Photo by Brad Miller

Photo by Brad Miller

Howling for Laughter

by Brad Miller

A serious picture can be a powerful thing, but sometimes a smile is much better – especially with kids. Yet so often when I travel, people get all serious the moment I whip out my camera.

Thankfully, I’ve discovered a secret trick to get the smile I’m looking for. The best way to make kids smile is to act totally crazy and utterly wild behind the lens.

While taking school portraits in Dhaka, we had a background and a marked place for the children to stand, but I couldn’t get enough height to look down on them. With no other options, I decided to balance precariously on a pile of broken bricks. I screwed up my face and at the top of my voice cried out the Bengali word for “smile.”


My falsetto howling was a hit. Try as they might, the kids couldn’t keep a straight face, and I captured just the moment I was looking for.