If you are a photographer, it is likely that you prefer working with humans as your subject. Though landscapes and landmarks can be beautiful subjects to photograph, it is likely that they have already been captured a million different times and there is not much that you can add to the image to improve it.
When you are working with human clients, it is far more exciting. The human body is really interesting and incredibly beautiful. Humans are incredibly diverse too, which means that every new person that you photograph can offer brand new inspiration and a brand new insight into how the human body looks.
If you are someone that likes taking pictures of people, then it is likely that you have already photographed your friends hundreds of times and you are looking for someone new to inspire you.
It is not uncommon for photographers to take on clients, especially if they need to make a bit of money on the side. Though photographing people is a great way to make some extra cash, there is absolutely no denying that it can be awkward sometimes.
Taking pictures can be a very intimate affair and if you don’t really know someone, then it can be quite uncomfortable. When people are uncomfortable, it can be very noticeable in your pictures. When you are trying to photograph someone, you want them to feel comfortable, but if you feel awkward yourself this may be hard to achieve. Here are some tips for making a photography client feel more relaxed.
Let them bring a friend
When you are doing a one-on-one session with someone that you do not know, it can be very easy for you both to feel incredibly awkward. Instead of letting this get in the way, I would suggest that you let them bring a friend that can watch on the sidelines.
There are a lot of advantages to allowing friends in the photography studio. First of all, it would make your client feel a lot safer as they will not be going to the house of an unknown person without support from somebody that they know.
If they have a friend there, then they will feel a lot calmer and a lot more open to the pictures. It is only natural for friends to crack jokes with each other and so there will likely be a lot of laughter between the two people. If you encourage them to chat when you are taking the pictures, you may be able to capture a lot of candid scenes that could result in some pretty cool pictures. Their friend may also have some suggestions for changes that you can make and you could ask for their opinions on the set etc.
Make Them Laugh
A great way to make anyone feel much more comfortable is by making them laugh. We can all feel a bit uneasy when we are meeting new people but that does not mean that we have to continue with the awkward feeling.
If you can tell that your client is feeling a bit uncomfortable, feel free to crack a few jokes. This technique is very popular when you are using younger clients, as they can be very shy and very nervous at the start. If you photograph children, then don’t be afraid to get very silly with your jokes.
There is nothing that children love more than a goofy joke and if you are photographing a child, then you are probably taking the picture for their parents and so you will want a picture of them laughing and smiling.
If you aren’t very comfortable being silly, don’t be afraid to bring some props along with you. You can bring some teddy bears or some funny cartoon characters, all of which can make children laugh in seconds and have everyone feel much more relaxed.
Get to Know Your Client
The main reason why photographing a new client can feel so awkward for you both is because you are complete strangers. Instead of remaining strangers throughout the entire session, you can get to know them and this will make you both feel much more comfortable.
There are a number of ways that you can get to know someone and it is very easy to do. I would recommend taking a look at Ponly.com, where you can find a list of 200+ questions that you can ask them.
You can just casually ask them the questions while you are taking the pictures and this will be a great way to break through some awkward silence. A good topic for conversion is always which movies you have been watching and any music that they may like, as you could relate back to this and continue to have a long conversation.