my boy….the 6 year old

So yesterday I shared that I took the boys yearly birthday pictures. My middle son was not very thrilled with taking 5 minutes out of playing in the yard to have his picture taken. I’m guessing most parents understand how difficult it is to get pictures of kids that just don’t want to be photographed. I thought I would share how my time with my son went…as an encouragement that you can sometimes still get a great shot despite an unwilling subject. Normally I would have just waited for a day he was in the mood, but time keeps slipping by and I just wanted to get it done.

So, the session began with this shot. Can’t you tell how incredibly thrilled he is about it all?

I asked, begged him just to look at me and smile. And got this.

The more I asked for cooperation, the more I got this.

Now, here is my trick – I just keep snapping. Eventually in the midst of the grumpy & goofy faces he is bound to let a smile out simply because he is actually having a little fun being a squirt about not smiling for me. So I just kept snapping…never getting upset with him, being calm about it, not making his mood worse, just waiting. And in that waiting, for one split second an adorable grin is released. Because I was still snapping and being calm about the whole process, I was ready and able to capture that very short smile.


And a nano second later, this face returned.

I changed angles a bit and told him how much I love seeing his smile – he gave me a little one on his 0wn.

Then the smile disappeared. I let him jump off the chair. Trick #2 – let little boys (and girls) jump off things. Brightens their mood instantly. But, once the jump was over…the not so happy face returned.


I asked him to stand still….he responded by moving around. Watching me try to capture him in movement made him laugh. And, I captured that smile. I could have got upset with him for moving around, and then we would have just both been grumpy. I let him play his game, it allowed him to smile and I got 2 cute natural grins.

Then we moved to location number two. He was thrilled to have more pictures taken…

“Please just a couple more with a happy face.”…and I got these:

I told him that some people believe if you make a silly face long enough, your face will freeze that way. He thought that was funny and laughed. I was ready for the laugh and caught the big smile.

He realized I caught the smile and his face quickly changed.

No problem…I got what I wanted and our very short session was over. That made his smile return.

Update: The settings for all of these photos were the same! ISO 100, 1/500, f2.8 The sky was overcast so I could just leave it all the same. If you notice the background..the closer I am to the him, the blurrier the subject. The farther I moved away from him the less blurry the things closest to him.

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