Telling a young person to sit still and smile often has the opposite effect.
"I'd rather not," Lainey told me over and over when I asked her to try different poses as we strolled downtown Franklinton.
It was Lainey's tween portrait session - not mine - so I followed her around and let her lead the way by allowing her to be herself.
I snapped the shutter when I could and offered suggestions when I dared, but I mainly fell in line with whatever looks she liked.
Was every shot a winner? Absolutely not.
But by allowing Lainey to be herself I was able to negotiate some looks that I knew she would love.
"Hey, Lainey, You want to listen to some music while we shoot?"
"I'd rather not."
"Hey, Lainey. You want me to Cha Cha Slide in the street?"
"I'd rather you didn't."
Then she turned the tables on me.
"Hey Mr. Chris. You want to play chase in the street?"
"Heck Yeah! Tag - you're it."
Let them be brave enough to be themselves.