July 21, 2020
If you’re a photographer, this episode is for you. We know a HUGE portion of our audience is photographers and without a doubt, one of the biggest questions we get asked is how to get candid images of our clients.
We’re going to guess what you’re probably struggling with. You’re at a shoot and your clients feel mega awkward and that awkwardness seems to be coming through all the images you’re taking. The photos you’re taking feel dull and lifeless and you don’t know how to get your clients to loosen up, feel comfortable, and get those drool worthy images full of passion, life, and laughter you’ve been craving. If this is you, this episode is your answer!
If you want to know how we get movement based images where our clients don’t look like department store mannequins and the strategies behind what we do to make them comfortable BEFORE we ever touch our camera, then buckle up cause this episode is gonna be good!
Let’s teach you how to get those wildly candid and carefree poses out of your clients!
A huge part of a photographer’s job is learning how to draw natural emotion out of your client. If that’s not happening, you’re likely missing a key element to your shoot.
We’ve all been there before, but the good news is we don’t have to be. There are steps we can take as photographers to ensure our clients are feeling comfortable and having fun. You know what happens when our clients become comfortable enough to be themselves? Natural emotion and candid, unposed photos.
Here are a few tips photographers can take to ensure that your clients are feeling comfortable and relaxed during their session, which will lead to natural emotion in your images.
Treat your clients like a best friend, versus a vendor. This should saturate everything you do from your website to communication to how you interact.
The more you can feel like genuine friends, the more they are going to be able to loosen up and relax to get those candid emotions.
On a shoot, we get to know our clients as much as we can before we ever stick a camera in their face. Ask them how they met and fell in love, how he proposed, what they love to do together. You can even ask them what their favorite TV show is, so you can bond over our mutual love for all things Grey’s Anatomy! Break down the professional barrier and get to know them as human beings.
Getting to really know them and building that connection allows you to do your best work because you are also comfortable with them!
When emailing clients who are inquiring about your work, maintain professionalism, but more importantly, express yourself to them as a friend. We show our personality in emails, so when they meet us in person we are the same goofy, free-spirited person who they were corresponding with online.
In everything you do, try to tear down the wall of “robotic professionalism” between you and your clients. Focus on creating connections. When they connect with you, they’ll be relaxed, and it will show in your final photos.
Create a full day experience on your shoot with them. Grab coffee, appetizers, or drinks beforehand or even bring drinks/food to the shoot location if it’s somewhere more rural! Create intentional space and time before your session to really get to know them.
Ask them EVEN MORE about their story even if you already asked a bunch in your emails. Ask follow up questions so you can see the couple interact with one another.
Focus on building trust, respect, and relationships between all parties involved. Invest time and effort into getting to know your clients before you ever touch your camera.
Don’t immediately pull out your camera, even if you meet up on location. Talk first. Help them relax and shake off nerves before you shove a big black box in their faces and ask them to act natural.
The more they can trust you, the more they can relax and let their guard down. That is when you’re going to get fun, loosey goosey, wild, carefree, candid images. If they are feeling any ounce of anxiety, you are going to see that reflected in the photos.
So much of candid imagery and movement based poses happens in the work that goes before you ever touch your camera.
It’s important as the photographer and storyteller to get to know their story beforehand. Not every couple is wild and goofy and wants to jump around. Some couples are much more chill and relaxed and want a more low key shoot. Know how to properly tell their story.
Pretend you are videoing it. Think of MOVEMENT and ACTION, not the final static image. Switch to thinking like a movie director or a videographer even though you’re a photographer. Movement is key here.
It’s the little, in between moments that are typically the most natural and authentic. Focus on creating a space with your clients that allows them to naturally interact with each other and the environment. Don’t try to stuff them into a box with a specific pose.
Switching your mindset from poses to actions is a major game changer. This helps your work come to life
Run towards/away from me bumping hips and falling into each other.
Whisper your favorite sandwich ingredient into their ear in the sexiest voice possible.
Take any static pose and just add movement to it by having them rock back and forth.
Flirt with each other while bumping hips.
In order to get candid images, you have to give them a direction that results in them candidly doing something. It’s how you craft your words.
If you have an “awkward” client, it is on you to bring the energy and the direction that facilitates natural movement.
Playing music crafts the feeling and mood of the session and eliminates the dead space. Not only does this loosen them up, but it oftentimes lets them melt into each other and completely forget you’re there, which is always the goal of every session.
Music sets the mood, eliminates the dead space, puts people at ease and allows people the space to breathe without thinking that someone else is right there listening to them.
For upbeat, adventurous sessions play a fun, energetic playlist. For intimate in home sessions, play more intimate, soft music to enhance the intimacy you want to draw out of your client.
People love to be praised, so take time during your session to let your couple know how amazing they are doing.
Most people are not naturally comfortable in front of the camera, so they will probably be self conscious of how they look and what they are doing. Positive reinforcement will never fail.
Consistently encourage your clients, even if they aren’t doing great!
As you direct them and they respond, tell them how awesome they are doing. If they did something amazing without being prompted, tell them how much you loved that.
Even if they didn’t do something awesome and you’re thinking in your head “that was awkward” don’t tell them that! Encourage them! Love on them! Cheer them on no matter HOW it’s going! They’re going to feed off of that energy.
Overall, strive to tell THEIR unique story. This is about THEM, not you.
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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