Smile! or, taking photos of children

We bought a new camera when I was pregnant with my first. It was, by far, the most used item of anything we got in preparation for the baby. Seriously.

We took a lot of photos. And this is what they look like…

The Sleeping Newborn Stage


Rather than sleep while he did, I took photos of him sleeping. He slept a lot. During the day. 

It doesn't matter how many hundreds of photos I took during this stage. I wish I had taken more. Someone had told me beforehand that newborns change by the minute. I didn't listen. They were right. 

I can not look at these photos or I will start foaming at the mouth for another baby.



Awake Newborn Stage

He slept during the day so he was awake at night. Which means I was awake too. At night I used the flash so have a few of those wide-eyed, shocked by the flash photos. 

Those photos are hilarious.

They make those sleepless nights seem not so bad. Fun even. 



Happiest Baby on Earth Stage

Then he learns to smile. He smiles at EVERYTHING! Just the appearance of the camera makes him smile a mile wide.

He smiles when he is laying down! He smiles when he is propped up on pillows! He smiles during a bath! He smiles when he is pooping!

I am like, the best child photographer ever! I could win awards with these amazing shots I am getting.

It is at this point that I discover I need a backup drive.



The Back of Head & Butt Stage

Photos4And then my professional photographer aspirations are dashed. He starts crawling. I have to work very hard to get a full face shot now.  

"Look at MEEEEE! Look over here!!!"

I jump up and down and do handstands and hold stuffed animals and squeaky toys and it doesn't help. 

Usually, all I wind up with are several photos of his butt and the back of his head.  



The Blurry Stage

But it gets worse. Much worse. 

He starts walking. And running. He never, ever, ever, ever, ever stops moving. 

Shots are either blurry or just the back of him running away.  



The Performer Stage

And then, miracle upon miracles! It gets better! Amazingly better! 

He likes to pose for the camera. Enjoys it! He digs things out of the dress up box just for camera opportunities.

My little baby is made for the big screen, what a little performer! What personality! Look at these wonderful photos!



The "Signature Face" Stage


So he enters into this goofy "signature face" stage. Every time a camera appears he does the same ridiculous face. Same ridiculous pose. Serious family photos need not be attempted at this time. Normal photos are not available. Please try again later.  

Fortunately, we find it really, really funny.

Assuming we don't need to get a passport photo of him taken, that is. Which we did. But this is also funny now. Everything is when you look back, isn't it? Especially in photos.

Photos rock! Take more, more, more, more… 



The "NO Pictures!" Stage

But then. The worst stage. The "No Pictures!" stage. It happens. Not everybody wants a camera shoved in their face every day. Especially if they haven't napped.

The camera appears and immediately, his hands cover his tiny face and he yells "No Pichews!" and he runs. 

These photos are terrible. I'm sure they'll be funny eventually though. So I'll just keep on taking them.



What photo stages have your little ones gone through?

(Any grandparents reading? If you want to buy a gift and the parents say they don't need anything, make sure parents are equipped with a seriously awesome camera. Trust me on this. Better camera, better photos. Better photos, more photos. This means more photos for YOU. You are welcome. I'm here all week. Actually that isn't true. I'm here only a few times a week. I have stuff to do sometimes.) 

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162 Responses to Smile! or, taking photos of children

  1. Darcy says:

    The blurry stage is hilarious and so true to life and what we’re in right now! My 2 year old will not stop moving ever. The only pictures I can get now are when she is in the high chair, stroller or tub.

  2. Lisa says:

    We skipped from blurry right to no pichews. ๐Ÿ™

  3. Debra says:

    Hahaha! We are at the ‘signature pose’ stage with my three year old. He is really into Spiderman and does the web thingy with his fingers but it usually comes out looking like ‘the shocker’.

  4. Kristin says:

    Haha, we’re at the no pictures stage with my 2 1/2 year old. He screams “My eyes!!” every time, arms flailing, as if they are being burned by the flash. Dramatic!

  5. Kristin says:

    lol that is hysterical!!!

  6. Elisa says:

    I guess you haven’t reached the I don’t have time to take photos anymore stage. I have four kids and yes, I have tons of the ones you showed. I loved taking pictures of his every move! Sadly, the next two were born before I had a digital camera so there just aren’t many of them. I was too busy taking care of the older ones, or I couldn’t afford the film. Finally with my last one I have a good digital camera, so there are lots of him, though not as many as the first. I feel bad for the middle two who will surely notice the lack of photos of them. I also have fewer memories of when they did what thing. But, they are mostly well adjusted otherwise so I guess they will not be too emotionally damaged. Let’s hope so!

    • Rosa says:

      I’m there to. No time for pics. Four kids make life chaotic! My first two have grate scrapbooks. But the other two don’t even have a regular album. To sad. Some day I’ll make time for srapbooking again. (Like when I have gran kids, hahaha)

  7. Yeah. We’re in the stage where he stops what he’s doing immediately because we brought out the camera to take a picture of what he’s doing. It’s the “Like every other picture” stage. Or you could call it the “Nothing going on here…anymore” stage.

