So last weekend I got to shoot with a friend of mine, Korea. We've been talking about doing a shoot for a couple years now and finally got the oppurtunity. I was all stoked, but Korea had some worries. She told me she was really nervous about shooting and after talking it was completely understandable. As the photographer you really never think about the pressure the person on the other end of the lens might be under. This got me thinking and I wanted to share a few tips I've picked up while shooting people over the years.
First and foremost, make whoever you are photographing feel comfortable. I know one of the first things you hear when you start out in photography is always be friendly with your client, but sometimes you have to go the extra mile and really get to know your model or client. Fortunately, Korea and I had known each other for years so it was easier for her to get comfortable in front of the camera. But it still took some time and talking with her helped her a lot she told me.
Secondly, don't expect your model to make every shot perfect. You need to let the mood flow and keep your finger ready to shoot when your model gets that perfect pose or face. Sometimes it's a hit and miss kind of thing. When we were shooting I had a lot more photos I couldn't use than I could use, but those select few came out amazing. Just taking your time and being patient can really pay off with a shy model or client. My favorite portrait that I've shot this year was taken when shooting with Korea!
Lastly, I just want to talk about something that Korea said while we were shooting. She told me she really wanted to take some awesome photos, but her nerves were getting in the way. We ended up getting some AMAZING photos but what she said just made me think. I've been on photography jobs where I will get fed up when I'm trying to shoot with a client, but we aren't getting anything good. I never really stop to think that this is probably their first time in front of a camera with an actual photographer or maybe they just get really nervous in front of a camera. As photographers we need to remember this and not get irritated if we aren't getting the photos we want. Just remain calm, talk to your model or client, and just know that eventually you'll get some great shots!
(Some of the photos from my shoot with Korea are down below)