Is it hard to believe that I'm saying "Don't smile for the camera?" Every week I photograph children and I've always got parents and grandparents encouraging their little one to "Smile for the camera" or "Say, cheese." Now I'm not opposed to smiles but I did want to share a thought about this. If you read one of my prior postings, you'll remember that I talked about being in a class last month with Linda Weaver who is known world-wide as a portrait artist. In fact, I was intimidated and a little overwhelmed at being in a class with her because she travels everywhere and is paid thousands of dollars for a portrait. But when you're around her, you find out that she's truly one of the nicest people you'll ever meet on top of being a first class artist. Our class was sitting around at a break one day and we were swapping professional stories and someone asked Linda about the fact that most of the children in her portraits were not smiling. She very quickly told us that she did not encourage little children to smile for the camera for a number of reasons. The most important reasons were that children often tried too hard to smile and their expression looked forced rather than happy and that there is SO much expression in their eyes and that you often lose that expression with a big cheese-y grin. I've thought about what she said several times since then and looked back through some of my favorites children's portraits. I'm with her -- the eyes really do have it!!