One of the hardest things about photographing kids is that they don’t want to look at you. They’ll stare above your head, at your feet, or on either side of you, but it’s as if they think the world will end if they just make eye contact. I don’t know how many times I’ve asked one of my kids to look at me and he replies “I am looking at you!” while obviously staring in the opposite direction. With toddlers it’s even worse: I think it’s hard wired into them to view looking at the camera as an act of surrender comparable to admitting that, yes indeed, they actually are sleepy. Hence a bazillion photos of kids looking elsewhere and only a few of them actually making eye contact with the camera. Want to increase the odds of getting that awesome photo where your child is looking straight out of the photo at you? Get a cute (or creepy) character and some candy involved. We’re talking PEZ here, and it works every time.
(Please ignore the fact that the PEZ shown in this post is like the creepiest thing you’ve ever seen. I’ve had to remove if from my bedroom because I kept waking up at night sure it was staring at me with those beady little eyes. And what’s with the goat-like beard? I think it’s maybe supposed to be Fantastic Mr. Fox, but we’re all still a little unsure which species it actually is. In the words of my 5-year-old: Mom, is that a wolf, a cow, or a dog? Now, like I said, just ignore it’s creepiness because it doesn’t matter – creepy or cute, kids are going to look at it either way, especially once you show them there’s candy inside.)
I wasn’t the genius who came up with this idea and I can’t remember where I even heard it, but it’s amazing. Kids cannot stop looking at the dispenser, and if they like candy (and what kid doesn’t?) they’ll be looking at it and SMILING. I mean, look how awesome I look taking photos with Mr. Creepazoid attached to my camera. Wouldn’t you smile?
PS – I’ve mentioned this tip before, but it’s so effective I thought it deserved it’s own post. Please use the share link at the very end of the post to share via facebook, twitter, and more!
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