The way people act during a photo shoot depends on a personality. Sometimes you work with individuals, who are very open by nature, but sometimes, it is not easy for your photography subject to feel comfortable in front of the camera. Even despite that, there is no golden rule that will fit everyone, the following tips will help you to create an endearing atmosphere of the shooting, which will become enjoyable for you and your models.
- Be Prepared
It goes without saying that you have to be well prepared for the shoot to let your photography subject feel more at ease. Think about the venue, where the shooting is taking place. Will you need any additional equipment? Beyond that, complete the list of the pictures you want to make. Which poses would you consider for them? Even though it seems to be obvious, things like forgetting extra memory card or a few batteries still happen very often. Think through all the details, up to taking a bottle of water or wet wipes. The level of your preparedness will help you to present yourself as a true professional, who is worth being trusted.
- Get in Touch
One of the main reason why your photography subject might not feel comfortable is that you probably don’t know each other. Be sincere and ask questions. You can start from general topics like “Where do you work?” or “Where are you from?”, and as the conversation goes, continue with the small talks about education, traveling or places you like going to. Express your openness to communication and show the interest. Tell something about yourself, your experience and what do you like about photographing. All these will help you to establish the necessary connection.
- Understand the Feelings
After you have got to know each other better, try to understand how your model feels. If you see that the person is too reserved, don’t jump in with saying “Come on, don’t be shy!”. Instead, be natural and make the person feel important. Politeness and respect are the key factors that will help you to ingratiate yourself. Show your understanding and don’t push. Let the model take his/her time. If you need your subject to express some sort of emotion you would like to picture, start the conversation inderectly by telling a short story, which will better explain what kind of feelings you mean.
- Allow a Plenty of Time
The photo shooting is about fruitful interconnection, which, in turn, requires some time. The best thing you can do in this regard is to make more time for the process than might be really needed. It will make you sure that if something goes wrong, it won’t be critical for the whole project. Moreover, an adequate amount of time means that you will have a certain freedom of actions, which allows you to experiment. Ideally, it would be great to reach a mutual understanding with the photography subject beforehand, discussing expectations and getting to know each other. But if, on the contrary, time is limited, you should manage the process wisely without showing that you are in a hurry.
- Give Posing Recommendations
Not always your models know how to pose for different pictures. Therefore, it becomes necessary for you to visualize the composition of your photo. Give accurate recommendations on how to pose, explain it in detail and remain unflappable if models perform differently from what you expected.
- Avoid Physical Contact
A very important rule that you should follow is to avoid physical contact with the model. Even when you have to direct your subject into the right position, it is always better to give instructions rather than touch a person. Physical contact disturbs the privacy as soon as you are getting into somebody’s comfort zone.
- Show Good Shots
Don’t forget to show a few good pictures to your photography subject to let him/her understand that their efforts worth doing. Knowing this, models will be more confident and released in your further communication. In case it is not a commercial shooting and model is not satisfied with what you have shown, discuss how he/she would like to look like and make a few shots basing on this in order to reach a common vision.
- Use Encouraging Words
There is no better way to make somebody feel comfortable during the photo shoot than to use encouraging words. Don’t flatter openly, but express your excitement about how perfect your work together is. It will make your model be open with postures and expression of emotions. Say compliments when it is appropriate, highlight the uniqueness of your photography subject and keep in mind that there is the line between professional comments and personal opinion.
- Embrace the Awkwardness
Even if you feel timid, get confident yourself first. At the photo shoot, you are the director of the process, so you should lead your model/models though the process. It is your responsibility to embrace the awkwardness if such appears. When you have got the moment of silence, tell an interesting story from your working experience – something that happened during the shooting, or, maybe, something that reminds you today’s shooting theme.
- Enjoy the Process
Of course, it is very important to dive into the process and focus yourself on the photography subject. Such a devotion will please the person you work with and let he/she feel important. Stay positive in any situation and don’t be shy to express the excitement about your creative collaboration with the model/models. If people see how much pleasure work with them brings to you, they will more likely be relaxed and open.
Follow these simple rules, and your photography subjects will undoubtedly feel more comfortable during the shooting.