My 5.5 year old is not real keen on having his photo taken these days. I've tried all the tips people have offered - giving him his own camera (which he loves!), never asking him to stop what he is doing to pose, and waiting patiently for a natural smile. But this guy, he's got his own ideas about funny. As soon as he sees the camera come out he starts in with his best silly faces, waiting for me to get riled up.
In the past I've always stopped with the photos, trying to reason with him before getting flustered and saying forget it.
I just kept shooting, and started giggling, asking for more and more silly faces. And when I was done, I showed him the pictures and laughingly asked him which one he wanted to go in the family photo album. He picked the one below.
I realized that this age is all about knock-knock jokes and potty talk and silly faces. And as much as I want beautiful portraits of my children, I want to capture the silly too. And not be too caught up in my own agenda to recognize when we're having fun.
LESSON: Recognize the funny.