  8. Mariya says:

    We are at, I’ll take pictures! Stage where all you have is a blurry close up of a face and a hand grabbing for the camera

  9. Kid Id says:

    Man, you nailed these stages – to a T! One of our kids is in the horrible-faces stage and the other is in the dramatic take-pictures-of-me stage. You can imagine the ridiculous pictures I get with them together.

  10. Sue says:

    Hehe – you should try making clothes to sell using your little one as a model. My 19 month old daughter is going through the goofy face/silly pose stage right now. Very frustrating but very funny too.

  11. We are at the in-between stage of smiles at everything and ignores you completely. It’s a coin toss as to what we’ll get… But I love taking the pictures!

  12. crystal says:

    All too true. You nailed it perfectly. I’m currently in the blurry stage ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. sarah says:

    We’re at the blurry stage. She does something funny but by the time I try to snap a picture she’s doing something else or moves too quick. continuous shot mode is great for getting pics of anyone. When we get to the no pichews stage I’m going to tell her “DEAL WITH IT” ahha.

  14. Stacey says:

    We have many “choke hold” photos, you know, the ones with the older toddler “holding/hugging” his younger 8 month old brother. Poor kid.

  15. B Zehe says:

    My son’s 2 1/2 half. Most pictures fall under 3 categories:
    1) Extreme close-up (because he leans in too far or runs at me as the flash is going off)
    2) Pictures of the floor, his nose, his feet (because he got ahold of the camera and got snap-happy while running away from me
    3) Just a smidge of his body (ie: foot, hair, etc) as he runs away from me just as I snap the picture.

  16. Jamie H says:

    I couldn’t have said this any better myself! So true!!

  17. Jodie says:

    OMG, I totally laughed out loud at this! “The shocker” – LOL!!!

  18. Mimi Liles says:

    The signature face stage is my favorite. My youngest went through a stage we called “taco neck” because he cocked his head to one side (like when you eat a taco)and smiled every time he saw a camera.

  19. Hah! This is quite funny – my husband is a middle child and he swears he didn’t exist till college. No photographic evidence!

    Also your name rocks. Our names rock. The end.

  20. brian says:

    My kid has had two stages since he could walk. Sometimes it’s the one Teresa mentioned. Usually it’s the “Zombie” stage, wherein he runs immediately to the camera as soon as we get it out, with his arms outstretched because he needs to have it.

  21. Kristal says:

    We’re in the blurry stage, and the avoid the camera stage…DS runs from the camera any chance he gets ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Krista says:

    We have the blurry fake cheese when I do look phase

  23. Desiree says:

    My son prefers to act handicapped when in front of a camera.

  24. Hope says:

    My 11-month-old is in the smile-everytime-the-camera-is-out stage. I LOVE IT!!!

  25. rebecca c. says:

    Don’t forget the “Lemme see!” phase, where it is impossible to take more than one photo in succession because your child wants to see what the picture looks like on the digital camera screen. I’ve got three kids, ages 10, 8, and 4 and they are all still in this stage. I have to beg them to go back to whatever it is they were doing that I was trying to take a picture of in the first place.

  26. Cheryl says:

    So true, we are at the posing stage which is immediately followed by “please can see?” Since my dd has to look at herself a million times a day.

  27. HaleyStudio says:

    K is 2 1/3 and in the “signature pose” stage: mouth saying “cheese” and eyes squinted shut like sideways parentheses.

  28. ErynBob says:

    We are in the “I See It” stage. My 2 yo will scream CHEEEEEEESE!!! and pose for a quick picture then hurl himself at me to see the picture on the screen on the back of the camera. It’s awesome.

  29. Felicia says:

    We went through a few stages of him taking the camera from me in every pic. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now he’s back to blurry with the occasional signature weird face.

  30. Cate says:

    “Nothing going on here…anymore.” Oh my word, that’s exactly the line I could write under the 400 photos I took this summer.

  31. KC says:

    We followed all the same stages except the no photos. My daughter now 22 months wants to be the photographer. So every time I take out the camera she runs to grab it from me. She was and is really fun to photographer. My new born however is really difficult to photograph. For some reason very time she hears the click of my shutter she starts to make horrible faces. Which is hilarious to a point. But sometimes I want a lovely picture of her!

  32. Cate says:

    Choke hold. Yip, that’s us too. Lol.

  33. jessica says:

    My 7yo is still in the signature stage (which came after the no pictures stage, so it’s bitter-sweet). You know the one. The pulling the mouth apart with 2 fingers and sticking out the tongue.

  34. Katie says:

    Right now my 16 month old will give me a dirty look if I say “say cheese!”. However, I think she truly believes she is doing what I want because after I take the pic she laughs and wants to see it. My 4 year old looks to the side or makes funky smiles. It’s not good for the upcoming Christmas card….

