as a Mum of an agency represented model and as a portrait photographer who work with kids most of the time, I see that Mums are struggling to get the kids to look at the camera. Since I`ve been working in the industry I use several tricks and these tricks are working really well. I hope these will help you to capture a beautiful eye catching picture.
1. Ask questions / Ask silly questions
The best way to be engaged with older kids is to have a real conversation with them.
You know your child the best!
Ask questions about their beloved topics. I promise they will have the cutest expressions on their faces. In addition, you can ask very silly questions too, so you could be sure they will look at straight at the camera as they will be so surprised with your question.
"Do you think Daddy forgot to put his nappy on today?"
2. Be noisy
To talk to a baby is the best way to making a good eye contact with them to most of the time. You will get even more attention when you make fun or a noise which makes your baby smile!
With toddlers and older kids, changing your tone is a great trick to get their attention. Be super loud, or whisper as low as you can. The change of tone will surprise them enough to look at you and check out what’s going on!
3. Countdown When I play countdown with kids I always ask them to close their eyes and open it for 3. You have to be prepared for 3 too to catch the moment. :)
4. The special animal living in my lens Kids` imagination is limitless. Tell them a short story about a special animal who lives in your lens or in your phone. Then ask your child if she/he can see it.
5. Have a helper behind your shoulder / above your head Ask your spouse or your other child to be behind your shoulder and do silly things. However for me it`s working better to ask them to be straight above my head. With young, fast-moving kid you would do better job with a helper. I promise.
6. Look at me Another lovely game to encourage your child to look at you. The main rule is she/he has to look at you all the time. This ongoing looking at you can prevent them from a tickle or just simple win a price with 1 minute looking. This trick is always working, you should find out the rules for your game.
7. Shutter huggers / Camera buddies
However I do love all the tricks above, but when I work with nurseries and I have no time for games and the children are changing quickly, so my absolute favourite trick is a PEZ dispenser in my camera hotshoe. I have different PEZ toys with me and I can change these very quickly. You can`t make a mistake with it, as all the kids will look the funny toys on / around your camera :)
Also, You can find on Amazon or Etsy a lot of different Shutter huggers or camera buddies. These will sit around your camera lens and your kid will pay attention all the time. For phone I believe a very funny phone case is the winner.
*Shutter Hugger`s pictures from the www.shutterhuggers.com website.
I hope you find this article useful.
Have a lovely capturing time.
Studio B Photography