Have I mentioned how completely adorable my nephews and niece are? My blog and website is covered in their pictures because they are my go to models. Truth be told they are some of the hardest kids I have to shoot. Why? because they are family and they say family is always the hardest. My youngest nephew ruined almost every shot when we went to an aquarium because every time I even looked at my camera he stuck his finger in his nose. Yes it was 100% intentional and he thought it was hilarious. However photos of family is also the most precious and valuable pictures you will ever own.
One of the best tricks I have it to give them something to do. If it's your own kids in your home that will probably be really easy. If you are out and about you may have to be a little creative. In these pictures they are obviously very engrossed in their activity. And who can blame them legos are without a doubt one of the coolest toys ever invented.
So give them and activity and let them have fun and document their actions and then occasionally catch their attention. You will be surprised about how natural their facial expressions are when they are not being told to smile. We all tend to tighten up and give fake facial expressions when we know our pictures are being taken.
Another thing to remember is the angle that you are shooting. It is a lot of good to get on the same level as the child you are trying to photograph but you can also have some fun while standing on a chair.
Also have fun with how you crop things and what you include in the image. There are details that help to tell the story that we sometimes forget. And don't be too quick to throw out images. I have a bunch of images that may not be the best quality or have the most perfect facial expressions but they are my family and some of them just scream their personality. We can all smile but not all of us can twist up our face into silly expressions in the blink of an eye.
Oh and the most important rule of all have fun. I know it can be super frustrating at times but kids are very transparent if they feel like you are upset at them at all you are guaranteed to not get genuine real pictures. It's hard but it's the most important rule ever. So relax have fun and enjoy every precious moment you have.