I love taking candid photos of children doing what they do best – being KIDS! However, I know at times we all like to have a photo or two of our childrens’ precious faces looking directly at the camera. This is usually easier said than done and once the camera comes up in front of our face, the kids immediately look away. Let’s face it, no child wants to sit and stare at a camera. To get those beautiful photos of your children looking AT you, you HAVE to make it fun! They must be interested in what you’re doing or it’s probably not going to happen without complaining, frustration, and tears…most likely from both of you! Here are some of my top 10 prompts to get those little eyes on me:

  1. Ask them to look at your lens and tell you what animal they see when you take their photo.
  2. Tell them to watch your hand (hold a closed fist just above your camera) and shout out how many fingers you’re holding up (they will be intently watching your fist, so snap the shot just BEFORE you open up some fingers).
  3. Engage them in actual CONVERSATION – ask them about their favorite color, favorite animal, what they like to do, etc. Get them talking TO YOU and most likely they will look AT you!
  4. Ask them to keep an eye on your camera because sometimes it changes color (take a shot and ask them if it’s now orange…take another shot and ask them if it’s now purple…etc).
  5. Tell them you’re going to make an animal noise or movement and they have to guess what animal you are.
  6. Ask them to show you their silliest face. Usually immediately following their silly face will come some laughs and genuine expressions, so keep snapping!
  7. Have another family member (your husband, a sibling, etc.) stand directly behind you and do something silly.
  8. Secretly hold something that makes noise in your free hand (I use one of my kids’ old squeaky toys) and make the noise just as you’re ready to take the shot. Usually an unexpected loud noise will get them to quickly look in your direction.
  9. Play the staring contest and tell them if they look away from you, they will get tickled.
  10. Tell them you’re going to make a face and they have to guess what emotion you’re showing (sad, happy, surprised, etc.)

If you try these prompts and still can’t get any cooperation, don’t stress! Simply wait a little while and try again. I also once said (in my pre-child life) that I would never bribe my children, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do…after all, a little bribery never hurt anyone, right?! 😉