You hit the jackpot at the right moment.
Do you remember watching Chandler from friends? Honest to God, it makes me laugh out loud every single time I watch the episode when Chandler smiles to the camera.
I have a “Chandler Smile” case at my home. My son dislikes getting photographed as much as my daughter loves being photographed. Every single time I get all weird expressions when he is asked to smile. I have also had a lot of camera shy clients facing my camera.
So believe it not, it is a genuine problem:).
So how do I handle it as a photographer? Well my clients know me decently well before the session. The magic of knowing your clients during their pre-consultation session, constant contact with them and by the time they are facing my camera , I am no longer a stranger. Letting them breathe in and close their eyes , talking to them always helps reduce the discomfort of the camera. Crack a joke, say something silly even if its at your expense but that gets the people to smile for real.
But that doesn’t really solve our problem because my son still has the Chandler smile while posing for me and I like to think he knows me well. :).
Well the only solution to getting the honest , genuine smiles from camera conscious people is to catch them during candid moments.
Keep you camera handy and at arm’s reach. If you are clicking your child, involve your partner into distracting the child. Do something they aren’t expecting and watch them smile and laugh. It’s not posed yet planned that brings out the best candids.