Not everyone feels comfortable in front of the camera, most people feel like they’re smiling wrong, don’t know where to put their hands or how to pose in a natural way. It just doesn’t come easy to most of us and therefore it can make people stiff, shy or not want to be in pictures at all. Here are some tips to help your clients loosen up and find their confidence.
1. Start slow, warm them up with basic poses and smiles until you feel they’re relaxing.
Don’t throw them your most difficult poses right off the bat. Do something basic, tell them you’re taking shots to test the light so they can relax then begin with one pose that needs little direction. You can have them take a deep breath and maybe try to get them laughing which helps people get out of their own heads and more naturally relax.
2. Show them you’re prepared.
If you’re anything like me you have moments when you blank on posing. Make sure you show up with at least your basic 3 or 4 poses in your head. Clients get confident when we show confidence ourselves. If we are struggling giving them direction and they don’t naturally pose or freeze up it’s a recipe for disaster so have your staple poses ingrained in your brain! If you just can’t remember them, keep them in your pocket, any way you have to to keep things moving.
3. Be reassuring when they pose.
Let them know when they’re doing good. Say things like,“Yes, just like that.” “Perfect, that’s what I was looking for.” Give them genuine compliments, everyone has something beautiful about them but doesn’t always see it in themselves. Make sure they know, their eyes, their smile, the way they carry themselves. It may be just the boost they need to find their inspiration.
4. Help them, most people don’t just strike a pose perfectly nor do they see the vision in your head.
We all have a vision of how we want to shot to look and it takes direction and detail to get it. Walk them through the steps, explain what you want your end result to be if that helps. A lot of times I’ll show them what I mean, strike the pose myself so that they know and can mirror what I’m doing. This also has the potential to make them laugh and have some fun.
5. Lastly, and I can’t stress this enough, smile, show them with your face, not just your words, that you love working with them.
I have sadly witnessed photographers who never smile while they shoot. I’m a firm believer that smiles are contagious and for me at least, a smile sets me at ease. No matter your mood, your day or your own personal confidence level show up with a smile to help your clients feel comfortable and confident that you are there to make them look the very best that they can in their photos!
Sarah Rocca Vento is a Massachusetts based wedding and portrait photographer at Sarah J Photography. When not taking photos Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 small dogs and 1 large cat. Follow her journey here website and Facebook.