Everybody say cheese!

Published by Selina Cotton on

Why I actually prefer children not to smile for the camera.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love a smiling child in front of my camera, but if your little one isn’t a natural smiler, then your images won’t be a true reflection of them as a person, making your images somewhat false (even though they may well be cute).

Star confetti image by mini moo studios

With Christmas fast approaching, my bookings have drastically increased (I’m definitely not complaining). I have been hosting a few days of Christmas mini sessions, but with each session, I’ve noticed some parents getting a tad frustrated that their child simply won’t smile.
In these situations, I try everything in my little brain of tricks can think of to get them to smile, but sometimes, it just doesn’t happen and in all honesty, that’s ok.
Your images will still be beautiful regardless because I then rely on letting your child’s own personality shine through, to capture them in the most natural way possible. Capturing the real them.

I try to think of it from a child’s point of view; they’re in unfamiliar territory, with an unfamiliar person who is holding a strange device to her head. She’s then making weird noises to get their attention. On top of that, the child’s parents are asking them to smile. It’s very overwhelming for someone so small and young, so I can completely understand why they would rather sit and frown instead 🙂

When you arrive at my studio, I never rush and always allow the child to get used to their surroundings and me. I ask one of the parents to sit close to the child on the set, so that they’re not suddenly plonked down in front of my light and left.
I do everything I can to help your little one get used to me and to make them more comfortable in my studio. I then do everything that I can think of to get them to smile, but in all honesty, I much prefer the images where they’re not even looking at me, but innocently playing on my set. They really do make the best photos.

So, if you’ve recently been to me and you left feeling worried because your little one wouldn’t smile, please don’t fret, I will still have something beautiful for you 🙂

Have a lovely week,
Selina x

P.S. My friend, Claire who is a Newborn Photographer in Belfast has written a brilliant blog about newborn safety during their photography session. Please take a look 🙂


Carli Adams · 20/11/2019 at 8:10 pm

I actually prefer it when kiddies don’t smile in pro photography x

Lisa · 20/11/2019 at 9:04 pm

The non smiley photos always tend to be my favourite. I love the innocence that they show

Claire · 20/11/2019 at 10:03 pm

It’s a crazy time of year with photoshoots isnt it. Thanks for the blog post.

Jay Saunders · 20/11/2019 at 11:54 pm

I love the serious images too

Joanne · 20/11/2019 at 11:59 pm

Ah, so magical

Amy · 21/11/2019 at 1:02 pm

I love the serious faces, so cute!

MADELEINE ROGERS · 21/11/2019 at 10:39 pm

Totally! Kids who smile for the camera often do silly smiles, not natural ones. Big wide eyes are beautiful.

Louise · 21/11/2019 at 11:45 pm

I totally agree. Everyone wants a smily image, but it’s a lot to ask a little one whose in a strange environment. Natural is far nicer

Natalie Moss · 22/11/2019 at 1:44 pm

Lovely images

Kat · 22/11/2019 at 4:02 pm

Great blog, I totally agree! I love to see all their expressions, not just the smiles

Clare Perry · 25/11/2019 at 10:35 am

I love a good non smiley photograph, a natural face.

Mya · 25/11/2019 at 10:42 pm

It is ok to let your children just be who they are! Great blog!

Sharon · 26/11/2019 at 3:49 pm

I love non smiling photo’s too.

Sarah Osborne · 26/11/2019 at 5:05 pm

Lovely photographs, i’d definitely book you if we lived closer to Swindon

Brooke · 27/11/2019 at 6:10 am

neutral expressions are just as adorable as smiles! lovely photographs

kirsty · 27/11/2019 at 9:37 am

awww to me even when a little one doesn’t smile its who they are and the phase that they are going through <3

Hannah Willis · 27/11/2019 at 2:32 pm

Oh yes I am a lover of just natural in smiley photographs. It keeps their eyes nice and wide open 🙂

Kirsty · 27/11/2019 at 5:46 pm

What a lovely blog, thank you

Lauren · 27/11/2019 at 6:30 pm

I love a smile but also love it when they look deep in thought, I think a range of expressions make for a lovely gallery, nobody wants 20 pictures with the same smiley expression lol

Nicole Whyte · 27/11/2019 at 7:43 pm

I love non smiley image too… Love images. x

Emma Sohl · 27/11/2019 at 9:19 pm

You don’t always need a smile!!

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