If you’ve ever photographed a bunch of brothers all at once, you know they can be a handful. But the thing I’ve learned over the last ten years is that you’ve just got to let boys be boys and hang on for the ride.

Boys play

What’s the one thing mom always says before your portrait session? “I love pictures with NATURAL EXPRESSIONS.”

The best way to get those natural expressions is to let the boys play. How many times do you really think you can get them to sit down and sit still and all look at the camera at the same time, anyway?

Get them to play along

Instead of trying to get them to be still, just try to get them to play along. Give them a spot to play in and a game to do. “Can you three walk on this curb holding hands? Who can jump the highest? who can count to three the fastest? Can you help your brother stand up there?”

Give them things to do and keep your camera clicking.

Manage mom

Mom says she wants natural expressions, but she probably spends a lot of her time just trying to get the boys to behave. Her natural expression will be to tell the boys to listen and do what you say and SMILE!!! You’ve got to tell mom your plan so she can be cool and everyone can have a good time.

Tell her that you’d like to let the boys play and then you’ll gather them up now and then for a little group shot. When you tell her your plan she can chill out and know that you’ve got it under control (-ish) and she’ll trust that you’ll get the kind of pictures she’s after.

Hang on for the ride

Go ahead and let boys play. Give them some games to play while you make pictures and you’ll get terrific shots. Help the boys play together and help each other do little challenges and you’ll have a lot of good picture opportunities. If you must, sit them down once-in-a-while for a group shot. Just make sure you give mom the plan so she can relax and have fun, too.

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