Family Portraits have a different meaning, a different feeling for each family. Having taken them for over 8 years now, I've come to realize that you aren't always going to get those cheesy "canned" smiles. In fact, I hope I don't.
This family shoot reminded me of this. The almost two-year-old was just not wanting to smile (it happens... a lot). Then the kiddos weren't really up for it either. (and I don't blame them one bit.) After all, it must be an odd thing to have this stranger, with a big camera in front of you saying, "SMILE". Super strange.
I've learned to to be patient. Wait for it. Let them "play" and "be". That always works. I am I RARELY surprised when I get a handful + of good images (the clients, ALWAYS surprised). My favorite of this bunch is the non smiling girls (cousins) and the forced with hands smile . . . it worked. He smiled after his cousin was putting a smile on him with his fingers. Also, once on the swing set, the smiles were flying - - - a smile should never be forced.
Thanks for the fun shoot and the patience. And thank you grandma for the photo session - next time, I'm making you get in some ;)