It’s been a while since our last educational post. I’m happy to announce that we’ve got some seriously huge projects lined up we’ve been working on specifically FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS and I can’t wait to share them with you! But for now, before I spill ALL the beans, these little tips will instantly up your posing game for your next session. Posing for photographers can be a real challenge. But it doesn’t have to be.
When I was first starting out, I’d get REALLY nervous before each session. Like – so nervous that I had that sinking feeling in my stomach. I wasn’t confident AT ALL. What if they didn’t like the images? What if the kids are screaming the whole time? What if the lighting is terrible?! Basically, by the time I got to the session, I was ready for a zombie apocalypse.
The problem? I wasn’t confident in what I was doing. I knew what I was doing. But didn’t know how to properly instruct my clients. These FIVE things made all the difference in the experience of my sessions. They are game changers. My posing was sharper, my end product was growing by leaps and bounds and I realized my clients felt much more comfortable doing what I asked them to do. Suddenly, my portraits were where I wanted them to be. And yours can be too.
- Be confident. Pray. Drink your coffee. Look through your inspiration. Do whatever it is you need to do to prepare so that you feel confident. When I was just starting, I had a notebook (this was pre-pinterest, people) of photos I’d cut out from magazines that I’d look through before each session. I reminded myself of my game plan, went through it in my head several times. Preparation has EVERYTHING to do with confidence. If you don’t feel prepared, your self confidence will be lacking — and I promise your clients can SMELL your fear. If you’re not confident in what you’re doing – how will they be?
- Avoiding Awkwardness. Even if the pose just isn’t working, take a few images, let them know they’re doing a GREAT job and move them out of the pose. My piano teacher once told me that if you carry on like nothing happened during a piano performance, no one will ever notice you messed up. I 100% believe this is true for even your toughest of sessions. Remember – it’s not their fault if they look awkward. Our job as photographers is to make CERTAIN that they don’t. The last thing you want to happen is for your clients to feel like THEY are doing it wrong. Keep going until you get what you need to provide them with an amazing session. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try coming at it from a different angle. Think about your obstacles-what’s not working- and how you can overcome them.
- Encouragement Goes So Far. Building confidence in our clients can help your session results so much better. If your clients are confident in what they’re doing, feeling beautiful and feeling photogenic, they’re going to perform their poses even better as they get more and more comfortable during your session. Take time to encourage them. Show them a few frames on the back of your camera and make sure they don’t feel self conscious. It’s hard to show vulnerability in front of a camera. We have to work hard to make sure our clients let their walls down. Encouragement works like a bomb – blasting those barriers down faster than you can with a nail and a hammer.
- Use Positive Language. Using clear positive language can seriously change your posing game. Clients respond really well when you use their first names, avoid words like “just” and “Can you”. “Hey can you just put your arm right there?” isn’t clear and it isn’t positive. However, “Sarah, can you please lift your hand up to frame his face?” Is elicits a much more positive communication.
- Give precise directions. Leave no room for questions during your posing. Take the time to educate your clients at the beginning of the session about what to do with their hands if they don’t know where they go. This way, you answer their questions before they have them. Then, during your session, when you’re directing them, make sure you use precise directions so that they never have to ask you a question. Instead of saying “Sarah, look to the left.” Instead try, “Sarah, please look at the barn to your left.” Giving them something specific to look at will help them know exactly where you want them to look and erase all doubt.
BONUS TIP : Building client trust during your session is what makes a GREAT session result. If you struggle with building trust during your sessions, take your family members out for practice. If you want to learn more great posing tips – sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about our upcoming opportunities to learn from us!