How to combat the dreaded iPhone smile


I photograph so many children throughout the year and something I’ve noticed is the dreaded ‘iPhone Smile’ becoming firmly established school sittings. You all know it, an emotionless show of teeth just for the camera. As a portrait and school photographer, I have to work really hard to crack an iPhone smile into a genuine warm smile. It’s exhausting but I have a lot of fun doing it.

Parents, you can help! When you photograph your children, saying ‘smile’ and constantly shoving a phone in their face will over time, end up producing a fixed toothy, emotionless grin from your child. Let’s try and break the cycle. Our children deserve it!

A couple of tips for you. Try getting down on their level, say their name and do something to get their full attention! Try blowing a raspberry or talking in a silly voice as your camera or phone focuses. Play pea boo behind your camera with younger children, they love it!

As a pro photographer, I promise you that the best photos of your children won’t be the ones where your child is looking at your camera. It will be the ones where they are looking at something in the distance or just playing with their toys.

Finally, if all else fails give them a quick tickle … that should make them smile properly. Good luck!


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