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Don't Force the Smiles
"Seeing through the smiles—how pained the kids are—that's where the awkwardness lies," says Bender. Worse yet is when they don't bother smiling at all.

Do Set the Kids Up for Smiles
Jurick recently held a session with a 7-year-old whose giggles turned to shrieks of "no pictures!" the instant Jurick started clicking. To avoid that kind of meltdown, "schedule the appointment at the child's prime happy time," Jurick says. "A day or two before the actual photography session, I ask the parent to talk to their children about the fun photographer they're going to meet." At least then they won't be shocked when the camera comes out.
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