Implement These Portrait Posing Tips and Take Better Photos!
Sometimes you may think that having the best equipment guarantees you to capture amazing portraits. That’s partly true but not necessarily enough.
Your relationship with your clients is also equally important to give them a comfortable feeling and help them to relax to capture better pictures. Here’s how:
Read this informative article and let us know what you think!
One of the trickiest parts of doing a portrait photo shoot has nothing to do with operating your camera, mastering your lenses, controlling the light, or even dealing with uncontrollable weather. Getting your clients to relax, take it easy, and enjoy themselves during your time with them is just as important as making sure you have all the technical aspects of your equipment figured out.
This is often the key to a successful photo shoot, and yet it’s so easy to get caught up in learning about your camera equipment and buying new gear that many people forget to invest time in developing the human element of a photo session. Portrait posing and how to help your subjects relax is key to taking better people photos.
If this aspect of your craft is not managed properly you could easily find yourself in the middle of a photo session where your clients are confused, agitated, bored, or worst of all, frustrated and angry. Every photographer has their own unique style, but generally speaking if you can get your subjects to get comfortable and relax, you can get more of the photos you (and they) are really looking for. It’s a tricky situation to be sure, and every photo shoot is different, but here are three techniques that may be helpful:
1. Get to know your clients beforehand
At its most basic level taking photos for clients is a simple business transaction wherein they pay you money for a service you provide. But it’s really much more than that: people are inviting you to record a point in their lives that they will hold dear for decades to come. When you order a sandwich or cup of coffee it doesn’t matter who you are, what hobbies you enjoy, what professional goals you have, or whether you woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. You hand over some cash, get what you ordered, and go about your day. However, taking portraits is almost the polar opposite because everything matters. A good portrait photographer will strive to capture the essence of the people they are working with, and getting to know them first is a key element of making this happen.
2. Don’t treat the photo shoot like a photo shoot
I did a photo session recently for a bright, intelligent, outgoing young man who simply did not want to have his picture taken. He was nearing the end of his time in high school and his parents wanted to get some nice photographs before graduation, particularly of him in his cap and gown. He would much rather have been at home playing video games or hanging out with friends, but instead was obliged to spend the late afternoon with me taking photos – a prospect that was about as much fun for him as getting a tooth drilled. How on earth can you possibly get someone like this to relax, have fun, and enjoy a photo shoot? Simple: don’t make it about the photos.
One of the first things I said to this student as I hoisted my camera bag to my shoulder was “What video games are you playing right now?” He immediately relaxed and started telling me about one of his current favorites, which then branched into discussion of what his friends were playing, which then led to a dialogue about the recent school year and even his career goals. All the while I was snapping photos, while giving him subtle directions without interrupting the flow of our conversation. I got more good shots than I ever thought I would, and he enjoyed our time together far more than he had anticipated.
3. Build long-term relationships
When you order a pizza or pick up a tool from the hardware store you’re not looking for any type of lasting personal commitment. It’s merely a simple business transaction that serves a functional purpose, whereas photography is quite the opposite. Because you are dealing with people, and not objects, you should not only get to know your clients and seek to build a rapport with them, but find ways to build a professional relationship with them after money and pictures have changed hands. This won’t necessarily improve a current photo session, but it will pave the way for many successful future sessions while also helping to spread the word to the client’s friends, family, and co-workers about your photography services. A few ideas to try include:
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