I don’t always focus on getting your child to smile. They will smile at some point because more than likely, you as the parent will be focused on getting this to happen. It does not make a successful shoot if you only have one look, the shoot can see fairly one dimensional to look at later. I want diversity and I want the shoot to represent who your family really is. They do not smile 100% of the time so why only have smiling photos of your family? I hope for personality and unique moments. While you might focus on the smile, what I look for is the child exploring, seeing the world, touching the grass and getting into the mess that is all around them. I love to see you interact. No two shoots should look the same because no two families will have the same chemistry. While you might see a friends images you like, your own images will be nothing like theirs, I hope.
A successful photo shoot is when there is crying, smiling, confusion, and personal details at the end of our session. If your kid puts a stick in their mouth, I will happily photograph that. If you ask your child to say cheese I am not likely to release the shutter. I will leave that photo for you.