Imagine a photo session where your kids actually pay attention to what you’re telling them to do. Impossible? Is this the stuff of urban legend?
Not at all. In fact, it’s really simple to reign back in a kid’s attention.
Allow me, please, to paint an all-too-familiar scene for you. You begin a session photographing your kids. The first few minutes are good–or at least tolerable. Your kids quickly grow weary of the camera. They miraculously can’t hear you telling them what to do next. You know that you want more from them, certain that the next shot is the next great piece of photographic art.
Your blood pressure rises. The less they listen, the more frustrated you feel. As they ignore you, or intentionally defy you, what do you do? Be honest! What do you WANT to do at that moment? Admit it!
You want to yell!!!
As you know, yelling is counterproductive. You might (MIGHT) coerce obedience, but you won’t get the expression you want . . . unless your theme is “angry kids,” then you’re a genius.
When the attention of a child wanes, here is a simple tip to earn it back. HINT: it’s exactly the opposite of yelling.
Think about every, every, every, every time you’ve tried to whisper a conversation to another adult. Your child may have been detonating explosives while listening to heavy metal through headphones, on another continent. Yet the moment you start whispering, there he/she is. Ears twitching, absorbing every word. Right in your face.
So the next time you’re photographing your kids, and they’re finished (but you aren’t), try it. Lower the volume of your voice. And be ready to click the shutter!
The photo above illustrates another benefit of whispering. I’ve photographed these two kids several times. Full disclosure: they are easy, easy, easy to work with! When we created the portrait above, I already had their attention. Yet I whispered anyway. Why? Notice the expressions. When someone turns their full attention to you, they’re not typically laughing or talking or scowling. The face typically relaxes, eyes open a little wider. So if you want the non-smile, relaxed (not angry) expression, WHISPER.
BONUS BONUS TIP!
But if you want to see someone laugh in front of the camera, tell them “Don’t smile in this one.”
Try it out and let me know how it goes for you. Leave your comments in the section below.
And if the beach is your second home (or first), and you’d like an heirloom portrait to warm the walls of your home, it would be my great pleasure to create it for you. Begin the conversation by CLICKING HERE.
And if you’d like to see more of our beach work, skip on over to the Book of Faces.