Ready – Set – Relax…and Smile!

Posted on January 12, 2016 by Phillis Brooks



Photographers need the ability to make people relax, laugh, and smile. Hopefully these tips will help reduce the stress level and bring on more natural expressions.

1. Kids often are challenging when it comes to smiling. Phrases that work like a charm are “smelly feet”. Another great line is “monkey toots” or “don’t laugh” Having kids say these same lines will also result in great results.

2. Have a couple that look too serious? Play-acting usually can turn scowls into laughter. While getting ready to take the shot raise your eyes above the camera as if you’re peeking at them. Be serious, your couple will start giggling wondering what you’re doing.

3. The perfect line for wedding photography is, “For this shot, let’s pinch the rear of the person to the left of you.” People will start giggling instantly, so have your finger ready to snap the shot.

4. For a wedding group shot, relaxation is key. Have the group prepared to take the shot on the count of three. One you have that shot the group will tend to relax, that’s the time to take a few more shots, when no one is expecting it. Works wonders!

5. Smiles are much easy to bring out in-group shots sometimes all you need is a gentle push. A line that works all the time is, “Just need one more shot…can everyone try and keep their eyes open this time?”

6. Be a tease. This strategy works great and your success increases when there are two or more in the photo. Take a few shots, if your subjects need to loosen up say, “That was perfect, now act like you like each other!” Get ready to snap away.

7. Shooting a family with children, and one child just won’t smile? This line often breaks the ice, “Everyone smile but Johnny!” 9 times out of 10 Johnny will start smiling.

8. A tried and true approach for adults is to say “Think of a special someone real or imaginary!” Often this will bring a softening of facial features, so be ready to shoot as you speak.

9. Have a bed near? Ask your clients to jump on it like kids, perfect way to break a serious mood. Kids love this too.

Remember keep it fun, have jokes ready, and when something doesn’t work move on quickly to the next idea. “”””””””””>”””””