How to eliminate fake smiles during your session

Kids are completely unpredictable. They can be so adorable and easygoing and laughing uncontrollably one minute, and the next minute, turn that charm off completely! They will typically smile for you all day long until you put them in front of a camera; then they freeze up like a deer in headlights. We want to avoid the gritted teeth and bug-eyed forced smiles during our session.

Here are some things you can do:

1.     Make a list of things that your child thinks are are funny and send it to us prior to the session. This way, we can be prepared and add these things into our bag of tricks.

2.     Also give us a list of icebreakers for your child. Tell us the kinds of shows they watch, music they listen to, friends’ names, favorite story, etc. This will give us something to talk to them about, and will help them to forget that they are in front of the camera.

3.     Practice phrases at home to see which ones will evoke the best smiles from your child. (Please avoid “Say cheese!” unless that really works for you child.)

4.     Try out a couple of jokes with them. During the session, we can ask them to tell us a joke and this will typically loosen them up as they tell it to us.

5.     If there is a song that your child loves, load it up to your phone and bring it along with you, or be prepared to sing it for them during the session.

6.     Prepare a bribe (such as a toy, a trip to the zoo, etc.) and show it to them, or remind them of it during the session.


Recently I spent some time with sisters Michelle and Laura and their kids Aiden, Emma, and Owen. As with most kids, the two older ones didn't want to be part of the photo shoot, but they eventually opened up to me and gave me beautiful smiles! Emma was so cute in her dress and accessories, and was happy to tell me all about how she chose them for the session! Aiden was so shy, but just look at how handsome he is and that sweet smile. I am very good with children, so trust me when I say we can elicit some smiles during your session!

Enjoy some photos from their session below!

Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.
Rodriguez family photo session at Papago Park in Phoenix,  Arizona. Photos by Jade Min Photography.