How to Help People Feel Comfortable in Front of a Camera

When you are taking pictures of people, one of your biggest concerns is to make sure the person you are taking a picture of feels comfortable. You will run into this in a variety of situations, from clients needing head shots for their business to stressed out moms in a family photo shoot. No matter what the situation, your job is to help the client relax and feel comfortable during their time getting their picture taken. There are several ways to do this and you can cater to your own photography style and types of photo shoots.

Make Conversation

This seems like an obvious thing to do during a photo shoot, but many photographers get caught up in the pictures that they forget to converse with their client. Talk to the people there about their day, ask them questions about their job, and make any random conversation you can. The more you get your client to talk, the more relaxed and comfortable they will start to feel. This will also help them feel more connected to you as a person instead of you simply being a photographer with a camera.  Also, add in comments about their clothing and offer compliments about how nice they look. This will give them confidence and it will show through in how they act in front of the camera.

Be Confident

If you are nervous or having a hard time with the photo shoot, your clients will notice. Make sure you remain composed and confident, even if you don’t feel like it. Stay positive as you are talking with your client and encourage them as you make changes to your approach to the shoot. Don’t look disappointed at the results on your LCD screen or say things like “That doesn’t look good.” As soon as you start letting any tension show, you will start to see tension in your clients.

Give Posing Directions

If you forget to give posing directions or give unhelpful posing directions, your subject will often feel clueless as to how you want them posing. Be ready to give helpful posing advice. Don’t just give them vague advice like “bend your elbows” or “turn your head”, but give them very straightforward posing directions. The more direct you are with your pointers, the more confident your subject will feel in the pose. Make sure the poses you are choosing are simple.  When you give complex posing directions, your subject will often look forced and awkward. Keep everything natural and relaxed.

Be Ready

If you aren’t prepared for the photo shoot, the clients will notice you running around and scrambling to get ready. This can create an atmosphere of tension and your clients may feel like you are rushing the shoot and lose confidence.

Show Them Pictures

If you are fine with showing your clients pictures ahead of time, pause here and there to show them a few pictures on the LCD screen. This is a good chance for your clients to point out anything they don’t like and want to change. It will also help boost their confidence to see how well the pictures are turning out and help them relax even more.

Remember that your priority in capturing pictures of people is to help them relax and feel completely comfortable even with a camera in their face. The way you approach this varies from situation to situation, but keep these few tips in mind to help you build confidence in your clients.