Do you get nervous having your picture taken?
When it’s for a formal occasion, say a publicity shot for a business launch or an important company document, a nervous client, or at least a camera-shy one, is surprisingly common.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard clients admitting they hate having their photograph taken. I tell them that everyone says that, hoping to reassure them. To which they say ‘but I really do’. Suffice to say, everyone says that too.
We are all used to seeing ourselves brushing our teeth, combing our hair, putting on make up. Of course these are familiar images of ourselves, when reflected in mirrors or perhaps shop windows. But when we have our pictures taken, the image presented by the photographer feels the ‘wrong’ way round and this is why so many are uncomfortable with them.
Fortunately, there are number of things that can help reduce people’s unease when in front of camera. I always keep the room tidy with a clear path from the door to the place where the person will stand/sit. There is nothing worse than a nervous character having to navigate past bags of intimidating kit, cables and accessories.
An uncluttered shoot stops people feeling like a visit to the dental surgery. As a portrait session progresses, I always keep the subject involved in the shoot. They are quickly able to relax when they are active not passive, and very much part of the process, be it when changing posture, their angles to the camera, smiling, not smiling etc.
Many of the shots taken aren’t in the client’s brief, but their value is in getting the subject to relax and to take their mind off the process.
One position and expression is probably all that’s needed to get a good picture, but asking someone to maintain a certain look is unrealistic and only professional models are really ever able to achieve it. It’s important not to take long.
From years of experience I know that after a few minutes I will have the best out of the person and extending the shoot won’t improve the results. Also, for business people, time is usually pressing and they will want to be off as soon as possible to their next appointment.
Having your portrait taken for an Annual Report, website or marketing brochure can be a painless, fun and not a drudge, if done professionally.
We aim always to get the best out of each subject no matter how anxious they might be feeling when they walked in.
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