How To Make Subjects Feel Comfortable In Front of The Camera

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Introduction

Natural looking poses are key when it comes to creating great looking content.  Often times, it is necessary to work with people who feel less than graceful in front of a camera.  Here are a few tips to help you make clients feel more comfortable working with you.

 

Conversation

 

Sparking up a conversation is the most obvious method you can use to make a more comfortable atmosphere for your shoot.  Any form of small talk will typically do, but maintaining a lighthearted atmosphere puts people at ease, and makes natural looking portraits much more achievable.

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The goal of starting a conversation is to make people feel less like they’re interacting with your camera, and more like they’re interacting with you.  This difference in perception can make even the most tense subjects much more relaxed in front of the camera.

 

Environment

Where you choose to shoot can be just as important as how you interact with your clients.  Though many times this might not be a controllable aspect, if you can photograph people in places with which they are familiar it is much easier to make people feel comfortable.

 

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The subject of this photo was a baseball player for the high school team, so choosing this location to take his senior portraits was all but obvious.  It was much easier for him to be relaxed and at ease in an area with which he was so heavily familiar. 

 

Candid

While easily the least consistent of these methods, taking candid photos is a good way to capture an honest moment at times.  Taking shots while your subject is walking around, changing poses, or even talking can create very dynamic scenes.

 

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Catching someone off-guard with a photo isn’t the most common method used to capture a flattering photo, but experimenting with this can pay off.


Conclusion

A person who feels uncomfortable will more than likely look uncomfortable.  Helping people feel natural in front of the camera is an intangible skill of the photographer.  Taking the time to master this will definitely show in your work.

 

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