  35. Sharee says:

    HAHAHAHAHA!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Heather Garcia says:

    Oh my gosh the Shocker had me busting up!!! I needed to laugh today and that did it!
    We bought a digital camera right before i had my first daughter almost 4 years ago, and I emailed pictures to friends family and really any one that ever gave me their email address, weekly. That is alot of pictures in my iPhoto ๐Ÿ™‚ My 18 month old, well people were lucky if they got an emailed picture once a month.
    My almost 4 year old will not even look at the camera, and the 18 month old, gets up as I am taking the picture so she can see the blurry pic I just took.

  37. Kylee says:

    Wait until you get to the “Face only a mother can love phase”. You know the one where there are teeth missing some random adult teeth scattered around. *cry* I want my photogenic child back.

  38. Krissee says:

    don’t dare look at the pictures of the baby sleeping or you’ll want another one.

  39. Amy says:

    Am I the only horrid mother that has 5 bijillion photos of my 1st kiddo, then about 500 of the 2nd, and like 1 of the 3rd???!! My 2 youngest are gonna look at our photo albums one day and think I loved the oldest the most :).

    My oldest was obsessed with dinosaurs when he was around 4-5 (he’s now 9). Every photo is of him at that age is of him trying to be a T-Rex. Little arms, hands turned into claws. He actually looked more like the wicked witch from Wizard of Oz than any dinosaur. Now, the problem is getting him and his 7 year old bro in a good photo together. The 7 yr old is all lovey, arm around his big bro… Meanwhile the oldest is pinching his brothers arm where I can’t see… both have horrid faces.. And the oldest looks as if his brother has the plague and he’s afrraid to catch it.
    The baby (2 years old)… Is in the turn around & run the second the camera comes out. He can be doing the most hilarious thing in the world, and the second the cameras whipped out, he’s done. Happened today actually. He was dancing like crazy. Mom gets the phone out, and he’s done. And looking at me like I’m insane when I tell him
    to dance again (this usually involves me dancing around trying to get him going. Not so much).

  40. Trish says:

    mine’s in the pose stage-usually wearing a star wars costume, or holding one of his toy swords, pr showing a tae kwon do move…he actually loves to have his picture taken!

  41. beth says:

    Yes, yes!! I am definitely there with my two older kids. My youngest is in the try to grab the camera and if I don’t get it scream like a banshee stage ๐Ÿ˜‰ she is 15 months.

  42. Vanessa says:

    My 2 year old is FAR too busy to have her picture taken and usually only stays still until half a second before the picture is captured. My 3 year old has to have his picture taken in front of any and all landmarks, including but not limited to large rocks and any and all slides, and he insists on sitting, posed until I take his picture otherwise refuses to walk. Then he requires a preview of his picture before continuing on. My 6 year old is WAY too cool for pictures and rolls his eyes and makes irritated faces at me every time I pull out the camera. My 8 year old MUST be in EVERY picture that is taken anywhere near her, complete with a fashion model pose. It’s certainly quite an achievement when I get a half decent picture of the four of them together!

  43. Sara says:

    hahaha yes! or I also get the ‘I do it!’ comment and therefore the pic doesn’t get taken at all! ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Jenn says:

    Me too! She immediately stops whatever amazing thing she was doing to grab for the cellphone. There is a seriously lack of pictures from this stage.

  45. Trisha says:

    At age 27 months we are in the “I must get that thing in my hands” phase. All photos are extreme close ups as he is running at the camera. Joy.

  46. Shannon says:

    I’m the oldest of 6. I have three baby books and a first year calendar. My two youngest sisters’ baby books are blank.

  47. eleanor says:

    We are at the “I want to eat the camera/iPhone” stage.

  48. Cecilia says:

    I have a 10 month old who is the happy, moving, walking blurry but I’ll stop for a good picture type of gal! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love your blog! makes me giggle.

  49. mummyoftwomunchkins says:

    we get a mix of the Back of Head and Butt stage photos and Blurry photos with my 11 month old and the signature face forced scary smile with the 4 year old ahha

  50. Jess says:

    Right now she is in the no pics stage. I don’t get the hands in the face, I get the squinty evil eyes face. In every pic unless I surprise her. The only time she lets me take a pic is if its some toy in her hand and she wants a pic to forever remember it.

  51. Heather says:

    Haha! We have been in the “no pichews” stage since 6 months, no end in sight

  52. Sue says:

    My now 7yo would blink rapidly every time she saw a camera from the age of around 9 months to 2 years, I blame my snapparazzi mother in law and the flash on her camera lol

  53. Kathy says:

    Mine is and has been for a while, in the let me see stage. That is where are soon as the redeye thing blinks or he hears the focusing he runs to me to see the picture. And yes most of them are out of focus and not framed correctly. One day.

  54. Tilly says:

    hahaha that is hilarious!

  55. emooreathome says:

    I have a 17 year old. Many pictures until age 3 then about 10 until I got a digital camera at age 12. We are in the “I hate my hair, my make-up’s not on, I hate my clothes, don’t take a picture of me because I’ll just roll my eyes” phase.

