Summer is primetime for outdoor fun. If you have kids, then the sunny season is also a super time to capture your kids at their funniest while participating in outdoor activities.
Often, parent photographers get caught up in trying to capture the perfect picture of their kids striking just the right pose. Moms and dads with cameras are often guilty of forcing their mini models to break out their pearly whites and flash just the right smile before hitting the shutter button. My suggestion: Forget about forcing children to smile. Instead, find something that they think is fun, then start shooting.
If you are working with young kids, then try telling jokes or using funny props to elicit a natural smile. During a recent trip to our local mini golf course my daughter fell in love with the mock “JAWS” that stuck out of the water hazard on hole #16. I couldn’t resist having her pose by the shark. She was more than willing to do so, and even cocked her head to make it appear as though she was Jaws’ afternoon snack.
If you are working with a particularly difficult child, then consider having him play with a favorite toy. A child snuggling with a stuffed animal or riding on his rocking horse makes for cute photo ops. Once a child is comfortable with his surroundings he’ll be more likely to open up and reveal his true personality. When he does, make sure you have your finger on the shutter button.
Finally, when taking funny shots of kids, don’t forget to shoot at their level. Don’t be afraid to kneel, sit or squat near your young subject. Not only will your flash work more effectively, but you’ll also be able to capture natural expressions from a much better angle. In addition, the photo will illustrate life from the child’s perspective and you won’t have to worry about proportion and weird angles.