My lovely eldest who is 3, proudly perfected his own camera smile in the last year – and it’s not always pretty!! Squinty eyes.. minimal expression…and a clear show of teeth!

This first photo here is pretty much the result of anyone asking my eldest to smile. This one is actually not too bad to be fair. He was 2 here and being his Mum I do find it a little bit cute… but he’s 3 now and the smile is getting worse! Love him 🙂


There was a time when he was clueless that I was even taking a photo –  and every photo was beautifully natural. But now… he breaks into the camera smile. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Luckily, he has a Photographer as a Mummy who is experienced in getting natural smiles 🙂 Here are some impromptu photos I took him the other day whilst location scouting



So what kind of things happen on a shoot to ensure that children (and adults!) look natural?

On a standard length shoot where we have lots of time to play with, the first few minutes are usually spent chatting! I’ll chat with the parents and I’ll chat with the children. And I’ll probably get very broody over any babies attending! Before we even start, we’re all feeling pretty relaxed.

Don’t worry one bit if you have a little one who pulls a funny camera smile too.. Or if you have a little one who refuses to look at the camera completely! It’s absolutely normal and it’s my job as photographer to bring out their natural personalities and unique expressions – it’s what I love to do!


Slightly older children love little games – especially when they involve mum and dad. Sometimes I think the mum and dad secretly enjoy these games more than the kids 🙂 And all the time I’ll be gently guiding everyone to the best spot in terms of lighting and background.


Shy children will usually start off having lots of shots with mum or dad and I might get them to help me make some of the decisions to make them feel part of the important stuff! Children with lots of energy will be free to do some running around but don’t worry, I have clever little ways of making them be still – even if only for a few seconds!

Very occasionally, some children will just get a bit fed up! They may have arrived to the shoot very tired or maybe they are under the weather. I know that in these circumstances you cannot force a child to be super smiley. In these (thankfully rare) cases, you’d be surprised how you can still get those split second little smirks or even just their beautiful pondering little faces. Some of my favourite shots of children are not necessarily ones with big smiles.




So if you book a shoot with Amy Blackwood photography, you wont simply be sitting pretty and smiling! It’s a fun couple of hours and I always encourage parents to come along with plenty of energy and silliness!

If you are interested in booking a shoot, do get in touch and I can let you know what dates I have available.

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