  56. elizabeth says:

    hahaha, yes, this is us with our 22 month old! he says “wanna see, wanna see!!” it’s so hard taking pictures or video of him, b/c he wants to see it before i can even take it!

  57. Amy says:

    Ahhh Rebecca, nuff said. . . this is parallel with the blurry phase because before you even get the picture they are running at you to see what you took and you missed the pic entirely! We have been in this phase for a LONG time.

  58. Sue says:

    With my oldest two (12 & 13) we are now in the glare-at-Mom-with-the-“snap-it-and-die”-look stage. I can only get photos of them when they are engrossed in some activity these days, so they are never looking into the camera in the photos. Those are still good shots, though. I will not be deterred!!

    Thankfully, I’ve also got an 8-year-old in the snaggle toothed grin phase, and a four-year-old funny faced ham. :o)

  59. Lately in pix, my 4 yo is in the stage of looking like I only half dress her since she will rarely wear pants at home.

  60. Denise says:

    Don’t forget the “fake and ugly smile” phase. Right about kindergarten or first grade they start giving this weird smile whenever you try to take their picture. So you try to make them laugh to see something natural and cute but they just keep posing with that ugly smile.

  61. silvy says:

    hahahaha this is awesome. parker is now in his “no no no more cheese” stage ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. Amy says:

    I have one blurry/poser, one “no pictures” and one “signature poser, namely his Shaun the Sheep face.

  63. Melissa says:

    Oh man! I love it. My kids are 5 and 9. I remember when my oldest was in the Happiest Baby on Earth Stage…I too thought I was the worlds best photographer. But then it all went downhill LOL. Right now my 9 year old son is in the blank stare at the camera phase and my 5 year old daughter is in the weird smile but wont look at the camera stage!

  64. Tessa says:

    So true…we are at the fake smile/toung sticking out phase with my 12yo DD. The head turned, goofy smile, cockeyed neck phase with my 10yo DS and the blurry, HUGE smile, grabbing for the camera/phone phase with my 18mo DS.
    Yes, my kids do not know they are only allowed one phase at a time. TYPICAL!!! ;o)

  65. Erica says:

    I <3 your blog. No, really....<3 it...big pink puffy <3 it. But, as much as I enjoyed and LOL at the picture stages this was my favorite part "This means more photos for YOU. You are welcome. I'm here all week. Actually that isn't true. I'm here only a few times a week. I have stuff to do sometimes."

  66. Randa says:

    I’m in the face squashed up against the camera lense phase ๐Ÿ˜ lol

  67. I have a 6 month old and we are currently in the “no no don’t look at mommy with the camera, keep on doing that funny/cool thing you were just doing” stage.

  68. Nerissa says:

    This is my 2 1/2 yo. Though her signature “cheese” face is far from a smile, and usually I miss it altogether b/c she’s already halfway to me to see the picture which hasn’t finished yet…lots of blurry close-ups…sigh…

  69. Wendy Eidman says:

    Other photographic stages to look forward to include the cheesy smile stage, in which your grade schooler will be convinced that his teeth are ugly and only put on the fake-est of closed-mouth smiles; and the “Okay, you’re gonna take my picture, but I don’t have to like it” stage, in which you will capture expressions so dour that all who view them will instantaneously turn into stone.
    And then you will enter what I like to refer to as the “I stole your camera and left these pictures for you” phase. This is kind of fun — like peeking into your youngsters secret life. You’ll get plenty of EXTREME SELF-PORTRAIT CLOSEUPS of their eyes, toes, freckles and belly buttons. Oh, and thanks to these EXTREME SELF-PORTRAIT CLOSEUPS, I’ve discovered that my son has perfect heart-shaped nostrils when he flares them.
    Betcha can’t wait!

  70. Elaine says:

    this is the stage we are in right now! 5 years old, 8 baby teeth missing, only 6 grown in, with huge gaps and always looking off to the side of the camera. Oh so awkward!

  71. Elaine says:

    My baby has been bleary since he could smile, because his smile is so big his face can barely contain it, so he bobbles his head, as if to make room for it…thus I have months of blurry pictures. And the ones that aren’t blurry? He looks stoned. If he were a teenager he would be grounded just for looking like that! Ugh!

  72. Brannan says:

    We are in the “Hand Reaching For Camera” stage. Cameras are soooo cool that I MUST be getting them out for baby to play with, so every picture has a hand reaching up or a face so close all I see are boogers cos she is coming to EAT IT. And yet, I still try.

  73. Instead of the back of the butt stage we had “crawl-up-and-into-the-camera-stage”, even called “hand-on-the-lens-stage” And right now with a 4-year old and a 2-year old we have the “I’m the photographer, not you, Mom” and “Mom, that’s not a camera, that’s a phone”.

    Love, love, LOVE you blog, all the way from Sweden.

  74. Karen says:

    We’re at the “fake smile/model pose” with my 9 year old daughter.

    We’re at the “CHEEEEEZZZZZZZZZ!” stage with my 5 year old son.

    I wonder if the 5 year old will go through fake smile/model pose stage?

