How I get my clients to relax in front of the camera

I know the thought of hiring a photographer can be daunting - it’s not every day that you’re in front of the camera. You’re probably worried about a few things: will the photos turn out the way you want them to? Will the photographer capture the same vision that you have in your head? Will he/she capture your bad angles? Will you end up liking the photos? How will you possibly not look awkward in front of the camera? 

How I get my clients to relax in front of the camera

No matter if you’ve done this before, or never have, it’s always a new experience. If you’ve never worked with your photographer before, everything is new, and you just don’t know what to expect.

I get it! I have been there myself. It can feel intimidating and scary. “What will people think? How will I come across?”

I’ve also worked with literally hundreds (I mean literally, not exaggerating) of people who have all felt the same way, and I’ve helped them overcome this feeling and their fears of being photographed. Not only that, but they actually ended up enjoying the process and had FUN while shooting.

So here are my tips for your next shoot (or for planning it) and to grow your confidence about hiring a photographer (because I know that you know you need one and it’s time to share who you are in a professional way).

Working with a photographer will be one of the best decisions you’ll make in your business. It will help you stand out, present yourself professionally while being approachable, and on top of all that (and the most important point in my opinion), it will bring you CONFIDENCE and help you OWN what you do.

1. I ALWAYS have a chat with my (future) clients over the phone. Call it a consultation, conversation, strategy session, whatever you want. This is an important first step and point of contact. It’s not quite as personal as meeting in person, but it’s the easiest way to get to know each other, build trust, and see if we’re on the same level without spending a huge amount of time upfront. It’s efficient AND valuable.

2. If we are a good fit and decide to work together, I send my clients an initial questionnaire to understand their brand even better and to get to know them on a deeper level. We will also create a shared Pinterest board. From there we can plan out the shoot in a much more detailed, strategic and systematic way, and make sure that the results (i.e. the photos) turn out exactly the way we both want them and that our vision is aligned.

3. Before the shoot, I make sure to always meet for coffee/tea first and have a relaxed chat. Just like meeting a friend. It’s not about the shoot, but about getting to know each other, spending time together, relaxing, having a good time. This helps immensely to make my clients feel at ease, relaxed and comfortable once we start shooting.

4. By this point we’ve done so much upfront work to make sure the client feels prepared and comfortable in front of the camera. So now it’s just about having fun, letting me do the work (i.e. letting my eyes and intuition work their magic in seeing the best spots, angles and capturing all the beauty of what’s in front of my lens). 

We play around, we keep chatting, we go for a walk. Depending on the shoot there might even be other people around (e.g. their partner, friends, colleagues, dog or cat, etc.), which helps them to relax even more. I often hear that time flies when we’re shooting and my clients come out of it feeling like “oh, what just happened? We did it? I didn’t even really realise we were shooting”. Kind of like a good haze.

5. Once you receive the photos back, don’t feel shy about sharing your thoughts and feedback. If there are small adjustments you would like made (e.g. in terms of editing), don’t hesitate to let your photographer know. As long as it’s not something like “make me look like a different person entirely”, this usually isn’t a big deal. Communicating with your photographer openly and honestly (this also applies if you’re 100% over the moon with the results), will increase your bond, and help you when you work together next (see below below…)

6. One last and important tip, especially if you need consistent and regular content, is to work with a photographer on an ongoing basis! This way you already know each other, you get to know each other even better with every session (you’ll basically just be friends), it increases your confidence in the photographer, and in knowing what types of images you’ll get. You’re both on the same level, you know what it’s like working with each other, you share the same style, vibe and vision, and you’re both at ease around one another. Everything becomes just so much easier.

I hope these tips help ease your nerves about your next shoot and create an initial bout of confidence in you. Working with a photographer really is nothing like going to the dentist - quite the opposite. If you find a photographer who is a good fit for you, you’ll feel comfortable and will 100% enjoy the experience (and probably come back for more). ;)

What are some fears, worries or thoughts that are going through your mind when you think of doing a shoot and being in front of the camera?

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