When I started out in the photography industry, I had certain assumptions about how I was supposed to work with clients, particularly when it came to interacting during photo sessions. I was expected to pose my clients and tell them how to stand/look/act in order to look amazing and produce perfect results, right? WRONG. As with most things, I had to learn by doing, rather than just studying photography material. Yes, there are certain aspects of photography that I had to learn by pouring over books or manuals, but far and away the biggest lessons come from jumping in and DOING, and figuring out what works best for me and my clients. Learning by trial and error is sometimes a struggle (I always want it to get it right the first time!), but I truly believe it makes me a stronger photographer and person – focusing on my strengths instead of my weaknesses brings out the best in me.
What it boils down to is that this outlook changed my approach to sessions. Instead of trying too hard to “pose” my clients exactly how I thought I had to, I instead allowed them to be their beautiful selves! Not many people are naturally inclined to be 100% comfortable in front of the camera (I’m not either!), but I had to find a way to help them relax and enjoy our time together. What better way than give them something to do? I’ve found that simple, gentle directions prompt clients to be naturally at ease. They are reassured they have permission to be themselves. Gentle directions lead to genuine reactions, and those genuine interactions are exactly what I am there to document. This is why I prompt my clients instead of pose them. They become the most beautiful versions of themselves when they simply melt into each others arms, share a kiss, a moment, or a giggle.
All of this translates to being present in the moment, reading how my clients are feeling, and just relating to them by being myself. If they aren’t feeling completely comfortable, it’s my own responsibility to help them relax, engage with each other, and take the focus off of taking photos and place it on genuinely having fun! By giving clients directions and something to do, they naturally fall into more of a rhythm and I notice apprehension melt away and pure joy take its place. If this is how you want to feel during your photo session, we might be kindred spirits and you should drop me a line so we can talk :)