3 Tricks To Getting Kids To Look & Laugh at your camera

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Ever found photographing young kids to be a little unpredictable? Do you get overwhelmed by trying to get them to cooperate for the perfect picture?

I see you! I know exactly how that feels! I felt the same way in my early days as a photographer.

I remember coming back home from sessions exhausted and frustrated because nothing went the way I hoped it would. Sounds familiar? Keep reading…

Nowadays, not only am I able to get kids’ attention, but I also have some tricks up my sleeves to get them to cooperate, and actually enjoy the session. This always results in images infused with genuine laughs and lots of joy, which is the main reason my clients hire me to take their photos.

It definitely took time to get to where I am. And after lots of trial and error, I was able to develop a family session posing system that will get me the result I want, every single time! 

In this blog, I am going to share with you my three favorite tricks to get kids to laugh in their family portrait session. These tricks are going to make your life as a portrait photographer so much easier 😉 

Trick #1 for making kids laugh in photography sessions: There is a monkey in my camera 

My first and favorite trick to get children to look at my camera and laugh in family portrait sessions is simply to tell them that there is a monkey hiding in my camera.

This is how it typically goes:  

I ask the kiddos with a mystirius voice :

“diiiiiiid you know that there is a monkey in my camera?!”

Then will ask if they can see it?

Depending on their response I might say:

-If they say no:

 “Well sometimes if you laugh at the monkey then it will come out!!” 

-If they say yes:

“Realllly?! WOW!! (with lots of excitement) What color is it?! Is it blue? Yellow? Pink?”
 (They almost always will say the color and that alone will get the sweetest smile/ laugh) 

Trick #2 for making kids laugh in photography sessions: There is an actual monkey on my camera. 

A few months ago I stumbled upon something that is called shutter hugger. A shutter hugger is a little stuffed animal that goes on top of your lens, and it is AMAZING. 

I do not put the shutter hugger on my lens right away, because once kids see it it will make them laugh a few minutes until they are no longer excited about it. I typically would wait to a point of the session where the kids are starting to lose their attention. At that point they have already used several of my tricks and we are starting to lose that initial excitement that they had. 

Then I sneak the shutter hugger onto my camera and pretend as nothing happened. They will often point out the fact that there is an actual monkey on my camera and that is when I would act so surprised (the more over the top my reaction is the more it will get them to laugh) 

You can view & get the shutter hugger HERE!

Trick #3 for making kids laugh in photography sessions: I SURE hope Mommy/ Daddy is NOT doing anything silly behind my back. 

There is no person that can make their kids laugh better than their own parents. Kids love seeing their own parents do something that is silly. It’s especially funny if they do not expect it to happen.

 And it is even more funny for them if they feel like their parents are “breaking the rules” and are doing the silly thing behind my back after I just said “ I sure hope Mommy/ Daddy is not doing anything silly behind me” 

As the parent behind me is performing the silly action I keep on saying things like: 

“I hope nothing is happening behind my back” 

“No one is doing anything silly behind me right?!” 

Remember, your tone matters so much here. Speak with lots of energy and  put your acting skills to the test. 

There you have it, 3 of my favorite tricks to getting kids to laugh in a photography portrait session. Hopefully, these will help! If you are looking for more posing tricks that will make your life easier you can get all of my secrets in the MB family posing guide!

Until next time, friend! 


July 20, 2021

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