Understandably, people are usually feeling pretty nervous, vulnerable or anxious before a photo shoot. And I can totally relate! However after the photo shoot, my clients often tell me that it was easier than they had anticipated. Mainly because I made them feel comfortable!
To get that special connection in your photos - in the eyes and body language of your client - these are 5 things I do with my clients to make them feel more comfortable during their photo shoot. Remember to always smile + listen when using any of these 5 methods:
1. Making a new friend
When a client is booking her photo shoot, be sure to ask her a lot of questions about herself.
It’s like making a new friend! Asking questions helps me get to know my client’s personality and also what she likes in terms of style and imagery. It gives us something to talk about. And finding any similarities between us, helps the conversation flow easily on the day of the photo shoot.
Just before the photo shoot begins, I warn my client that I will most likely be talking throughout the entire session - often gently repeating myself with posing and coaching instructions.
By informing my client of my process ahead of time, she never feels discouraged or like she is doing something wrong. She interprets my repetitious instructing as encouragement rather than criticism.
3. Tell a story to set the scene
Tell a story to get your client into the right mindset or character.
Sometimes if can’t get my client to give me the connection or body language I am looking for, I tell her a story to get her into character. With couples for example, I may say “you both just snuck out of a formal dinner party and met up in this secluded area to share a private moment”. Or with a couture portrait client, I may tell her to picture herself as a celebrity she likes and ask her to show me how that celebrity would portray this look. This works wonders!
4. Share personal experience
Share your own experience of being photographed focusing on how you felt during the process.
I often share my personal experience of being in front of the camera and how nervous and vulnerable I felt. Let your client know that you can relate to how she is feeling. And how the poses may feel really awkward, they actually look good in camera. This will help reduce your client’s stress and you will see her shoulders relax.
5. Show positive emotions
When a shot looks great don’t be afraid to show your excitement!
During the photo shoot when a pose or shot looks great, I can’t help but get excited and let out a little squeal! This always gives the client an extra boost of confidence and reinforces that she is doing a great job! She will also inject more effort and enthusiasm in her next poses.
I hope you found these tips helpful! I’d love to hear any tips you have on making your clients feel more comfortable in front of the camera.