When I shoot Santa pictures and the like, I really want to get a child’s personality into the picture (assuming it’s a good personality). So crying on Santa’s lap is fine, if that is the way it happens. After all, babies cry for a living – do not make the mistake iof always having them look great.
And moments. I look for moments like this (Sunday):
Isn’t that much better than forced, fake, smiles? Parents have been conditioned to expect the latter, but please, try to take the former. Moments and personality, not “necessary smiles”. Those are perfect for good business portraits (Friday):
So – think what the portrait’s message should be. Real personality? A moment in the life? Then shoot those moments. Competence and trustworthiness? Then the latter picture is perfect. Just try not to mix up the two.
And never tell a boy “SMILE”. You can say “Laugh”, or much better, make them laugh.
Sometimes, however, you just cannot get an expression.