Slow Down And Watch!
OK, let’s keep it real here. How many of you get in a rut and have your typical checklist that you follow – you say the same cheesy lines to get a laugh and shoot from the same angles? Um, yeah……….GUILTY!!! We have all been there (or on our way there as we speak). It is extremely important to our businesses to slow down and hit the reset button and remember why we became photographers in the first place.
For me, it has ALWAYS been about my subject and showing them how beautiful and unique they truly are. One piece of advice I can give you, something I have learned over the years is to SLOOOOOOW DOWN and be observant of your surroundings (in other words, your subject). Instead of stressing out over what your ISO is set at or whether your client’s hair is perfect, focus on making your subject comfortable by reading their body language. If they are having fun, you get amazing pictures……..BOOM, it’s that simple! Your job is to guide them through this process, not to change them into what you think they should be just for a pretty picture.
I can’t tell you how many times I have revealed stunning pictures to my clients and they just look at it like, “Next….you got any more?”. My jaw is on the ground and I say, “Um, isn’t this image gorgeous?”. Their response is, “Yea, it’s just not really ME”. After I pick myself up off the floor and show them the rest of their images, they usually end up with the most simple image as their favorite. Why? Because it’s THEM and they felt at ease, not awkward!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all about getting creative and having them lie in a field of sticker burs to get that gorgeous shot, but if your client isn’t at ease, your results won’t be what you want. Everything from the first phone call with your client to picking out the outfits/hair/makeup and location should be a team effort. This is where the trust and bond begins with your client. It’s all about GUIDING them!
How do I put my clients at ease? It’s Simple. Watch them! Yep, it’s that easy!
In this amazing session with Ana, she started off very shy and uneasy in front of the camera. I always start off with simple and soft smiling pictures to get them used to me being in their face with my camera. Asking for a genuine smile right off the bat usually doesn’t look natural. I like to share the back of my camera with my clients throughout the session to get their feedback and read their body language. This tells me where I need to go next. LISTEN AND WATCH YOUR CLIENTS!!
By doing this with Ana I could tell that she did not like it when her hair was a certain way (even though I thought it was totally fine). Of course, sometimes we need to show clients things they would have never chosen to do and they LOVE it, but it is also important to keep your client engaged in the moment and communicate with them.
Another bit of advice is to use your resources!!
Ana’s boyfriend let her use his classic truck for the session, so he was there with us during the shoot. I totally took advantage of this! I mean WHY NOT?! After showing her some of the images of her in the truck, she complained that she thought she looked awkward. Easy fix!! I took her sweet boyfriend, Lane, and told him to get behind me and be goofy. He ended putting on her hat and prancing around. Problem solved. Her shoulders immediately dropped and the natural smiles came rolling in.
My finger was going ninety to nothing, shooting like crazy! From there, I let Ana take the lead and I just captured her being entertained by Lane. I didn’t have to worry about cheesy lines or posing. Once I showed her some of these images, she was like “Awww, I love it”. Of course she did – because it was her being herself. Nothing was forced.
I can’t emphasize enough…………..you need to guide them through this process. The proof is in the pudding, folks. Just take a look at your images and watch your client’s reaction!! It’s that simple! So go out there, slow down, connect with your clients and most importantly HAVE FUN because it’s contagious!
Equipment Used: Canon 5D Markiii, Sigma 85mm f1.4 and Canon 24-70mmL f4
Aubry started dabbling in photography about 16 years ago when her first son was born. Alongside teaching, she began photographing anything and anyone. Her business grew rapidly and she was able to do photography full time. Her business started off as Pass The Sugar Photography and recently changed to Aubry Ramsey Photography. She is obsessed with the sun and bold colors in her images. She takes pride in staying true to who her clients are and capturing them for what makes them unique, not just a pretty picture. Click here to see her work.
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