As a photographer, it’s important to have tips to put clients at ease in front of the camera because the more relaxed they are, the more fun they have, and therefore, the more they will enjoy their photos.
Before I dive in, if you are constantly struggling with what camera settings you need in order to get a good exposure in certain lighting situations, make sure to grab my cheat sheet. You can print it off and put it right into your camera bag.
I’ve put together a few tips to put clients at ease in front of the camera that work for me when trying to make my couple comfortable having their photo taken.
Purpose + Expectations
At the beginning of all my photo sessions, I explain to the couple that the more fun they have with each other, the more natural they will look and in turn will liking their photos much more.
For my complimentary engagement sessions that I give to my wedding couples, I explain to them that the session is less about the actual photos and more about them getting used to having their photos taken. I also like them to get a better understanding of how I work so that on the wedding day they know what to expect.
Give Time to Relax
While I’m explaining the above information to the clients, it is giving them some time to relax. Prior to the engagement session, they fill out a questionnaire for me so that I can get to know them a bit better. This helps me with conversation on the day of so that I can ask them some questions pertaining to their responses in the questionnaire.
By not jumping RIGHT into the photos and showing them a bit of my personality, it will give them that time they need to settle down.
I always start with the same pose because it’s the least awkward…the holding hands and walking. This is very natural for a couple, I tell them to just walk away from me and chat and to turn around when they hear me yelling. I make sure to give them direction if they need it, like where to put their free hand if they seem like they are wanting more direction.
Laugh With Them
I will often laugh and smile or demonstrate to them what I mean when asking them to do something specific. This way, if they feel a bit timid, they see exactly what to do and how natural it can look if you have fun with it.
Show the Love
If I am a few minutes into a session and they are still moving a bit stiff and don’t seem to be enjoying themselves, I will show them the back of my camera. I find that when they see how awesome they look, they become more invested and start to loosen up a bit.
Talk Talk Talk
It is SUPER important to keep the dialogue up even when you are shooting. If you have them in a pose and it’s silent…they will start to stiffen up and feel super awkward. Praise them for how awesome they look or how amazing the lighting is. The more confidence you show, the more confidence they will feel.
Often times, when us as photographers are trying to explain something, it may sound foreign to others. I find it best to explain and then demonstrate what you mean so that those visual learners can thrive.
I hope you found this helpful 🙂 Another post you should read is Engagement Photo Outfit Ideas This will set your couples up for success!