Every parent wants a great photo of their kid, but kids have a mind of their own. Sometimes, that just doesn’t happen. I have friends who photograph kids for a living, and even they say kids are as unpredictable as the weather. They are the hardest to photograph and you really just have to follow their cue and keep them focused.

I wish we owned a DSLR camera, but realistically our phones are our fastest bet these days at capturing the moment. Kids are fast. Very fast, and by the time you unpack, adjust your camera settings, the moment is gone.

Depending on the type of phone you’re using, high-speed burst shots are really as simple as holding down one button these days. And if all else fails, there’s always video – heh! With so many photo editing apps available for iPhone and Android users, you can almost cheat. Here are some tips for ending up with some reasonably good shots of your fidgety, fussy or unruly kid.

1. Get down to their level

Get down to their level and start a conversation with the child. It can be a story or a series of questions about their favorite things. Have a stool or a chair to keep them in one place so that it is easier to get a shot.

2. Mobile babies

For mobile babies who can’t quite follow instructions yet, food/treats or even their favourite toy are a great way to keep them in one spot for just about long enough to get the shot. Sit them down in a pretty spot, drop their favourite snack/toy, then make some funny noises, snap your fingers, clap, call their name… anything to get them to look at the camera and hopefully smile.

3. Make it a game

For the older kids, you can make it a Game. Simon says “Smile?” Do you have a bubble machine? Time to stock up on small bottles of bubbles. That one never fails.

4. Get your kids in a picture together

Especially, when you want both of them to be well behaved and in the same picture. Give them a task to achieve together – sibling interaction is nice to capture on photos too. Sometimes simple teamwork works, otherwise, you can get them to check each other’s nose for boogers.

5. Add an adult into the melee

Because sometimes it is about getting back some semblance of control. Plus who doesn’t want mom in the picture?

6. Bribery

I am un-bashfully admitting this works EVERY TIME. I bribe mine with organic gummy candies and I reserve candy sessions solely for this purpose.

7. Do some actions and get them to mimic you

Nothing like clowning around for a bit and getting them to copy some funny actions. Even if it isn’t full proof at least it would relax the kiddos and add some cheer. Remember, this is supposed to be fun and not a boot camp.

8. Above all else, KEEP YOUR COOL

Nothing like getting visibly angry/frustrated/annoyed at the kids for lack of cooperation and ruining the whole shoot. Keep it in check and spew it later.

Original article contributed by TheAsianParent.