Today we have a guest post by a professional photographer who has shared some insights as part of an ongoing series. Here she begins to discuss how as a photographer it is important to have a good rapport in order to accurately depict what the subject wants and how certain poses and clothes affects the overall mood in finished image.
Over many sessions of photographing people, I have come across subjects who come asking for specific looks and feel for a shoot. During my consult, I try and understand what exactly they want to achieve in their image (a.k.a what they want to project) even though it might be a bit staged.
I feel that clothes set the mood for how a person feels once they are in them. Do you want to feel romantic, sexy, casual at home, country style, etc.? What is the mood you want to convey? Also, to a great extent, how one poses also helps in pulling out those personality traits.
For most of my sessions I try and speak to the subject at length about their likes and dislikes prior to the shoot. I try and understand a bit about their personal lives and everyday routines so as to project their inner souls and aspirations as accurately as possible.
People fantasize a lot and more importantly about someone they always wanted to be but for various reasons couldn’t. Photo shoots allow them those moments. To capture them and relive those dreams. Choosing the right outfit and style is definitely important. However, the overall set decor and ambience, the lighting and even the pose adds to the final image.
Getting the pose right is crucial to the success of the overall picture. Facing the camera, be it still or motion can be quite unnerving for someone who doesn’t face the medium quite often or isn’t a professional model.
It is up to the photographer to make the subject fall into the pose and help get them overcome their fears or stiffness. Even models start out shy but with good assistance and experience, it becomes easy. Very few people are natural in front of the camera and take to directions easily.
Giving a subject directions to pose, should stem from a feeling of mutual trust and respect. A good rapport is very important and conveys professionalism but a bit more personally. However, there is a thin line, as in any other profession, between being overly privy to personal and intimate details and helping a subject to ease in front of the camera. Goes, without saying, this line should in no way be breached. You are first a photographer and then a friend and confidant.
Begin by discussing comfort poses. Take a few while engaging in small talk. Something that is easily disclosed rather than intimate topics. Keep giving them feedback so that they know they are following your suggestions and are not overwhelmed by the silence…which normally ensues while you check the back of the camera. This slowly breaks down the ice and loosens the muscles. They begin to feel more secure and confident in your presence and start to flow into more staged poses easily. This gives the photographer more natural looking staged poses, per se. Giving them suggestions and showing reference shots can help the subject to understand your interpretation of how they want themselves to be captured. Certain angles, frame sizes also go a long way in bringing out the vision which needs to be a teamwork rather than a commander and follower relationship.
Eventually the both the subject and photographer will be comfortable in working with each other and it will also reflect in the end result, the images.
Rashmi Varier is a professional photographer who specializes in People and Food & Drink Photography. You can find more of her work on the link .