/

10 Tips To Make Couples Feel More Comfortable in Front of the Camera

“Hey! We’re looking for engagement photos and love your work…but, I’ll be honest, we’ve never had professional photos taken and we’re a little nervous.”

This is one of the most common lines engagement and wedding photographers read when they receive a new inquiry. Having your photo taken can seem intimidating, but it does not have to be.

After 10 years of professionally photographing people, I’ve learned a few things that have helped couples to feel comfortable, relaxed, and excited to have their photos taken.  


1.jpg

1. ASK QUESTIONS

From the minute a potential client e-mails me, I am intrigued to learn their story. I will ask to set up a time to speak over the phone and follow up with a “Get to Know You” questionnaire. A little bit of background knowledge can go a long way and help both us feel more comfortable before meeting in person.

2. DO NOT TAKE YOUR CAMERA OUT OF YOUR BAG

When I get out of my car for a session, I normally do not have my camera around my neck ready to start taking pictures immediately. I keep it in my camera bag until the couple and I have gotten to our first location spot. If I am simultaneously talking with the couple and putting my gear together, the flow of the session begins more naturally.

3. WALK A BIT

Whether it’s because I’m trying to find some shade or a new spot, walking a little never hurt anyone. As we walk together, I think of new poses and prompts I want to give them.

4. MAKE CONVERSATION

During sessions, I ask my couples many questions that invite conversation, spark nostalgia and allow them to reminisce on their favorite memories. These questions are not only fun for them to answer, but they allow for genuine facial expressions, creating authentic photographs.

5. BE RELATABLE

Making conversation is one thing but finding commonality within the conversation is another. I believe it’s important to find something that you have in common with your couple. Example include, discussing your favorite restaurants in town, chatting about your career paths, the size of your family, the sports team you both root for, and so forth.

6. PAUSE

I used to have an irrational fear that I was wasting people’s time during sessions by taking breaks. If I wanted to look at my notes, change a camera lens or just look around the corner to check out other scenery, in my mind, I felt like I was making couples wait for me. The truth is, the couple barely notices and probably appreciates the pause between talking and photos. I now build in time for myself and the couple to take a moment without feeling like I am burdening anyone.

7. GIVE DIRECTION

There is a difference between telling a couple exactly where to place their hand and guiding them in the direction you want them to stand. Couples say, “We are not models, we have never had professional photos taken before, and we need you to tell us what to do.” Rather than assuming it is making them feel forced in a pose, consider it as being helpful.

8. OFFER WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT AND COMPLIMENTS

A meaningful compliment can go a long way. It shouldn’t feel forced, but a few ideas can be, “The sun is hitting your face at all the right angles” or “hold her in a way that shows her natural beauty.” Positive affirmation can boost self-esteem and bring out even more genuine expressions.

9. FOLLOW UP

Once the session concludes, I send a text message to the couple letting them know how much I appreciate them putting their trust in me and how excited I am to edit their photos!

10. BE PROMPT

I guarantee a sneak peek of a few photos within 24-48 hours after the session. This normally holds the couple over and leaves them eager to see more! Being prompt does not mean rushing, as I never want to compromise the quality of my editing so that I can deliver photos faster. I do think being prompt, transparent, and reliable is important to make couples feel comfortable.  

Overall, couples feel comfortable when:

  • You invest in them

  • You are responsive to their emails

  • You are relatable to them

  • You are understanding to their nerves

  • You make them a priority

  • You care for them  

Making couples feel comfortable in front of the camera goes well beyond the actual session time. Photography is just as much a customer service line of work as it is an art and craft. I hope these tips are helpful for other photographers or couples who may question the idea of having photos taken!

If you are interested in booking a session with SArnold Photo (Sarah), a Colorado Portrait & Wedding Photographer, based in Colorado Springs, click here.


IMG_8924.jpg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.