South Jersey Photographer – 5 Back to School Photo Tips

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Back to School is around the corner and that means trying to get the perfect first day of school picture of your kiddos. The hope for one picture of everyone looking at the camera and smiling. Always sounds like a quick good idea but usually ends up in eye rolls, whines, and frustration…I’ve been there. Here are 5 Back to School Photo tips to get kids smiling and looking!

New Jersey Family Photographer, Nancy Elizabeth Photography, Siblings Hugging

1. The Technicals

These tips may not help get the smiles or eye contact you’re after, but they can help create a prettier picture and capture the memories you’ll want to look back on 5, 10, 15 plus years from now. First, squat down and get on their level. You want to have your camera be at eye level with your kids so that you are not aiming the camera down at them. Next, in addition to the smiling picture we all crave, don’t forget to capture the details to complete the story (close up of missing teeth, how big their book bag is compared to them, the walk to school, boarding the school bus, the wave goodbye, etc.).

NancyElizabeth New Jersey Child Photographer | Close Up Portrait

2. Don’t Smile

Anyone with kids knows they like to do the opposite of what you ask. Tell your kids not to smile at you. Playfully and with a fun energy say things like, “I’m serious, don’t smile at me. Is that a smile I see? I said don’t smile at me. Hey, hide those smiles. I don’t want any smiles over here.” This usually results in some giggles and smiles!

NancyElizabeth New Jersey Family Photographer | Smiling Preschooler Portrait

3. Can you See My Eye?

This one only works if you are using your DSLR camera and not a phone. If you are aiming more for eye contact and worried less about smiles, this is a simple trick. Ask if they can see your eye in your lense. Another option is to ask if they can see their favorite tv show character, princess, a rainbow, etc.

NancyElizabethPhotography, South Jersey Photographer, Relaxed Gaze into Camera

4. Ask For Help

If you have someone stand directly behind you, they can do all sorts of crazy things to get some smiles, singing, dancing, giving you bunny ears, etc. But in order to ensure you have good eye contact in your picture, you’ll want the person helping you to stand directly behind or over one of your shoulders. You don’t want wandering eyes in your picture.

South Jersey Family Photographer, Nancy Elizabeth Photography, Child Portrait Pink Dress

5. Have Fun

Don’t make getting the perfect picture stressful for you or the kiddos. They will pick up on it. And remember, when you were little the last thing you wanted to do was have your picture taken too. So, have some fun (make silly faces, laugh as loud as you can, etc). And get it done fast so you can all go back to enjoying the day!

New Jersey Family Photographer, Nancy Elizabeth Photography, Girl Smiling Portrait

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