Saturday, June 7, 2014

cheese for grandma

I've been trying to teach Juniper to smile.  Without a camera, her face splits into the most glorious of kid-smiles, the corners of her mouth pushing her cheeks into tight, dimpled apples; every single one of her straight, white teeth all lined up like little soldiers in her mouth. Her eyes squint, the left more than the right, always.  
But with a camera, she hides her face behind her hair, her arm, her work, her peanut butter and jelly.  In group photos, she'll happily and readily make a "silly face."  If she's excited or even a little embarrassed, she'll stick her fingers in her mouth.  All of them.  It's been this way for a while.  I just can't get a posed, say cheese picture of this kid.  And I want to.  For me, yes.  But mostly, for my mom.  I want to be able to pay a professional to take pictures, real portraits, of our nucleus of four.  My mom's been asking, probably for years.  First, I have to be sure Juniper will smile.
Okay you pros out there, what say you?  I know some of you do this for a living, or at least as a favor.  How do you get a stubborn 4 year old to smile--really smile--for the camera?         
(Hi mom.  I know you're laughing.  Apparently I was the same way, and still am.  I have a picture on my fridge of my cousin smiling sweetly and me in a half-snarl, sticking my tongue out.  I was maybe...7?)
I've been trying to explain why I take some of these photos: Your grandparents rarely see you and I can send photos so they will know what you look like, what you've been up to.  Think how sad Grandma would be not to have any pictures of you smiling!  You have such a beautiful smile.  
My mom sent the girls new sundresses the other day.  We were, for once, not planning to be terribly dirty; instead spending the morning at the library, picnicking in the lawn followed by haircuts for both me and Juniper.  And here they were, eating nectarines and horsing around on the library fence.  

99 percent of the photos I take for myself and this blog are candid.  For once, I wanted some cheese.  The best I could get:
Yeah.  We have some work to do.  And then there's Hazel, the more amenable kid, showing Grandma her nice white teeth, See!:
Another impromptu cheese attempt from earlier this spring:
Me: "Oh, come on!  Say CHEESE!"
And again from our trip to Missoula, this time my man behind the camera and I am directing (but not smart enough to remove my cap).  Apparently, "Say PUPPY!" elicits more of an excited, screaming O face than a smile.
I never thought I'd have to teach my kids to smile for the camera.  Mom, we're working on it.


  1. I want to give you advice but I have the exact same problem with my two boys!

    1. Ha! I think it's because we take too many pictures.

  2. Love the candids. Those girls are crazy-adorable.


What say you? I want to hear it!