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Get to know your client
Get to know who they are and what makes them tick. This will help you to bring out and photograph their real personality and relationship rather than something fake and contrived. The more they see of their authentic selves in the images, the happier they will be. Consider a pre-session questionnaire to pull out the fun and juicy details!
Make them comfortable
Most people have some degree of hesitation or wall that goes up when a camera comes out. Learn the way that works best for you to put them at ease. Consider spending the first few minutes at the session chatting with them without the expectation of photographing them yet. During the session, be sure to not just plow through shooting like a machine… chat with them, joke with them, develop your own little tricks of helping them have fun and relax.
Don’t be afraid to try new stuff
Even though we strive to make our photos as little about “posing” as possible, we can still find ourselves using the same setups, safe locations, and ways of guiding them through the session. Try at lease one new thing at every session even if it doesn’t turn out. You might just be delighted at what you get. Also, who said a portrait session has to be about standing and smiling… Why not a paint war!
Courtesy of Mike & Julie – Storytellers: www.mikejulie.com