Colleen Maher, 6, reacts with joy as she opens the birthday gift from her grandmother, and gets exactly what she wanted (© Michael Maher).
I frequently aim my camera on people as they open gifts to try and capture an unexpected reaction or great facial expression. Often you don’t get anything spectacular, but occasionally you will. The trick is to do this regularly and be in position to get the terrific photo when it happens. For this birthday, I knew the gifts my daughter Colleen would be receiving, and had no idea if her reaction would be anything special. Nevertheless, I positioned my camera in front to clearly see her expression, and slightly off to the side so the gift would not block her face. She opened several gifts, some which I expected would bring her great joy, but she showed no unusually special expression. However, when she unwrapped this present from her grandmother, and saw a Snow White video, she was overwhelmed with joy, and I was able to capture the delightful reaction on her face.
1) Kids opening birthday gifts can provide outstanding photos of reactions and facial expressions.
2) These photos don’t happen all the time, but you should almost always be prepared and in position to get the picture when it does occur.
3) Be in front with a clear view of the child’s face, and slightly off to the side to avoid the open gift blocking your view of the reaction.