Quote Originally Posted by SuzanneR View Post
Right, give the kid a good spanking before a photo shoot, that'll be a great way to get lots of smiles. (not)

I find in general, if you let the child have some say in what is happening, then you will get far more cooperation, and I tend to get more cooperation when the parents are in the other room. We know what the parents want... we know what the photographer wants, but we rarely listen to the kids. Let them look through the camera, let them pick a roll of film to shoot, explain what you are doing. Just listen to him, let them show you their room, their favorite toys. I had one shoot this last fall where we had them roasting marshmallows at the end of the shoot, and I got some great pix, then. Frankly, we should have had it going the whole time... kids were far more relaxed. Just a few ideas. And it sounds like your shoot went well, Sly!!
My nephew is seven years old. His parents are not very good cooks, so they serve typical 'kid food', like hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni & cheese, etc. He never finishes a meal. However, when he's with his grandparents (my parents), they let him participate in the cooking. He peels potatoes, chops carrots, cleans vegetables, fries onions, cleans fish - you name it, he does it. He even has a little stool that he and his grandfather built, so that he can reach everything safely. And guess what - he eats ALL of it, enthusiastically. It is quite interesting to watch a seven year old boy dig into blue mussels and kalamata olives with enthusiasm.
I'm willing to bet my camera trigger finger that this behavior too, same as Suzanne suggests, is due to being involved, being allowed to make decisions, and participating. He loves being part of the process, to be listened to, and to reap the benefits of the work that went into creating the meal.