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"Drunk Walk" and Other Weird Things I Tell Clients That Aren't "Say Cheese"

I don't know what genius came up with "say cheese!" to get people to smile for photos. Has it ever worked? "Cheese" is a great word if you want to capture a maniacal sneer, or a clenched jaw and bared teeth. You might as well tell your subjects to pretend to sneeze before you press the shutter.

Baby giving camera a pissy look
But why?

I don't know about you, but I'm not a huge fan of being treated like a child. Whether it's a photographer wheedling, "say cheese!" or my husband asking for the thirty-six billionth time for me to please throw away my bed muffins (they're muffins that I keep in my bed. Body heat warms 'em up, you've got a midnight snack. Try it now and thank me later), I just don't respond super well to being talked down to. It bums me out, and I shut down. Not super conducive for photos, not effective at convincing me to toss my treats (cough cough, Erik).