A few weeks back I posted a blog on preparing for your first session (view it here!). Now that you’re prepared, here’s some tips on shooting it! It can be intimidating, butterflies beforehand are normal the first year, but it doesn’t have to stop you from doing an amazing job! Here are 5 steps I use for a smooth, successful portrait session.
1. Look professional. I start with this because before you even say a word you leave a first impression! If you’re serious about this make sure you look serious about it. If you want your brand to be known for being professional and classy, looking like you just came from the gym may not be the best option (even if it’s the most comfortable option ;))
2. Talk to & encourage your clients. I literally talk almost the entire session, asking them about themselves, and encourage them A LOT!. I realize this isn’t easy for many people, but I took a step out of my comfort zone being able to talk to anyone for 1 hour+. It makes clients feel comfortable and breaks the ice if they see how comfortable and confident you are talking to them! Constantly tell them how beautiful they are, what an amazing job they’re doing, and let them know how awesome they look in the poses. If they feel confident and beautiful, they’ll look more confident and beautiful!! Plus they’ll tell all their friends how amazing it was to work with you!
3. Get a lot of shots without completely moving your clients. The tip’s source goes to Katelyn James! I’d highly recommend Katelyn James’s mini guide on posing where she expands and even gives examples for posing a bride and groom without moving feet. This same principle also works for families and seniors. With families, pose them and have them look at you, look at each other and laugh, etc. Then you can stay in the same spot, and just rearrange the kids so you’re getting a different family shot with minimal work. Here’s a few examples of different shots with minimal movement!
4. Tell your clients exactly what to do. I’ve had multiple of my clients tell me they’ve had a previous photographer who didn’t tell them what to do. What?! Yes it’s important to get your clients naturally, but especially at the very beginning many people feel unsure about themselves and are nervous and want your help! I often do the exact same pose I want my clients to do and talk through it. So for the image below, I said something similar to, “stick out your back hip and bend the knee closest to me slightly. Now put the hand closest to me on your hip and bring your other hand up like this and push up your hair a tad. Now look softly down over your shoulder” while doing the same pose. It gets easier the more you do it!
5. Keep the sun behind your clients. To get that soft glow and so there isn’t any squinting for your clients, position so the sun is behind, or behind and off to the side a little bit of your clients. You’ll need to know manual for this since on auto the camera will expose for the sun and underexpose your clients (not good!).
As always I hope this was helpful! Part 3 will be how to get your images back to your clients quickly and efficiently so follow along!