As photographers, professional and hobbyist alike, we all strive to document that true laugh, joy, love, sweetness etc. that exist at every shoot we have the pleasure of being a part of. These hints I’m going to share with you can be applied to any shoot you are doing that involves people, and heck maybe even animals if you feel so inclined. My main focus is couples and families so they are tailored to that but take them and apply them to your own shoots.
I make it my job (since it is) to make every client I work with as comfortable as possible at a shoot, and here are some of the top 4 ways I go about that:
1. Take the pressure off- For the photographer this means being as prepared as possible going into the shoot. Know where your shooting, what spots you want to hit, and also know your gear. It’s like that feeling you get before a test you studied your butt off for vs. the one you spent 20 minutes before class studying. You will obviously go into the one you studied for longer more prepared and more confidante. This confidence will allow you and your clients to feel at ease, and allow for true emotion to shine through.
2. Acknowledge why your all there and see how your clients are feeling- I like to call it out right then and there. I say something like “hey we’re just here to have fun, I know it can be a bit awkward but you know what FORGET that and let’s rock it out!” You can of course put that in your own words. I feel this much like #1 also takes the pressure off. I also like to ask my clients how they’re feeling, gauge where they’re at, and let them know it’s ok to be nervous but that I’m not there to judge anyone I’m there to give them a heck of a good time
3. Start with a telephoto lens- This is a pretty simple concept. It allows you to not be all up in your clients business with a 50mm standing over them when they first start the shoot. This will help them warm up to it without throwing them into the deep end….you feel me? We together? Good let’s continue…
4. Engage/interact/converse/encourage- Ok you caught me I did jam a bunch of verbs into this on to try to disguise it as one, I’m outta control I blame the Red Bull I just drank. Engage- ask questions get to know your wonderful clients, interact- respond to them don’t be afraid to be yourself and fully allow and encourage your clients to do the same, converse- have a dialogue it will put everyone more at ease if there is some rapport going on, and why wouldn’t you want to find out more about the people you are photographing ya know? Encourage- NEVER speak in negatives! If you ask for a certain pose and it’s not 100% what you envisioned GO WITH IT and then say “ok let’s try it this way now” speaking from first hand experience no one wants to feel like they are disappoint the photographer! Encourage them this will allow them to loosen up, be free and feel comfortable letting the real emotions come through.
I really hope you found any part of this helpful! There is no magic bullet but working some of these things into your shoot can help with making everyone comfortable and THAT’S how you will get to the real emotions! I in no way think these are the only things you can implement nor do I think my way is 100% the right way, but if I can help even one person with this then I can sleep tonight just fine. These are just the tip of the iceberg I got more for you guys, oh ya get excited it’s ok! Check back next Wednesday for more helpful hints with yours truly!