A few weekends ago, one of my favorite children’s brands, Bonpoint, invited editors and their families to come to have a holiday portrait taken (yes, I have the best job ever). I convinced my husband to come and pose for a photo with our one and a half year old daughter, Bea. As we sat against a beautifully propped out background–complete with holiday cookies and evergreen branches, I wondered how the photographer, Philippe Reynaud, would manage to get my wiggly little girl to stop and look at the camera. And yet he did. He may indeed have unique baby whispering abilities but I asked him, nonetheless, for his pro tips. (You'll thank me later once it comes to holiday family photo time.) Read on for his four go-to techniques.
1. Make it feel like a game. Get someone to stand next to the photographer and play peekaboo, or do a silly dance. The expressions you elicit are solid gold for a snapshot.
2. Don’t worry about eye contact. In fact, says Reynaud, sometimes just catching your child doing something can look more natural and candid in the best way.
3. Create an activity. Play ring around the rosy or even go as far as to throw rose petals. All fodder for cuteness is fair game.
4. Play music. Since most of the grownups present probably have a smartphone tucked somewhere handy, use your mobile to make the mood playful. Perhaps it's kid song you have stored. “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” did the trick for our portrait. Phew!