  75. Erin says:

    Hahaha…the shocker. My son does the same thing and I crack up every time. Glad someone else is enjoying this awkward spiderman pose.

  76. lol, my 6yo is in the signature face stage and my 3yo mostly bounces between Blurry and No Pictures

  77. Amanda says:

    I have two boys 5 and 7 and they went through all of these stages, including spiderman. The 7 yo also is in the ‘awkward smile’ phase where it looks like someone is torturing him instead of asking him to smile. My favorite photos are of the dress up phase, especially when they got into the paint set when Daddy was watching them (read naptime) and they painted their bodies native american warpaint. The best advice I ever got on picture taking though, was to let your kids take photos of you. They will want them when you are older. My 5yo is actually very good at it!

  78. Jamye says:

    I actually do photography, and this is so true! My lil guy just turned one *tear* and he is in the moving stage but he looks down to see his feet, so I have the fun time of trying to avoid blur while getting him to look up. He now likes to run at me and grab the camera…

    I too really wish I took more pictures his first month. While my husband says we have hundreds of photos, I am like…dude, what happened his first two weeks of life?! I didn’t take any pictures. Then I remember, I was a first time mom trying to figure out nursing while having everyone and their mother at the house and I was stressed and taking pictures wasn’t at the top of my list. And I made a promise to myself that things will be different with the second baby. I will take more newbie pictures!!


  79. Kim says:

    We are in the Too Early Cheese phase – as in, he’s already posing and saying “cheese” before I have my camera ready, and when I finally focus in, he’s done and walks away.

  80. Cynthia says:

    I’m the oldest of five. Same story

  81. Cynthia says:

    I can’t tell you how many videos we have of a kid crawling up to play with the dangling lens cap.

  82. Cynthia says:

    Yes! Always looking to the side! That’s my 5yo.

  83. Kim says:

    My girls are 12 and 6. I like to wait until their asleep at night and sneak in and take pictures of them. I have LOTS of pictures of them asleep. Some are boring, but mostly there’s something crazy in the picture- a doll on someone’s head, the little one turned completely upside down in the bed with her feet up on the pillow. I can make a montage of them…

  84. Cynthia says:

    I have one blurry (22mo), one poser (3), and one just coming out of “no pictures” into cheesy smile/let me see it (5).

  85. Rebecca says:

    We also had the pointer finger/fist RIGHT up near the camera every single time phase.

  86. Rhonda says:

    We’re in a “looking bored” phase where if I ask him to smile, his eyes squint shut, so I’m forced to take it with a bored look on his face. Anyone looking at his pictures now would think he’s not a very happy child.

  87. St Mike says:

    my response is going to be a bit different than the rest of yours, as my four children are all married, and now there are four grand children. however… I did take pictures. I recently scanned my slides, and I had 9000 of them. but…
    I shot film. so I didn’t take as many as you do. 9000 might seem like a lot, but that was a 20+ yr span. my images were interactive; hardly ever of just the child. usually the child w/ my wife, or another simbling. and one thing that I’m very grateful for, is I NEVER said “Smile!” . Never. Children don’t know how to smile. they show their teeth and close their eyes. In my 9000 slides, and don’t have any of these.
    my children were never camera shy; they just understood that their dad took pictures.
    I still take pictures of children. I pose almost nothing. zip. nadda. if I want to see the child’s face, I’ll call their name. They will instinctly look, and I click. open eyes. pure expressions.
    just passing this along…

  88. Stefanie says:

    So true–I just LOVE your blog! I am currently in the “Happiest Baby on Earth” stage with my 5-month-old (she is seriously the happiest baby, though ๐Ÿ˜‰ and we are slowly working our way out of the “NO Pictures!” stage with our 5-year-old. He even SMILED and yelled CHEESE!! while pushing our vaccuum through the living room the other day *gasp*

  89. StephJ says:

    We’re in that stage, too. My Lo is 10 months and her older sisters went through the same stage. All I have are pics of an extremely blurry close-up “Oooh!” face, or a little blurry hand…

  90. StephJ says:

    We called the “signature face” the “cheesy smile face.” Both of my two oldest went through it around two. Squinty eyes and big cheesy smiles was all we got!

  91. says:

    We’re in that stage too…with 2 girls, 15 yo and 12 yo. If I get a picture, it’s of them turning away very quickly while squealing “nooo”. Maybe we reverted to the “Back of the Head & Butt Stage”?

  92. jj says:

    That totally happened with me and my sisters. My older sister had a billion pics with baby books. I had 500 and my younger sister has nothing and most pictures also have us in it. I always wonder why people make such a big deal about the middle child syndrome because my parents were way too preoccupied with the older 2 by the time the youngest came around!

  93. Mara says:

    So true! My 2-year-old is in Blurry Phase, while my 4-month-er is in Happiest Baby Phase.

  94. Jennifer says:

    I ADORE this blog. You have such a funny and accurate way of portraying parenthood and the day to day oddities/ joys that our children bring to life.

