Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Photography - How to succeed part 2

Last week I wrote about providing the clients what they want. Today I am going to spend some time going over another key area in being a successful photographer – working with your clients during the shoot. If you shy and want to hide behind your camera, shooting people is not where you should be. But photographing products, nature or architecture may be a better area for you to specialize.

Unless you are shooting a professional model, most people need direction to create a photograph that they will love. You will even hear the person say “I hate having my photo taken” or “I’m not very photogenic.” Getting to the root cause of these thoughts will help you create the images desired.

I go for the direct approach by asking “What makes you feel that you are not photogenic?” or “Why do you hate having your photo taken?” Very often their answers will be easily addressed during the session. Sometimes it just creative posing and other times it is going for the less staged portrait. The key is to understand their concern and relieve it.

To get natural smiles I have a running dialog during the shoot, telling really bad jokes and general being a bit silly. Sometimes I talk about movies or TV. Just find an interest of theirs and talk about it. This will take them away from thinking about the photos and get them relaxed enough to create great photographs.

You may have seen that commercial where the dad says “I know all the songs from High School Musical.” The child is embarrassed by the singing and dancing dad. But by being aware of the world of your subject you can relax them. Shoot younger kids know Sponge Bob. You get the idea.

Another thing to consider is shooting with music. Have clients bring an mp3 player of their favorite songs to patch into the sound system. If they don’t bring one, ask what station they want on the radio.

And of course, getting feedback as soon as possible helps so much. Some photographers hate showing the clients the LCD. I find that limited use can be a huge benefit. Nothing works more to put a client at ease then showing them a great shot on the LCD.

And of course a running commentary on the shots helps too. I am always saying “Wow!” or “Amazing!” or “This is a great shot” etc. Your positive chatter boosts your client. And the best part is, you should being telling the truth. These are great shots of the client.

So what it comes down to is making the client feel comfortable. You need to remove the stress and make the photography session a fun experience. You need to very quickly develop a relationship with the client. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with a lot of very successful photographers and thoughts are common across the group.

Orcatek Photography - Phoenix

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