Capturing photographs of children is an athletic task, especially if you want them in a good mood. The studio photographer has props and gimmicks available at the instant the child turns to fussing and tears, though the gimmicks to not always do the trick. Often parents have a better approach, since they are a familiar entity. In the end, kids do not like to sit still. Sometimes you can get one shot done, but then they want to move and wiggle. My opinion, let them move and wiggle. Follow your kids around when they are playing and capture them in the essence of childhood. Sometimes you will need to call their attention to you so that their faces will be visible, but most kids can be convinced to enjoy being in front of the camera. This is especially true in today's digital world where "Can I see?" is a common phrase.
Still, there is always the one who hates the camera, or at least wants to appear that way. Whether it is because they are "too old" to smile, or because they are having a bad day, sometimes it is easier to convince them to smile, if they see what they look like when they don't. Again, the wonders of the digital age.
This photograph is my oldest. She had developed the habit of frowning for the camera. I am not the most cheerful subject either, but the grandparents had requested up-to-date pictures of the grandkids (sometimes we fall into the whole cobblers kids have no shoes scenerio). I told her she was scowling at me not smiling. I then showed her the face she was making and she decided that this was not the face she wanted captured.
In order to find her smile, I didn't have to convince her she was beautiful, or make her laugh, I just had to convince her not to sabotage the picture. You know your kids best. Don't try to create the perfect picture, just take the photograph and you will have the best representation of your kids to hang on your wall.
If you want professional portraits to go along with your now wonderful snap shots, E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a family portrait session or just a session for your kids.