Parents hate it— but are the main cause.
Many school and sports photographers love it becasue it is fast and they are "getting the job done".
Kids hate it because they don't like faking it.
The cheesy fake show-me-your-teeth smile.
Last week was a great example with several sessions from our Adorable Kids Contest.
Before one session I could hear Grandma demanding cooperation and see the flashes from her smart phone coming from the dressing room. "Smile, SMILE for your pictures!" By the time I finally got the child into the camera room for the real session I had to recalibrate the little girl to get the horrible fake smile off her face.
Really, if you want pictures of their teeth just use your dentist and save the effort going to a professional photographer.
During another child session is what happens more frequently.
Moms or Dads trying to help telling their child to SMILE while I am doing my job… getting REAL expressions and REAL smiles.
To be honest, 98% of the time I do not want or need any help. Often times I have to ask for a parent to just be quiet and sit back and enjoy watching how wonderful their child can be. Prompting and coaching takes the session quickly into the wrong direction.
If the child is having fun, is being challenged, is being engaged you will get the best images ever. All without telling them to SMILE. Around here the "S Word" is a bad word.
And when the child does not want to leave after the session because they are having so much fun…. you know you have the photographer you want to keep for a lifetime of fine portaits.