    My little one will be turning two in October. I’d say we are a mix between the “blurry” and “performer” photo stages. We do get a peppering of the “No Pi-chews” now too ๐Ÿ™

  95. Mary says:

    My son has been more than a year in The “Signature Face” Stage his smile always look like he is constipated. ๐Ÿ™

  96. Alicia says:

    I have a ton of the reaching-for-the-camera photos. Half a face 10 inches behind a big, blurry hand. For mine, that runs from about 9-18 months.

  97. Amber Dusick says:

    Yes! I completely forgot this one! We did have that stage for a bit.

  98. I have three kids, my two youngest are in kind of a “fight for the front” stage, where they feel they have to get in front of the other to get their picture taken, but they end up just getting too close to the camera and it winds up blurry or i just get a picture of them fighting (lovely). my oldest is trying to do a whole “i’m too cool for the camera so i’m going to ignore it” thing, but he’ll still make a goofy face if ask him to smile.

  99. Jenny says:

    I’m in that phase too!!! Every picture is a partial “ooohhhh gimme” face blocked by a blurry hand. LOL.

  100. debit says:

    I see many older children (4 and up) in the “canned smile” stage … their parents say “smile” and the kids automatically pose with the most strained and artificial smile ever (almost a grimace). They have learned that the sooner the picture-taking is over, the sooner they can move on to more fun things.

  101. Lindsey says:

    Our personal favorite-the “I seem to have forgotten how to smile so every picture looks like I got punched in the jaw” picture.

  102. School pictures where a child is crying are The. Best. I laugh so hard I cry at those.

  103. We have gone through all of those stages and are now at the reaching for the camera “I want to take a picture” stage

  104. I always love your blurbs at the end… and the picture stages are so TRUE. I now lure my kids with candy when I want pictures. They cooperate = More Candy in their mouths….

  105. Amanda says:

    Thank you for your blog – it always makes my day brighter. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Now, I’m off to take more ‘pichews’.

  106. Nora says:

    My child has always had an uncanny knack for knowing exactly when the shutter will close….and stopping whatever activity/look/pose she happened to be engaging in when I reached for the camera. Now she is 5, and has perfected her Signature Face, which my mother calls, “The Grimace.” Seriously, we tell her NOT to smile when we take pictures of her. It’s just that awful.

  107. Jill R. says:

    my 11-year-old son alternates between the “signature face” (eyes wide open, mouth wide open) and the “no pictures” (hand in the camera). I have to resort to serious threats to get any decent family pictures. Unfortunately, my 6-year-old daughter thinks the signature face is hilarious and has started to adopt it as well.

  108. Dee says:

    I’m the youngest of four. Only one picture of me as an infant exists.

  109. Marta says:

    My son is such a ham for photos, so much so that whenever I try to get some pictures of his sister (which is rare, you know second baby and all) he’s always inserting himself in the photo =)

  110. johanna says:

    our 3.5yo wants to TAKE the pictures…

  111. cindy says:

    Since the age of 2 my son (almost 3 now) is in the “I want to see it” stage. So I’ve barely hit the photo button and he’s running towards me with his hands out. Actually, now that I think on it, this all started when he was still crawling. I have MANY photos of his face very close and a hand reaching out almost blocking the image entirely! ha ha!

  112. mom to a teen says:

    I have one in the Lemme see phase who doesn’t stand still long enough to get the shot before trying to see so you get some great up the nostril shots as he’s grabbing the camera
    – my other one has moved into the teenage – death rays are glaring from my eyes, why have you not fallen to the ground writhing in pain instead of trying to take a happy photo of me, I will not smile, I refuse to look as if I enjoy life – ugh! Are u still here? Kind of glare….

    I keep myself occupied looking back at cheesy grin photos ๐Ÿ™‚

  113. Kris says:

    I have ONE good picture of my son from the blurry stage where he stopped, looked at me AND smiled. I seriously jumped up and down and did a little dance when I got that shot.

  114. Me says:

    I’m the youngest of 4. My baby book was filled out by the older 2 when they were 8 and 9. just a bunch of scribbly miss-spelled milestones and then their stick man drawings. I also have only maybe 5 pictures from my 1st 4 years. Oh well, I guess my parents were pretty busy with 4.

  115. Goodynuffmum says:

    I went to a photographer’s house once where they had taken a picture of their baby in the same position everyday for his first year then put them all in a frame one after the other so you could see the daily changes. It was amazing. I mean to do it but was too tired to remember, plus my baby is not a cartoon flip book. Still, I regret not doing it.

  116. My kids went through all of those and now, they’ve reached the “behind the camera” stage. My son grabs the camera and takes his own photos now. I have pictures of my kids taking pictures of each other.

    The funny thing is, all the stages you listed above apply to their pictures of each other. There’s the blurry ones, plus the sideways pics, the flash is too close pics, and finger in front of the lens pics.

    But now, my son takes really good pictures. He even practices with long exposure. I’m lucky that I’ve got all those pictures of the stages you mentioned and I’ve got his point of view of those same stages, too.

