October 9, 2018
Hey there photog friends!
One of the biggest pain points I hear about from other photographers is that they struggle to make their clients feel like their most comfortable and best selves during a session.
When people get in front of a camera… most of us do this: We become stiff and awkward.
Trust me, I am so guilty of this, and I bet you are too if you’ve ever gotten photos made of yourself! Over the past few years of shooting multiple weddings, engagement sessions, and senior sessions, I have learned so much about how to make someone feel comfortable and less awkward in front of the camera!
Here are some of my best tips to help you that you can use at your next session!!!
1. Keep your camera in your bag. That sounds counterintuitive, right? We’re photographers – the first thing we do should be to get our cameras out right?! But here’s the thing – when people see the camera they freak out a little bit. Whenever I park my car at a session and get out, whether I’m holding my camera bag or not, I never take my camera out immediately. I always talk to the couple for the senior first. We have to establish ourselves as people first and photographers second. This will give them the opportunity to trust us as a person before we even bring the camera out!
2. Go over the game plan with them. A few years ago I used to immediately get my camera out and begin shooting, which is probably the worst thing you can do as a photographer with a client that you have just met!!! Now, I arrive at sessions early and sometimes scout the area if I’m unfamiliar with it. I keep in mind the best places for us to shoot. I always suggest a few spots for my clients and then ask if they have their heart set on any spots in particular. If they do, I’ll be sure to do a mix of the spots that I like and the spots that they like! Win, win!
3. Do a practice posing session with them. Once I’ve talked to them and establish myself as a person first, I go over the photography session game plan with them. I ask them when the last time they had professional photos made was. Usually it has been years since they had professional photos done, which gives me the opportunity to blow them away with how comfortable I can make them feel! Their memories of getting their photo taken are probably not great ones – ones where they feel awkward and self-conscious! Again, this happens to all of us! I will walk with my clients to a spot that I feel will photograph well and I tell them that this is just practice! I always tell them that the first 10 to 15 minutes will be practice and not to worry. This eases their fears of looking awkward in front of the camera and I tell them that it’s their warm up time! I also tell them that I won’t use any photos from this practice session – this is always a little bit of a lie because sometimes the best photos come out of the very first ones that we take together! 😉
I hope that these tips on how to make your clients comfortable have been helpful for you!
These are things that you can implement at your VERY NEXT SESSION even if it’s tonight!
The way you approach your clients at the beginning of your session sets the tone for the entire session. If you bring out your camera and start shooting and don’t practice with them, they are automatically going to feel awkward and like they don’t know what they’re doing!
If you implement these tips and set them up for success they will feel so much more confident in themselves which will in turn give you better images. Your clients are also guaranteed to have more fun during your session if you take the time to do this at the beginning. I never ever skip this part of any photography session and I would encourage you to do the same!!!
If you need any help with these tips or you implemented them and they went well, please shoot me an email and let me know!!!
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Until next time,
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy reading about What to Ask Yourself BEFORE You Create an Ideal Client Profile, Why You Need to Define Your Ideal Client and How to Clone Your Favorite Clients!