I should have said “Don’t ever tell your kid to smile when you’re taking a photo…here’s why”
It’s simple. You lose the authenticity of the moment.
This tip is common in Lifestyle Photography because we do not want to stop the feeling or fluid nature of what’s going on around us. Instead, we want to capture that moment, as it’s happening. It sounds crazy to do. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all the big cheesy smiles. I live for them. I am not a lifestyle photographer. I am a portrait photographer. I live for eye contact.
But, I also live for memories. Authentic, real moments. The kind that stops time, and reminds you of your babies when they’re sweaty smelly teenagers. Or when they’re grown. The kind like below, where my kids were swinging. My son LOVED when his sister pushed him on the swing. It was that summer that he learned to pump on his own, and she hasn’t pushed him since. When you focus on the activity and not the eye contact, you create photos full of magic. The moments you love to look back on for years to come.