It is truly a pleasure to work with people from diverse backgrounds and with different personalities. It is fulfilling to meet such amazing individuals, but a greater challenge awaits when faced with people who are uncomfortable or nervous during shoots. Today, we will dive deeper into why people shy away from cameras so much and how photographers can make them feel better.
Prepare Yourself Beforehand
As a professional wedding photographer, you need to prepare yourself beforehand to avoid any chaos at the last moment. Why? Well, if you are running around, figuring out which bits of the location have the perfect lighting, which corners are great for using props, and where to place all the equipment, you will only make the people you are about to photograph uncomfortable. Also, sometimes delays can induce much anxiety in people. So, it would be great for you to be in control and prepare everything a day or two before the date of the official shoot.
Give Them Posing Tips
Posing is crucial if you want to click brilliant images. However, sometimes clients are so nervous that they can’t come up with poses of their own. Step up to the situation and walk them through it all. Remember that your goal is to click pictures in poses that enhance the features of your subject and make them feel good about themselves. If you notice them clenching their jaw too much, advise them to smile and open and close their mouth a few times to release the tension. If their shoulders and back are too stiff due to anxiety, make sure to ask them to walk around for a while and take a few deep breaths.
Break the Ice
Never view photography as a job alone; it is a work of art. If you don’t know your subject, how will you ever paint a picture? Make sure you exchange a few dialogues with them before the shoot begins to get to know them better. If you can’t find time to meet them in person, drop an email to learn more about them and help the shoot become more personalized for the people.
Give Them Some Space
Don’t be a surveillance camera that is constantly keeping an eye on the subject. You need to give them some space. Some people are too nervous around a camera, and if you’re too close to them, there is no way they can maintain comfortable body language. Keep a few different lenses with you and shoot from a slight distance.
Shake off Some Stress Yourself
Yes, performance anxiety is real. I experience it too even after years of working as an established Family photographer. You can try a couple of things, like meditation, a ten-minute workout, listening to a soothing song, or calmly counting till ten. But, if your subject notices you’re stressed, they will never be able to overcome their anxiety.
Try these tricks to help people become more comfortable around you and your camera during shoots; the tips worked like a charm for me in my initial days!