It’s happened to the best of us: it’s time to do a portrait session, we get in front of our clients, they say “alright, what do you want me to do?” and we freeze up! What are you supposed to do in order to make anyone feel comfortable during photos?! We’ve got tips and tricks to make your next session amazing!

Make Anyone Feel Comfortable During Photos

Make Anyone Feel Comfortable During Photos

Small Talk it Out

Most people have never had a professional pictures done, so our sessions never start with us taking pictures right away. I want to take away any stress or tension they may be feeling, so we make small talk and chat about anything that comes to mind: how did they meet, are they sports fans, what their favorite restaurant is… easy stuff.

Give Permission to Relax

At the start of every photo shoot, I always make sure to take time to tell the clients we both have jobs to do during the photo session: It is their job to relax, snuggle, laugh, and have fun. And it is my job to make sure that they look amazing in pictures.

I always tell our clients that this is their permission to not stress and just have fun!

You would be surprised what a small thing this us, but what a big difference it makes in the images we create! Everyone knows they need to relax and act natural during pictures, but hearing that they don’t have to worry about anything – that’s a load off everyone’s mind!

Tell the Subject EXACTLY What You Want

When photographing people, it’s important to be as descriptive as possible when you are relaying what you want them to do.

Don’t say, “turn this way”

Instead say, “Phil, can you turn your body towards me a little bit, point your feet at my left shoulder, and turn your head facing me with your chin down.”

Don’t say, “move your hands”

Instead say, “Tarra, get in close, wrap your left hand around Phil’s neck, and hold his hand with your right hand.”

Fresh Look Photography

Laughter is the Best Medicine

A big part of our photography is having “fun”, and I am not afraid to be silly if need be! It never fails – if I want real, genuine smiles from my clients, all we need to do is make them laugh! Clients can fake smile all they want, but it is pretty impossible to keep that fake smile if you are laughing. We have our clients play little games, whisper sweet (or naughty!) things to each other, and have even been known to engage in a dance off or two. I love asking clients “what is something can always make you smile?”

love and laughter engagement photos

Props and Kiddos

When you are working with little subjects, it can be a struggle. Kids generally tend to be in one of two moods: super cooperative and awesome, or surly and completely against everything you suggest. Fingers crossed that you get kids that are super happy, but if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world. Give subjects who are less than thrilled something to do: read a book, run as fast as they can from here to there, make a bunch of silly faces, and (my secret weapon) blow bubbles.

outdoor family fun

Go With the (Natural) Flow

Posed photography can quickly feel stiff and unnatural, so we have to find a way to keep it fresh. Find ways to bring play and movement into the photos! Splash in the ocean, tell clients to “walk like they’re drunk” (get ready to laugh!), tell them to both say their favorite color/food/drink, etc on the count of three.  This goes a long way towards lightening the mood and helping your subjects forget that they’re doing a “big-scary-photo-shoot” and really makes it fun!

dip her for a kiss

Need Help Getting Out of Your Slump?

If you want to be a pro and make anyone feel comfortable during photos, we offer one on one mentoring to help! We also put together free events for photographers, and you can always { Contact Us } for anything you need – even if it’s just a friendly face to say you’re on the right track!