Here are my 5 best, tried & true, methods that I use to help my clients feel comfortable and look their best during their photo-shoots!
Choose The Right Location
The location of a photo shoot is SO important when it comes to the comfort of your clients! Having a client who hates nature & is terrified of bugs in the middle of a field may not yield the best, most natural looking, photographs. When having a consultation with a client make sure the location they are suggesting is one that they will be relaxed in. For couples or family photo-shoots, I highly enjoy photographing them in their own homes! It is the place where they spend the most time, and the place where they truly get to be themselves on a daily basis. Years down the road, and many moves later, my clients will be able to look back on these photos and immediately be flooded with memories of living in their first apartments or in the first home they owned. These will be photos that they truly cherish and love to look at over and over again!
Give Them Some Advice Beforehand
Many of my clients put too much stress on themselves to find the perfect outfit or on hiring help to get the perfect hairstyle or makeup look. My golden rule is that if you are not comfortable it is NOT worth it! My advice to them is to wear something that they feel cute in and would be seen wearing, even if they were not having photos taken that day. Same goes with hair and makeup, if they don’t normally wear a lot of makeup, and it will make them uncomfortable to be doing so, then I say, “Go All Natural, Baby!” Being uncomfortable will show in their pictures. If it doesn’t make you feel like yourself… Don’t do it!
Encourage Them to Relax and Enjoy the Experience
Often times clients will get anxiety just at the idea of having pictures of themselves taken, if this is the case, you will become their meditation coach in addition to being their photographer! Have some breathing techniques ready, ask them what type of music calms them down and play it in the background, offer them a beverage and plenty of time to settle in, and then, best of all, give silly prompts and activities to get them out of “posing for the camera” mode!
Always Say YES!
It is important to collaborate with your clients during a session and not just tell them what to do. Our clients have a vision of what they want to come out of this photoshoot and they will love their photos all the more if they get to be a part of the creative process… plus it’s just more fun! Sometimes A client will give me a suggestion that isn’t really my style per se… but they aren’t MY pictures! So I always say “YES”, take that photo, and then build on that idea with some of my own. Sometimes these images end up being some of my favorites! If they like your idea, but they want to add to it or tweak it, go with it! It will help them to feel more comfortable with where the photoshoot is going and be satisfied when it is all over.
Become Their Best Friend
The #1 best way to make your clients comfortable is to genuinely fall in love with them! It sounds cheesy, but really… Find things you love about them and share it! Compliment both their outer appearance and their personalities. Be playful! If you are feeling anxiety from one of your clients, crack a joke! ALWAYS DANCE FIRST. I’d never ask a client to do something I wouldn’t do, and i’m always willing to prove it. Be silly, and be yourself. You’ll get from your clients only as much as you’re willing to give.
Another way to help people feel more comfortable is to get them talking about themselves. Ask them questions about their love story, their plans for their future, and even just a little small talk goes a long way!
Hope these tips help all you lovely photographers out there! Happy Shooting!
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