy the most expensive camera you can find. Now store it away in the darkest corner of your bookshelf. Get used to the deep feeling of disappointment and resentment it evokes. This will prepare you for future frustration when they ignore the fancy present you bought and play with the cardboard box instead. Go buy a cheap camera phone, stick it in your back pocket and move on with your life.
#2: Time to call in a professional. Worried about doing it yourself? Don’t be embarrassed! There’s no shame in booking an expensive photoshoot. When the photographer stops to check the light levels for the 14th time, snap a photo with your cheap camera phone. This photo will come out better than 95% of the professional shots.
#3: Smile for Grandma! Did Grandma send you an adorable, button-covered sailor outfit that she just has to see on Baby Jane? Time for the obligatory photoshoot! When your pleas have degenerated from “Say cheese for Grandma” to “FFS, smile, dammit, just one single time” start bashing yourself upside the head with your cheap camera phone. Now have your spouse pop out of hiding and snap the look of glee on your child’s face. THANKS GRANDMA, CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT CARE PACKAGE!
#4: Did somebody say Mamarazzi? Time to dust off your fancy camera and take it and your kid to the park. Follow along with me here, because this one has a very precise recipe. First spend 35 minutes finding the perfect, sunlit spot. Then spend another 35 minutes trying to coax your child off the monkey bars and into said spot. Rip hair from your head in frustration. Eventually resort to using a telephoto lens while hiding behind some bushes. Pro tip: Don’t forget to check the surrounding area for dog poop first..
#5: Straight off the cover of Vogue – Let your children dress themselves in their an outfit of their choosing. (You know the one I mean.) Position them next to your ugliest piece of furniture, the laundry pile or some other item you don’t have the skills to photoshop out. Then take photos.
#6: Nobody smiles like a streaker! Let your child run around in their underwear, or a diaper….or better yet, just let them go naked. You’re going to want to make sure you save this one for when they start dating.
#7: If it worked for Picasso…Feed them ketchup, spaghetti, any berry, melted chocolate or other similar item. Turn your back for what you swear is a split second. Then snap a photo.
#8: If your 2 year old can use Google – Place your phone on the couch and then leave the room. Added bonus is that they’ll probably also upload the 265 kid selfies to Facebook and Instagram for you!
#9: They keep those lights low for a reason – Take your kids to the dirtiest, darkest indoor playground you can find. Forget your flash. Their gleaming smile will the only thing you can make out in every shot (and trust me, that’s a good thing).
#10: You know how the saying goes – If you can’t beat them….grab your selfie stick, scoop them into your lap, wrap your mommy arms around them and say cheese.
What are you waiting for? Go on and take some photos!