  117. Jessica says:

    Lol, My son is six and we are at the “surprise” stage. He likes to secretly take the camera and take photos of himself and various body parts or who knows what and you dont find them until you are going back through the images on the camera. We have had a few ‘hilarious’ surprises and some ewwww ones too…

  118. Debi says:

    I have been lloking at picture albums with my second child. The pics are from either his sister or before we had kids. In my defense, the second child was born with a few medical issues and required weekly visits to an ortho Dr. 70 miles away. Often these weekly visits were 2-3 times a week because he would wiggle out of the casts on his legs. Anyway, he whimpered as he looked at the books last night, “I wish I had a happy childhood” Absolutely broke my heart. Guess I better store those photo albums away.

  119. Zoe says:

    My twins are 7 months tomorrow. The boy never stops moving, so many pictures of him show his face and body well but the arms and legs are a blur… They are in the “Gimme” stage if I get too close with the camera-not to mention their attraction for my laptop!

  120. Jena says:

    How about the fake smile phase? all teeth and no smile in the eyes, kinda vicious looking…or the “I want to see the picture” phase. after every picture they run to you asking to see how the pic came out.

  121. Funnism says:

    Yep, 4 kids. 1st one, baby book filled in with detail, 2nd one baby book with some detail, 3rd one baby book empty, 4th one NO baby book. LOL

  122. Nikki says:

    I’ve moved on from the ‘don’t have time to take photos’ stage to ‘taking photos only of what’s REALLY important’. My eldest just turned 8 and for the first time in my life, I decorated her cake and it turned out just like I imagined it. We have two photos from her birthday – a blurry shot of her turning away, and a good shot of the cake ๐Ÿ˜‰

  123. Elisa says:

    Thank you Elisa. I think our names rock too. We Elisa’s have to stick together!

  124. Elisa says:

    No you’re not the only one. See my comment above. About 500 of the first, several of the second, very few of the last two. What can you do? Who has time to take pictures when you have 4?

  125. Desirรฉe says:

    Lol, that’s adorable and so true. I took literally thousands of pictures the first year of my daughter’s life (I even spent several hours laying on the ground in front of my crawling baby to get the awesome face shots, followed by fighting her when she tried lunging for the camera.)

    My one-and-a-half-year-old is right now in the performer stage; I think she’s headed toward the funny face stage, though. She’s never not loved having her picture taken. Even after she started walking, when she realized I was taking her picture she would stop and look at me and ham it up, usually.

    However, now she knows what the camera is, so every time she sees it she poses, then thinks it’s her turn to take pictures. And instead of being easily distracted with a different toy or her toy princess camera, she is hell bent on getting my camera, and throws a tantrum. So, my pictures start out nice, then turn into todder-smiling-and-reaching-toward camera (which is what most of my pictures are now), to suddenly cutting off because she’s on the floor screaming. Blah.

  126. Pam says:

    Here I have the sleeping baby, and the moving pictures ! And also one you don’t show here : My two boys love when we take picture of them BUT (there is always a BUT) they want to be on the picture AND also on the other side of the camera, so we have only part of their face : nose, eyes, fingers… taken very very very close… sometimes so closer that the picture is black -_-‘ plus the picture are blury

  127. Jaclyn says:

    We are currently in the blurry stage. I’ll be holding her by the hand in a death grip and let go at the last second to try to snap the picture but she always runs away before I get it. The blurry stage is directly correlating with the “take off diaper” stage. She’s going to be embarrassed of those pics when I show them to all her boyfriends.

  128. Jaclyn says:

    I did think of one more phase that you missed- the “LET ME GRAB THE CAMERA” phase. Almost every picture of my daughter that isn’t of the back of her head is a picture of her lunging at the camera with her hand blocking half her face.

  129. Shannon says:

    Sounds like me except somehow I got out of sync! My first has a full book, second some, third not much, fourth bought the book but nothin in it, fifth actually has pictures and writing in it and sixth… it to late to start? I never even bought the book! She’s five…

  130. Liz says:

    We have 2. So we are currently simultaneously at the “loves the camera, smiley phase” and the “no pichews” phase.


  131. *SNORT* We went through all those stages with Indy. He’s 9 and still in the silly face stage and the “I can’t keep my eyes open with the flash (or without the flash) so all my photos are of me looking drunk stage.

    Today I was trying to get photos of Han Solo in his gorgeous handmade (in England-just for him) Christening gown and he just wasn’t having it. My gorgeous smiles at everything 5 month old would not smile for for ANYTHING. Indy and I were practically standing on our heads and…nothing. Maybe tomorrow.

  132. Ceri says:

    Ha ha! LOVE IT! My son is in to superman and batman. SO we have all these pictures where he is posed with his hands and is waist with his cape on. (because he has over 5 of them and never. takes. them. off.)

  133. Ceri says:

    Love it! What did kids do before digital? I mean how lucky are they that they get to SEE the picture right after it is taken? We were lucky if the roll ever was devloped…..

