Children are the most vivacious members of society and their pictures light up the world through advertising, social networking on sites like Facebook or Instagram, and they bring smiles to billions of people every day. As a parent who wants to capture their child's brilliant smile or outlandishly silly faces on camera, many people find themselves faced with a challenge far more extreme than running a 10k marathon while wearing a potato sack and having their ankles tethered to a bowling ball. Not every child will sit still like the Gerber baby did, and when faced with a wiggly child you need to know some simple tricks to help make it through the photo shoot.

Have the Right Camera

One of the first things you'll need to know is that you need to have the right camera for taking pictures of children. Since children can move faster than Superman racing a speeding bullet, you're going to want to get a DSLR camera. A DSLR camera is the best camera for kids when it comes to catching those adorable smiles and moments you want to treasure forever. The primary benefits of a DSLR camera are that they have less dragging time between the time you push the button and the time the camera actually snaps the picture and they have shutter speeds that allow you to take pictures back to back. This means that you have a better chance of capturing those special moments in your child's life easily and without having to force them into standing or sitting for long time periods to get the perfect pose that you want.

Another great thing about DSLR cameras is that you can easily find a good one that is ascertainable to your brand preference as well to your budget. As you can tell, this writer prefers Nikon!

I Have the Camera but How do I Convince My Child to Sit Still?

You have the camera and the perfect child, but as everyone who has ever been around children can tell you, they don't enjoy sitting still for very long and can be easily distracted.

The best ways to get your child to sit still while enduring the photo session is to distract them with things that will peak their interest and make them actually want to sit still. Try to find them something to sit on such as a riding horse or a table that has fun activities on it for them to play with between the camera shoots.

When working with younger children you can snap a few pictures and then show them what they look like in the camera. This often makes them want to sit still and smile so they can see pretty pictures of themselves. Try not to stand over them as if they're smaller than you. Kneel down to their height and help them feel more like they're on the same level as you. You can also make it more like a game rather than a task. Most children love to play games like the mocking game. Have them mock you as you sit the way you want them to sit. Strike a pose and make it fun while they copy your movements and the camera shoots away. Children love to imitate adults, so make it a fun day of pretending to be like the grown-ups.

Keep in mind though that some of the best pictures of kids are the ones that aren't posed at all. Just having a genuine shot of your child smiling and playing can be the most treasured shots of all.

Ready, Set. Shoot

Showing your child pictures of themselves and letting them appreciate the way they look on film is the first step to making sure they know you want them to sit still for a reason. Many people essentially force their children to sit still for pictures and then they end up with scowling children who are bored and don't want to smile at all for the camera. We have all seen the pictures of the kids who are frowning or throwing a tantrum because they're bored. The best way to take great pictures of your kids is to make it fun for them and keep them entertained.

Happy kids smile more and they light pictures up in a way that only a child delighted with the world can do. When you have your child prepared for a day of family photo fun, then they will be ready to create beautiful memories to treasure forever.