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Making Your Clients Comfortable During a Photo Shoot

Making Your Clients Comfortable During a Photo Shoot

Some people are just awkward in front of the camera. As soon as one is pointed in their direction, they look like a deer in the headlights. Their smile freezes and they don’t know what to do with their hands. As a photographer, one of your most valuable tools is knowing how to get your client to forget you are there. Also to capture the emotion in that moment. Otherwise, your subjects will look posed, awkward and uncomfortable. Here are 5 ways to help your clients look and feel less awkward in photos.


Begin with chit-chat
Don’t be intimidating and jump right into a photo shoot. The client doesn't know what to do with their body yet or what you expect from them. Instead immediately ask the client to come and sit, place them in a beautiful scene and sit down with them. This will remove the tension from both of you and create a positive first impression. Relax and exude confidence. Your subjects are going to be looking to you to make them look great so make sure you’re being a good role model. Just have confidence when speaking with models and they will feel more relaxed and comfortable when in front of your Canon EOS R5 from So if you feel overwhelmed, unsure, or like you’re having a hard time on set, take a minute and leave to give yourself a break. Once you’re collected, you can come back, give direction, and resume taking great shots.


Be yourself
Don’t resort to one-liners. Unless you naturally have a corny sense of humor, for most people it could do more harm than good. Just be yourself.

Don't leave the model clueless
It's tough for models to read your mind. By directing your model to general poses and then giving them the freedom to vary the pose, you'll help the model to feel comfortable. If shooting couples or a group, move them around. Angle their chins, fix their hair and fire off a few shots. Then start distracting them by having them fix a lapel. Or tell whomever they are posing with about their favorite color, food, etc. Once they begin interacting with each other, that’s when the real images will start to emerge. The real laughter and the fun starts to happen. Posing them, getting them to laugh and move looks a lot better than a truly posed shot.


Focusing off the camera
Props are a photographer’s best friend when you have an uncooperative child or just want some natural facial expressions. Simply having them read a book will calm them down and you can snap away with your Nikon Z5 from while they are looking at it. It's an easy way to capture their eyelashes and details they may otherwise be refusing to give you. They can also be used to help calm an adult and take the focus away from the camera as well. The key to making your clients look less awkward in front of the camera is to make them feel less awkward. Your job as the photographer is to interact with them so that they forget that you’re there with a camera in their faces. The more comfortable they are with you the more genuine emotion you’ll get from them. You’ll not only be capturing their memories, but making them as well.
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