The first thing I do before I take any photos is chat so that I can find out what makes you tick. I want to know something about your personality and to find common ground between us. Finding similarities between us helps the conversation flow easily when we start the photo session. By the time we start, I promise you will not feel like you have a stranger stood in front of you with a camera. I’m your friend first, photographer second.
2. No posing
My next little trick to get you to relax is to get you into a position and location that works and then leave you to it. I hardly ever pose clients, I prefer to position you, let the candid moments happen and then the natural photos will hopefully follow. The best way to do this is to get you to laughing and moving . I’ll probably get you saying silly things or pretend to dance. It always looks a lot better than a truly posed shot.
3. Feel big…feel epic!
Next I’m going to encourage you to take up and use the space around you. If I sense that you are feeling nervous or shy I’m going to prompt you to make yourself bigger as for some crazy reason it makes you feel more confident.
Confidence looks great in photos! How am I going to that, I hear you ask, well I’ll probably get you doing star jumps, it never fails to give everyone a boost and a laugh. The last wedding I shot the ushers told me it was the most fun they had ever had having their photo taken. I could sense that they were trying to behave but I secretly knew that they were a fun bunch. So, I got them to do jumps, wave their hands and lift the groom in the air. We were all laughing so much by the end of it and I got some amazing photos.
4. Copy me
My next tip to get you to relax is to show you what I mean. The old adage “show, don’t tell” applies pretty readily with photography, especially when you’re photographing kids. It's easier and more fun to give really clear directions this way than verbal ones.
5. Interact, don’t stand back
Possible the most important thing I can do to make you relax throughout the session is to interact with you whilst I photograph!
I can’t even start to tell you how important this is. I mean how awkward is it to have someone photographing you while being totally silent? I will talk pretty much the whole time. I will tell you how amazing you look and how awesome the image is that we just got . I will show you as well on the back of my camera if you don’t believe me.
6. Get excited and have fun!
This is my favorite trick. One of the most frequent compliments I hear about my work is that "everyone seems to be having so much fun!" And that's because well … WE WERE having fun!!!
How can you expect people to get excited and have fun if you aren't?
I'm constantly saying dumb things (goolies is my favorite word at the moment), rambling on and making silly comments to get people to naturally have fun and laugh.
If you’re dancing to your favorite tune on the dance floor you can be pretty sure I will be there too. I’m not going to get dad doing his terrible dancing from the back of the room, am I ? Having fun, joking around and laughing are one of the best ways for you to feel comfortable me.
So there you have it, my tips for relaxing in front of the camera. You could try some of these yourself. Next time you take a photo, try one of these techniques. I promise you, your photos will turn out awesome, if you do.