The Progression of a Smile (And How to Get a Real One)

        Each Sunday morning, Matt heads to church with the older boys so they can serve as greeters at the first service.  This leaves Kaden and I to spend our morning together and I value this time so much … both for my big guys and for me and my little guy.  ♥

        As I was getting him ready to go on a recent Sunday I couldn’t get over how mature and grown-up … let alone adorable …. he looked, so I asked if it would be okay if I took a few photos of him before we left.  Sweetie-pie said sure so as we drove out of our driveway I stopped at this spot to just snap a few.  However, when it comes to portraits, it takes him a second to warm up to showing me his true self through my lens.  So we have to work through the progression of getting to that real-deal, happy-boy smile.  Even though I was really after one portrait, I can’t help but love seeing these smiles ….

        As much as I love the smiles, I actually asked for a non-smile one because he sort of melts my heart with this look …

        The adorable smolder doesn’t last long though when he is watching Charlie chasing his tail right by my legs …

        What pulls out the real-deal smile?  I always say “Ahhh…. is THAT the smile you give for how much you LOVE your mama??”  or “Let’s see the smile you give to Grammie when she comes to visit!”  Sometimes, I even ask if they tooted.   To which  they always respond, NO!  And then smile.   And if all else fails, I at least have Charlie right by me acting like the goof-ball dog he is which is guaranteed to pop those smiles right out there on that sweet face.

        And with those few captures, and then trying to get Charlie to stay home and not follow us the rest of the way down the driveway, we were late for church.  So, I’ll quietly enjoy these photos of my littlest straight-hair, and promise to not stop for photos right before church again.  😀

        Thank you for visiting!  Photography friends, these were all taken with the 70-200 at about 200mm and at 2.8.  ♥

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        • Mom - Just too cute for words. And such a loving, precious little guy. Thank you for brightening my day 🙂
          XO to Tado from Grammie
          XOXO to Doot & Coop tooReplyCancel

        • valerie a. - Oh my GOODNESS–he is so CUTE! Sidenote: I love when you include your photo specs (which lens, focal length, etc.–so interesting/informative/helpful–thank you!) Two questions: 1) Do you focus on one of the eyeballs, or do you focus on the flat skin that is right between the eyes? I’ve heard different photographers swear by different things, but your photos are always so beautifully sharp! 2)Do you ever struggle with getting sharpness when using the 70-200? Do you have tips for keeping it steady? Such gorgeous images! Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Hi Valerie! Thank you! If the face is my intended focus, I always focus on the eye. At these distance shots though, I just locked focus on his entire face since the focus point covered that area. I don’t grab focus on the area between the eyes, though, since the camera needs an area with contrast in order to lock focus. Also, with the 70-200 at 200mm and at 2.8 for close up shots, the focal plane is a sliver so if I tried to focus on the bridge of the nose, the eyes would likely be slightly out of focus.

            And yes, I DO struggle with focus with this lens. These images actually aren’t as sharp as I’d like, but since they are small and at a distance and I’ve sharpened them for web-viewing, so the focus issues are hard to detect. I need to do some focus tests with it to determine if the issue is me or the lens. I keep my shutter speed up nice and fast so I know that isn’t the issue. It’s frustrating but since I rarely print images very big, the images are still usable. 😉ReplyCancel

        • Michelle Kersey - Soooo adorable! My son is similar, he takes a lil warming up, but the did you toot (we say poot) gets him every time lol boys.
          Love the dreamy creamy light and bg. Beautiful setting. You’re one lucky duck! I have a lil secret spot at my house too that I use as my go to bg for a quick portrait ReplyCancel

        • krista - love these shots! i too love the sharpness in your photos – thanks for sharing your lense and settings 🙂 I have a tamron 24-70 would it have the same type of effect if i zoomed in to the 70mm? (i know it’s not 200!)ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Hi Krista! Your lens at 70mm would be very similar to this lens at 70mm. 🙂 The difference between 70mm and 200mm is pretty noticeable, though! 70mm is still a really nice focal length for portraits, though! Especially up-close and at 2.8. 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Carol - He just couldn’t be any cuter!ReplyCancel

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