It’s a hard habit to break, having your kids say “cheese” whenever they see the camera come out.
Our own kids started saying “cheese” almost out of nowhere, and at a very young age.
Meanwhile, I strive for those in-between moments when taking photos of the family. I want their real faces, and real smiles, so I’ve learned to be sneaky and quick. Those in-between photos are the ones I treasure, collect, and share.
Sure, the grandparents want a nice framed photo of the kids looking at the camera and smiling. Family snapshots have looked like that since our parents were kids. Again: a hard habit to break.
Me, I want some real life in my photos.
It’s made me think about making family photos for friends and family. My paid gigs are few and far between these days, but when I do get asked about taking family portraits, I want to make a suggestion: How about we hang out for a morning, and just let me capture what happens in between the Cheeses? There’s some intimacy involved, yes, but like a good photojournalism assignment, the good pictures are made by simply being there and capturing what happens.