How To Get The Best From Portraits!

In this video, I share all of the techniques I use to get the most out of my subjects when shooting portraits. I talk about mentality and a variety of tips and techniques that I use and find to be very helpful to get the very best from people when shooting their portrait.

– Professional Models & Public Figures tend to be familiar with having their photo taken and often will help to make your job easier. They’re used to being in the spotlight, having photos taken for articles and interviews. However, this doesn’t mean you have to leave everything up to them. You can still give direction to get the very best for your shoot. Sometimes these sort of people can be intimidating because they’re famous or powerful people, so keep cool, be respectful, but don’t be afraid to provide direction.
– Many people, including some of the most confident, people can become nervous and intimidated by a photo shoot. They may think that because you’re a professional photographer and they’re not famous or powerful that you’re not interested in photographing them. I never make anyone feel this way. I don’t care if I’m photographing a CEO or landscaper. Everyone behind my lens is treated equally and with respect.
– Keep the mood light. Talk to your subjects and try to find common ground. Talk about things that are dear to them – family, vacations, hobbies. This always gets folks to relax.
– Don’t tell your subject to relax. This will only draw more attention to the fact that they are nervous.
-Give your subjects tons of direction. This doesn’t mean managing every micro movement, but provide them good direction so they can look their best for the camera. This instills confidence and allows them to let you do your job.
– Watch your subjects and find special moments. Maybe it’s a head-tilt, or body position that they didn’t even know they were doing but looks great photographically. Have them repeat this if necessary.
– Redirect your subjects attention if they’re having a really hard time with nerves. Say something outrageous to divert their attention. This typically results in laughter and lightens the mood.
– Compliment your subjects during the shoot. Provide positive reinforcement. Even when you meet them at first and can tell they’re nervous, find something nice to say about them to make them feel good about the shoot.
– Be genuine with your subject and even though you take the shoot seriously, don’t take yourself too seriously – laughter is always a good way to keep lighten the mood.
– Have fun with the shoot. Play music to occupy the airspace. Show your subjects some of the photos along the way to reinforce how good they look and how well they’re doing.

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