When I look back on my journey with photography I realize just how much I have learned over the last 5 years — and how little I knew when I started — but we all start somewhere!! One of the characteristics that I believe truly sets a successful photographer apart is their ability to communicate with their clients!! Being a people person is just as important as being skilled with your camera. Seriously. If you are able to communicate, gain trust and provide confidence to your clients your images will be more authentic. Lighting, editing, composition and equipment can only go so far in creating a beautiful portrait. You may create an image that has incredible composition, dreamy lighting and sharper than a knife with the creamiest bokeh and then… whomp-whomp, your subject is awkward! Nobody wants that!! It’s fairly challenging to communicate with clients while you are taking their photos – there is so much to think about – lighting, composition, shutter, aperture, white balance… the list goes on. But trust me – it gets easier!! So today I’m sharing 3 Tips for Authentic Posing!!
Boost CONFIDENCE! This is huge. We all know the phrase “look good, feel good, play good” – when I am working from home I am 10x more productive if I get up, dressed and sit at my computer to work verse if I’m a lazy bum and don’t do those things – i.e. keep the pj’s on and go straight to the computer. True life – there have been days like that ;). But more often than not you will find me fully ready at my desk or a coffee shop. Those are my most productive days and with a crazy schedule, I don’t have time to waste. I especially find my workflow to be quick if I have warm coffee and chocolate chip cookies – just saying’ ;)!
One of the most helpful things I learned at the Katelyn Jame’s Workshop was how to boost a couple’s confidence during their engagement session or wedding day. This is so important when it comes to capturing those authentic, joyful images that I love! If you want to make a couple look good in their photos, you need to make them feel good FIRST! Praise, celebrate, excite, and praise them some more! Make sure to compliment them on their outfits, their smile, hair… anything that sets them apart. Tell them when they are rocking a pose you just directed them to do. Tell the bride how gorgeous she looks and how handsome her groom is and how great HE is doing — it will totally make her even more goo-goo eyed for her man :)! Overall, just help them feel confident throughout the entire session. Keep talking and directing them through the poses and their personalities will radiate through the images. You will leave their session with authentic, joyful images!!
Help them feel COMFORTABLE!
I think we can all agree that being in front of the camera can be a little intimidating! When Mitchell and I have our photos done (and we do that a lot because I LOVE photos!! ;)) – it’s always a little uncomfortable for us in the beginning. It doesn’t matter how many times we do it – we need a hot minute to warm up! When you are photographing an engagement session – the couple has probably never done anything like this before! So it’s all the more scary and they are afraid to look silly – they want these photos to be PERFECT!! One of the most important tasks we have as photographers is to make our couples feel comfortable. If they don’t feel comfortable, then it will be more difficult to connect with them and create authentic emotion. When you first meet the couple don’t dive immediately into taking photos. As you are walking to your location, it’s best to chat with them a little beforehand – ask them questions about their day, get to know them and build trust. Make jokes and get them to laugh. Sometimes this means acting a little silly yourself – which comes more natural for some of us – (ME!) – I’ve embarrassed myself more times than I can remember but I’ve captured great laughter in those moments! 🙂 For example – my couples know how much I LOVE the nuzzle – it’s one of the first poses I teach the groom. About an hour into the session it’s common for me to say “now give me a nuzzle”… followed by… “well, not ME.. but your Bride” — insert adorable laughing nuzzle! 🙂
Be Direct and Specific! As I mentioned before, couples, or anyone, are already nervous during their session and their most likely not professional models. It’s super important to be very specific in your directions. If you just tell the couple to look at each other, they’re not going to know where to put their hands, how to stand, and even just how to relax in that moment. Instead, always call them by name. In this example, we have Sara and Joe. Tell them to come close together, touch foreheads, Sara wrap your arm’s around Joe’s neck and let your eyes gently fall to look down at his shirt, Joe wrap your arms around her waist and gently kiss her on the forehead. Being specific will make them feel comfortable and confident because you’ve now told them exactly what to do! It’s also helpful to demonstrate what you are explaining. Some couples love a visual and it makes for a good laugh sometimes! After about 30 minutes of this, I find that couples tend to feel more at ease and will flow into some of their own poses and even know what I might be about to tell them! They get familiar with how I pose and how I direct. This is why engagement sessions are SO important. Once the wedding day arrives, they are pros at all of the poses and basically professional models :)!
I hope these 3 tips for authentic posing were helpful for you!! Do you have any tips? Please feel free to share below in the comments! I hope you all have a great weekend and happy FriYAY!! XOXO