Being in front of the camera can be intimidating for many people. Whether it's worries about how well their hair and makeup look (thankfully I’m bald, so that’s never an issue), or how hard it is to pose naturally, there is pressure that comes with having your pictures taken by a professional. For others, the feeling that they don’t photograph well, or that they have an recognizable flaw such as a crooked smile, can add to this pressure. With advancements in today's camera technology with high-end DSLRs and cell phone cameras, we can capture incredible detail, and unfortunately, that also means body flaws! People are fully aware of this, which adds to the intimidation factor. Technical aspects of photography such as lighting, composition, and optimal camera settings, are essential for a successful shoot, but one critical scientific component that often gets overlooked only contains three letters: FUN! Okay, perhaps I'm being hyperbolical as "fun" wouldn't pass for an astronomical scientific term in the slightest sense, but this three letter word is more important for photographers than they at times realize.
Having fun may not qualify as photography jargon in the technical sense; however, it’s a key ingredient for a successful shoot. When coupled with all of those technical photography goodness such as ideal exposure, this component can be the difference between a fun photoshoot that results in great pictures, or a super dull shoot that will have you as the photographer looking at the clock over and over again as time appears to come to a halt. Okay, it’s within the realm of possibility that I might have slightly gotten a little dramatic, but I think you’re starting to catch my drift. Regardless of the product, customers/clients are always looking for a great experience, and photography is no exception. Making a photo session fun is a great way to take the pressure off of your clients to make them comfortable enough to snap amazing shots.
While on shoots, I enjoy socializing with the people I'm photographing, and getting to know them. In doing this, I've discovered that photographing them gets easier as the session progresses. As I previously pointed out, people are generally incredibly self conscious about themselves especially when having their pictures taken. They want to look great in the final images even when they don’t feel like their best. By engaging your subjects with conversations that create smiles and laughter, you facilitate a relaxed atmosphere where the pressure they feel slowly but surely dissipates. To make my subjects feel comfortable, I’ve done it all (PS: I’m not proud of all of it, but it worked - okay, so maybe I am proud). I’ve re-enacted poses, engaged them on their interests, traded banter, just to name a few. Nothing makes a photographer's job easier than when the subject is comfortable. Obviously, having fun during a photoshoot doesn't necessarily mean that you will take great shots, but don't ignore just how powerful it can be in setting the tone for capturing beautiful natural images that both you and your subjects will be pleased with.