Saturday, November 5, 2011


Why doesn't he smile?

That's one of the most common questions I get about pictures of my son. (I'm not counting "Why do you endanger your child?" and "Can I use this picture for my creepy profile?") It'd be nice to see him smiling.

I always feel a little bad. Doesn't he? I wondered, looking back through some shots. No, he's usually straight-faced. I don't think it's so weird, though. My partner in crime is an awful lot like me in that way. If we find something interesting, we focus. Forget talking. Forget smiling. We're in the moment. Sometimes, smiling on purpose takes us out of it.

I never pose him. (OK. I do occasionally do the "Hey! Do that again, only over there in the sunlight and wait until I have my lens on!") I don't force him to smile. I rarely even ask him to smile. Besides the fact that he's the Absolute Worst Fake Smiler, and it looks like he's breaking his face, it just doesn't fit. He'll smile when he's ready.

The other reason we don't have as many smiling pictures, though -- I love it. And while I guess I can't fault you all for wanting more smiley shots ... why would I waste time getting the camera out when he's smiling?

Most of the time, he doesn't smile because he's happy. Sometimes, though, camera and spontaneous smiles coincide. So here you go. See? He smiles plenty.


Carole DeAngeli said... Best Blogger Tips

Your photos of your son are fabulous. So much nicer to see candid, unposed moments. Keep up the good work!

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said... Best Blogger Tips

I have an animal crazy kid, too so I didn't think twice about any of the non-smiling pictures. Those are pictures of curiosity and wonder. They don't necessarily include smiles, but nonetheless are some of my favorite snaps! :-)

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Carole: Thank you! I agree; I hate posed pictures almost as much as I hate trying to pose people. (At least this works out with my son; it's a little trickier when I'm supposed to be taking wedding pictures or something.)

Kelli: Yes, exactly. Those are my favorite too -- the ones that highlight curiosity and wonder. Kids have this intense concentration they get when something really captivates them. So much better than a posed smile.

Elisabeth said... Best Blogger Tips

My little guy rarely smiles when he's in the middle of discovering. It takes his whole being just to concentrate on something so amazing! Your boy's smiles are gorgeous, though! :)