Photography poses seems to be one of the most important elements in upcoming photographers’ education. It is true that knowing photography poses for your customers is vital to capture good photographs; however, photography poses are not the most important thing you should focus on.
The reality is that any uncomfortable subject, even in perfect photography poses, will look awkward. Without making your subjects comfortable and relaxed, photography poses are useless.
Photography Poses VS a Relaxed Customer
Have you ever seen me, a man, showing boudoir poses? I am pretty hilarious, am I not? I am showing one of the many photography poses I know, yes, but why is not Faby doing it? Because I am hilarious, because every nervous woman that sees me in feminine poses cannot refrain from laughing. I am much more interested in making my subject relaxed and at ease than making them stay in perfect photography poses.
Top tips to relax your subjects
Being in front of a camera is something that can be daunting. Add this to the fact that your subject probably don’t know you very well, and you have the perfect recipe for disaster. If you want to do one more step, think about being photographed by a stranger with a big camera while you are half naked. Boom!
My top tips to relax your subject, making your photography poses work even better, are very simple.
- Make your subject know who you are
Who are you? I don’t know the readers of this blog (not all of them at least). You shall give your subjects the time to get used to you. Makeup time is perfect for this, to mingle with them and give them the possibility to understand who you are. I always joke, saying that I don’t bite -but that I can’t guarantee for Faby’s actions- and I act as an open book for them. Give them the possibility to know you!
- Show your face
One of the reasons why I am in love with the Fuji cameras is that they are small and inconspicuous. I do not need a big, beefy camera to feel like a professional photographer. I want my subjects to see me, my smiles, my welcoming face. I know I have to guide them into relaxed waters, and if they can see that I am confident and comfortable in what I do, making them feeling at ease is simpler. Moreover, giving my customers the possibility to see my eyes give them the possibility to relate with me, not with my camera, which is much easier.
- Make sure they understand they can do nothing wrong
Before every session, we make sure to tell our subjects that during the day there is absolutely nothing wrong they can do. We joke about is, saying that this won’t probably work when they will go back home, just to create a lighthearted element in this message. Funny aspect aside, we make sure they understand that there is no pressure on them. None, nothing, zip. If the photography poses look bad it is our fault, not their. If they can’t hear us, it is our fault, not their. If they laugh during the photo session, there is nothing wrong with it. They can do no wrong!
- Create a positive, carefree environment
People buy positive emotions, so why not making sure to create a powerfully positive environment. Relax, enjoy the ride, be open and smile. Don’t take yourself too seriously and make sure you are the idiot in the room, not your subjects. Wouldn’t you love to be treated like this? I would!
- Don’t give them time to think too much
Photography Poses are awesome; however, many times we focus too much on the poses and not enough on our subjects. Our silences while we make them stay in photography poses are awkward. They are, moreover, a moment for your subject to think, and thinking too much while in front of a camera is never a good thing. Your subjects will start doubting about themselves, about the wobbly bits or the silly expression. Stopping this is as easy as giving them constant feedback and reassurance. You don’t need to recite Shakespeare or lie, just tell them they are doing well and that they look great. Give them something to focus on for few seconds, then get their attention back to you. You will see that they won’t have the time to get lost in their thoughts. …and for the love of God, stop fidgeting with your camera and give they your total attention!
- Focus on their enjoyment
If you make your session gloomy, don’t expect many word of mouth referrals.I mean, would you really go back to a service provider who doesn’t make your day sunny? Being photographed should be surprisingly easy and refreshing, and the only person that can make it so is you!
Focus on few Photography Poses
The human brain is not able to keep hundreds of photography poses ready. One of the rookie mistakes some photographers do (that I myself did so many times) is to try to foo to much. If you want to use thirty photography poses, remembering each and everyone of them, you will fail twice. First I can guarantee that you won’t be able to remember them all, and even if you would be able to remember them all, you will care more about the photography poses than your subjects.
Do a step back. Focus on five poses, ten if your memory serves you very well, and devote your attention, care and smiles to your subjects. Having a relaxed subject in front of you is much more important than making them stand in perfect photography poses, as their relaxation will be the deal maker!