Phrases To Avoid When Holding Your Camera

Back to school means it’s also time to take your kids’ first day of school photos. Love them or hate them, they are a right of passage.

What can you do to get the best back to school photos? It all starts knowing what phrases to avoid!


Eye squint and an unnatural smile appears.

Most children (and adults) have no idea how to do this when standing in front of a camera!

They may look toward you, but they can’t really see you. And most people are just tired of this phrase.

So bossy. If it works for you use it, but on the first day of school, your subjects may need a little more coaxing!

These words don’t produce smiles that are natural or comfortable. Most children have learned a perfect fake smile for each phrase or they feel pressured to comply. And in my house, that pressure leads to ugly photos.


So what should you say to get your subject’s attention AND get a natural, beautiful smile?


You get one smile point for silly and one smile point for the “uh” sound at the end.

One point for unexpected words producing smiles. One point for uh at the end.

Two points for silly.

Words that end in the “uh” sound create a much more natural expression. Here’s a great video with even more tips on the “uh” sound.

Silly words and phrases help to produce giggles and bigger smiles. Wait for the moment just after the laugh to capture the natural smile that follows.

And if you simply can’t get cooperation, settle for what you can get.

What are your go to phrases to get cooperation and natural smiles? Share in the comments below.