it's time to throw away all your posing tricks...
One of the things that killed my business when I first started, was the pressure I put on myself to pose every one of my clients. And I wondered why the photos ended up looking stiff + unnatural (insert eye roll).
After doing some research (aka. stalking other photographers social media and websites), I soon realized I had been doing it all wrong. Instead of placing my clients in specific ways and making sure not one hair was out of place, I needed to get loose with them and bring out their personalities to end up with a natural + fun photo that captures who they really are. So how do you do that?
It's a game changer for your photography business. Not only does it create a less awkward, comfortable and energized session, but it allows you to become friends with your clients and deliver photos that they will cherish forever. My biggest tip in prompting your clients would be this:
Keep them moving. This will help any nerves or awkwardness to go away, and for them to just be focused on the prompt you gave them rather than what their hands and arms are doing. The photos will always come out more natural, fun and intimate.
Instead of trying to explain what I mean, I figured it would be more helpful to get a visual idea by writing the prompts I give in each of the photo's below. I'm hoping to soon come out with a behind the scenes video of me on a shoot, but for now this will do.
This is usually the first prompt I start out with on couple shoots to help allow the couple to get comfortable in front of the camera and get some natural candid laughter from them. You start by telling them to walk away from you hand in hand, and on their way back tell them to walk towards you, bumping into each other aggressively and just to be really sloppy. I usually tell them to focus on each other and pretend like I'm not even there.
"whisper something in her ear-i don't want to hear it!"
Sometimes I'll tell one of them to whisper their favorite cereal into the other's ear using a weird accent or voice. This ALWAYS gets either a really goofy photo or a romantic, up-close portrait.
"kiss her. But don't let him kiss you!"
This is one of my favorites! I tell the guy to go in for a kiss, and the girl "whatever you do, don't let him kiss you!" It's always so fun, and 90% of the time will lead to a sweet kissy photo, or chase.
"slow dance to this song"
Another pro tip: always have your phone and a speaker to play music on for your shoots! It relaxes the mood and is helpful for moments like these. I have a playlist dedicated to couple sessions, which you can find here.
I put on a slow song (usually Ed Sheeran, let's be honest) and have them dance to it for about 30 seconds, telling them to just take in the moment of being with each other.
"Try to shake her off!"
I have them piggy back, and then tell the guy to try to shake her off, while the girl tries her best to stay on. Sometimes like in the above pic, I'll have the girl cover his eyes to make it more challenging and funny. I've only had like, one couple fall over (but hey, more candid photos?? no? oh ok). Totally safe :P
Some other favorite prompts...
"Hug like you won't see each other for 6 months."
"Rapid fire kiss all over her face."
Have the guy stand behind the girl, and have them wrap their arms around each other like pretzels.
Have the guy stand behind the girl and tell the girl to be a dead weight and for the guy to spin her around.
"Kidnap her. Just take her away from here in 5,4,3,2,1!"
That's all for today, guys! I hope you enjoyed and were able to get some helpful tips and prompts to use for your next couple photo shoot!
Until next time,