Photo Tips

Mamabloo Photo Tales: Trying the Fake Laugh Photo Tip on Your Kids!

Me Ra Koh

This is Kari from Mamabloo—stepping in to help Me Ra while they prepare to make the SOAR! Scholarship announcement this Friday.

Okay, I know we all think our own kids are cute. But, mine REALLY are… being totally 100% objective here… my kids are darn cute….

The problem is that because I am a photography nut, my kids actually don’t like being photographed that much. So it is very hard to actually document their darn-cute-ness. Sometimes, it’s like I am pointing a weapon at them instead of a camera. This impression is not aided by the expression “just let me shoot you, please!?!!?” They usually look frightened, sometimes they look bored and sometimes they just look disgusted with me. And the older ones usually reserve the famous eye-roll

for very special photography occasions like graduations and band concerts.

So, right before a recent band concert of Izzy’s, I tried some Photocoaching a la Me Ra and Brian. “Look natural” I shout at them.  They stare back.  They try to smile.  They look like ZOO animals!  (I promise you, if you couldn’t tell, this is NOT Izzy’s most natural look.)

Ah, man. Me thinks that I am not a good photocoach.

So, after a sigh and some digging deep into my endless abyss of patience, I go to my old standby (and my favorite Me Ra tip! ). I go to… THE FAKE LAUGH. That’s right. Make them throw their heads back and fake it! What makes this work in my family is that itty-bitty, nano-moment when my kids transition from the fake laugh to the real laugh. But first I need to set my camera on continuous shoot because this moment is fast, I tell you. Elusive even.

“Just pretend you are having fun! Throw your head back and laugh! FAKE IT, for the love of God!”

Darn cute, don’t ya think?

To check out Me Ra and Brian’s video that demos their famous “Fake Laugh”, check out their video at:

And to see more Portrait Photo Tips from Me Ra, check out these 6 tips!

Yours truly,

Kari from Mamabloo


  1. vanessa falle says:

    well now, that is darn cute. I might have to try that…on the daddies that stare at the camera like a deer in headlights with that startled yet frozen expression that reads something like “just do it, quick. so it doesn’t hurt”…you’d think we’re talking about ripping off a bandaid or something! Sheesh. This fake laugh trick, however might be just the ticket!! Thanks 🙂

  2. nancy m says:

    Kari~ Thanks for stepping in for Me Ra and sharing this wonderful trick! I think I will be trying it out on my boys! I LOVED Me Ra and Brian’s video too, those two are so adorable!

    “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. ~Scott Adams”

    Nancy M.

  3. CA says:

    Yep — darn cute! I think I know where they get it from. Your posts are darn cute!

  4. I agree with the above. Freaking darn cute!!!

  5. Feuza says:

    you are so funnyyyy, my kind of gal, my youngest hates pictures while the oldest loves being in them and loves taking them, I make him practice, he is 5 now, lol

  6. Natalie Johnson says:

    Kari, You have me cracking up right now! I love the endless abyss of patience! I can so relate to the stares, the rolling of eyes, the tongue sticking out, because I have two teenagers. When they were little they cooperated, but no, not now. Last summer the only thing I wanted for my birthday was one non-complaining photo shoot for the year, just one, is that asking too much? Very cute kids indeed!

  7. Katie J says:

    Kari~ you are darn cute! And that photo of Izzy was great.

  8. Linda Baylis says:

    What a great technique, and she is adorable! But what was the best was that you posted the link that brought me to Mera & Brian’s hilarious video and the sexiest man alive question. I laughed so hard – thank you for this!!!

  9. jeramy says:

    hey kari…thanks for the post. love the fake laugh….i use it all the time when my kids tell my their ‘knock knock jokes’. 🙂

  10. Freida Hall says:

    Oh, good stuff! I giggled my way through this post nodding my head in agreement. Nice to know other photog moms (and dads) out there have a hard time photographing their own little beauties. Off to check out your blog Kari. Thanks for the guest post!

  11. Thanks for all the fun comments today! This was a fun one for me, too! XXOO!

  12. Ashley says:

    great post, kari. your girl IS cute 🙂 ahhh..those darn goofy, fake smiles. my kids love the camera but as soon as they see it they start doing these awkward looking poses and scary smiles. i use the fake laugh with clients but for some reason i usually forget with my own. probably cause i’m so severely out numbered and i’m trying to keep one from running away OR i’m so frustrated i could cuss. this is why i have 3 photos of all 4 of my children together. lots of them seperately.
    vanessa…your post was funny to me. those dads with the deer in the headlight faces. YES! just gotta fake laught it away:)

  13. Great idea on getting the “real smile” to come out – And yes she is super duper freakin cute! lol … the thing is when they get older they turn on you and now my daughter is always trying to take my photo even when I fell and tore ligaments in my knee on our last photo shoot in the woods…she wouldn’t stop while my husband had the parke workers open the gate and drive his bright orange chevy truck in to get me out cuz I couldn’t walk…to driing out….and even followed into the ER until the nurses told her she couldn’t take photos in their…I guess what goes around comes around! lol

  14. Just for fun I let Izzy read this post. She cracked up at herself (ya gotta love THAT) and said, “I think I look a bit like a terrorist…”! Ha!

  15. So Cute! 🙂 I LOVE the Fake Laugh coaching technique. Have used it MANY times.

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