Valentines & her posed smile

My mom always made every holiday special growing up. It was never anything extravagant, stuffy or over the top – just simple little things that said, “This day is special! Let’s celebrate!” I am not very good at doing the same. Thankfully, I live close to my parents. My mom and my mother-in-law never miss a holiday. Cards, candy, trinkets – all the things I never buy. Grandparents are pretty amazing.

My mother-in-law dropped off goodies and special treats to surprise the kids when they woke up on Valentines Day. My mom hosted a little Valentines party for all her grandkids. Well, minus the youngest grandson. He is only 4 months old, but my boys were a bit disgruntled that he wasn’t in attendance representing Team Boys. I told them next year.

I snuck over to the party for a few minutes to check it out. My mom had all the kids laughing with a game that rewarded any ping pong ball landing in a cup with a M&M. (Yes, I know college students play a game with a different prize…kids don’t know that).

50mm, ISO 400, 1/800, f/2.8

2.16Valentines-0150mm, ISO 400, 1/640, f/2.82.16Valentines-0250mm, ISO 400, 1/800, f/2.82.16Valentines-0350mm, ISO 400, 1/800, f/2.8 – chocolate…she was obviously having a great day!2.16Valentines-0450mm, ISO 400, 1/800, f/2.82.16Valentines-0550mm, ISO 400, 1/800, f/2.82.16Valentines-06

My 4 year old recently developed a new ‘smile at the camera face.’ As soon as she sees me taking a picture of her, her new smile automatically pops up. It makes me laugh each time. No matter how much I try to tell her to just smile normal….this is her new normal. I always snap one or two of these smiles because I want to remember this phase and I don’t want to discourage her willingness to let me photograph her.

50mm, ISO 400, 1/500, f/2.82.16Valentines-07Photo tip: In order to get a natural smile, I have to catch her when she doesn’t realize I have my camera out. While she is looking another direction, I will get in place and get my settings correct. Then, I will wait for something to cause her to smile and I’ll say something to get her attention. Usually, I have about a second to snap the photo before the double chin awkward posed smile returns. If you have a ‘poser’, you might try that method for capturing a more natural smile.

50mm, ISO 400, 1/500, f/2.8


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