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Expectations for the child and for the photographer. Am I right?

I had an idea for this photo in my mind for over a year. Last year, this little boy went through a phase of firm protesting against putting on any outfits prepared especially for photo sessions (photographer’s child at its finest ha!). So I accepted it and with all my might and patience decided to wait it out while dressing him up in just plain earthy tones, so that he’s always ready for some photos without much preparation. It made us both happy and we could both enjoy our photographing adventures without unnecessary frustrations.

This year he gladly accepted an idea of putting on something that isn’t his regular wear, and play joyfully while I could go wild with my camera. Of course, in my head this photo should depict a smiling little boy playing with sticks, but are kids, and it was not one of those ‘big smiles’ days.

But I adore this photo. I truly adore each and every grimace of his little face from frown to grin. It’s always a picture of AUTHENTIC emotions, and I would never insist on him to ‘smile for the photo’.

I guess this is what I wanted to say today. Dear Parents, don’t do that, please. Don’t tell your children to smile for the photos. The only thing these smiles show is a stretched up face with no happiness behind it. It’s not going to be one of those photos that warms your heart whenever you look at it anyway.

Let your kids be themselves 100% and don’t blame them (or a photographer) for the lack of big smiles. It might be a difficult day for them, new environment, teething, bad mood. Trust me it will be an eye blink before they are teenagers, leaving you longing for those moments when they were little and so pure & honest in their expression.

Let these emotions be authentic and let these moments flow naturally. You will treasure them for what they are in a few years ❤


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