  134. Wendy Irene says:

    lol! I love the grandparents advice. That’s awesome. My son is in the totally cheesy smile stage right now. Have a wonderful weekend!

  135. Csara says:

    This is so hilarious! I have one performer and one who hides from the camera!

  136. Lesley says:

    My 4 and 6 year old (boy and girl respectively) are still in the “omgtakemypicturewiththeseprops!!” stage and love hamming it up for the camera. The twins (identical boys, 4 months old) are starting the smiling at everything stage.

    My 12 year old boy entered the “actively dodging the camera, omg my parents are so LAME for wanting to take my picture!” stage. I sneak up and get pictures of him, because I know the day will come when I am accused of “never taking his picture once the younger kids came around.”

  137. Tovah says:

    Ha! My mom just developed a roll of film from when I was 14… I’m turning 27 now

  138. Misty says:

    I did that in one of my senior pictures. Lol

  139. Misty says:

    Or butthead phase? Lol

  140. Misty says:

    LMBO, My MOM did the snap-it-and-die face all of my life UNTIL we gave her grandbabies. Now she’ll let us take a picture no matter how bad she thinks she looks, as long as there’s a grandkid in her arms. Moms these days. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  141. Misty says:

    LOL, YES!! My kinder is doing this one right now. She wants me to take pics of her CONSTANTLY, but always does that ridiculous fake smile! Makes me wanna thump her! Hahaha

  142. Misty says:


  143. Layla says:

    Both of my boys will hold still for a shot. However, they will stop whatever cute thing they were doing, both their mouths contorting into a toothy grimace while they loudly and annoyingly shout, “CHeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeSE” and look anywhere but at the camera.

  144. My 3 year old takes pictures with the front of the camera pointing at her face! I think it was from me taking sooooo many pictures from when she was born.

  145. Crummy Mummy says:

    We’re entering the 4yo ‘forced’ smile, which is always the same: VERY Pursed lips drawing slightly upwards at the end, coupled with Crazy eyes.

  146. Val says:

    My son has been in the “signature face” stage (AKA “schrunch face”) for about a year now. I can only imagine what this year’s photo book will look like.

  147. Stephanie says:

    My oldest (almost 3) is at the “no pichews” stage – right up until I take a picture of his little brother (19 mos). Then he gives me a hammy smile and demands to see the camera so he can look at himself. Too funny!! Reading your blog leaves me gasping from laughing so hard! I’m so glad I’m not the only one being bossed around by two little boys!

  148. Tasha says:

    We’re at the stage where DS flashes his “happy face” at every photo op, but does it so quickly that every photo is of DS with his arms reaching and invading the camera’s comfortable space by getting right up the lens and trying to grab it to “See me pichew! See me!”. A blur of hands and ears.

  149. Tanya says:

    Both of my girls when through a “weird smile” phase. I’d pull out the camera and my youngest would close her eyes and push her face close up to the camera and my oldest at around the same age would stretch her mouth out into a straight line. Love those pics lol.

  150. Bee from London says:

    Last year my son when through the ‘see pitcha’ stage – the joys of digital cameras he wanted to see the photo before it was even taken, so every photo was of him reaching for camera, or worse still having grabbed strap of camera and pulling, we also had a large number hillarious videos of him chanting ‘see pitcha’ and chasing the camera holder

  151. Bee from London says:

    LOL – reminds me of family boxing day a couple of years ago when my camera must have been taken by my son and the cousins, but I only discovered this when I downloaded the photos I had 21 photos of toddler and small child tummies, generally without heads visible, but with the hands pulling up their tops, and often with a nice hip thrust to stick the tummy closer to the camera!

  152. Emma says:

    I used to love going to my auntie’s cos she had a Polaroid!

  153. I have invented the easiest way to get a toddler to look at the camera- dangle a bag of cookies behind it. Works every time (although they may be drooling or looking overly excited in the photos…)

  154. Laura Price says:

    I had the “This is not my baby” stage. It seemed that every ten pictures, I had one that looked like a completely different child.

  155. Tarina says:

    haaaaahhaa my 2 yr old is in this stage. I spend hours each week carefully scrolling through the digital camera to be sure i dont delete important photos while emptying the VERY full memory card!

  156. Vidooshak says:

    How could you have captured the phases just right?!! Our kids went through exactly the same phases….. Never knew they were a stereotype ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great work!

  157. A smile explains a million things. Just like money, it makes the world go round. Those are jolly pictures right there! Oh, how I miss my childhood drawings.

  158. Jasmine in Jazzyland says:

    The fake smile stage. They can be smiling hugely and beautifully, laughing and practically glowing with mirth! But the moment they see a camera, suddenly they have the most forced smile ever, like they’re only trying to show you their teeth. Funny as heck, but so disappointing!

  159. Amanda says:

    Here I thought it was just my weirdo that did the face thing.

    She’s 5, and she makes the strangest faces when you tell her to smile… and she has also started to incorporate “poses.” These usually look more like she’s a 16-year-old wanna-be thug attempting to flash gang signs. It’s pretty hilarious.