Why isn’t my sponsored child smiling in photos?

June 3, 2011 at 8:00 am 5 comments

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. My sponsored child isn’t smiling in photos. Are my contributions making a difference in his/her life?

A. Smiling for a photo is learned behavior. American children, subjects of a thousand photos by the time they are 5 years old, know to smile when they are in front of a camera.

But sponsored children may only have their picture taken once a year for their CFCA sponsor. That is probably the only time they are photographed. Therefore, having their picture taken is serious business.

Look at the early photos of your own parents, grandparents and great grandparents – no one is smiling. It took a lot of photos before the photographers learned to say, “Smile!” and the subjects to say, “Cheese.”

Entry filed under: Around the World with CFCA, Ask Sponsor Services, cfca, christian foundation for children and aging. Tags: , , , , , , .

Sponsor writes about upcoming trip to Guatemala Walk2gether solidarity walks around the world

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Margaret Dick  |  June 6, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I greatly appreciate your explanation. I have sponsored two girls in Guatemala — both for many years — and have also noticed that they almost never smile. Of all the photos I have received, each girl smiled only once. I so treasure those photos because, as I learned over years of corresponding, their smiles revealed so much of their individual personalities.

    • 2. Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA)  |  June 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Margaret. There are also cultural differences, too, around the world when it comes to smiling. Sometimes a smile can mean that one is being frivolous, not friendly!

      ~Shanxi, CFCA web editor and writer

  • 3. Leisa Snow  |  June 15, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve always wondered this myself…good question :)

    • 4. Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA)  |  June 16, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Thanks, Leisa! If you have any other questions, feel free to let us know. We’d love to hear from you. Chances are that other sponsors will be asking the same question! :)

      ~Shanxi, CFCA web editor and writer

  • 5. Joyce Cornibe  |  June 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I, too wondered why my little Honduran girl, whom I’ve sponsored three happy years, didn’t smile in her pictures. My sister, who worked with Mexicans, said many Hispanics don’t smile for pictures. But her letters show me all her good qualities and talents–humility and such gratitude! I wish I could do more for her financially, but right now she is determined to be a teacher, so I encourage her, knowing she will be an excellent one.

    By the way, I cried watching Bob’s entrance into the stadium in Chile. There was so much love shining from him and the people! What IS next, Bob? God bless you!!



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Christian Foundation
for Children and Aging
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Kansas City, Kansas 66103

1.800.875.6564 | 913.384.6500
mail@cfcausa.org www.cfcausa.org

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