How I get clients to relax in front of the camera

Good afternoon everyone! Today's post is about how I get clients to relax in front of the camera - let me give you a little bit of back story!

My Grandad has just come over from South Africa where he lives for a family visit.  He is 96.  Yep, you read it right NINETY-SIX YEARS OLD!  I't's totally amazing having him here, he has met my 3 year old daughter for the first time and its wonderful sitting chatting to him and listening to his amazing stories.

Very soon he will be going back home to SA and this is quite likely the last chance we will get to see him.  So what's the one thing I'm doing?  Making memories with him and my family.  We have a day at the beach planned, a trip to London to see the Horse Guards (he was in the Cavalry for the British Army and still trains and rides horses now.)  We have been on day trips out and had family dinners.  I'm taking as many photographs as I can - all the family combinations and in some beautiful settings as well as candid ones in our home and on days out.

I know one day, these will be all I will have left - and it's very likely that my daughter wont remember her Great Grandads visit, but she will be able to see all the hugs and laughter they shared through the beautiful images I've captured during his visit.

Back to the reason of this blog post.  All this got me thinking about how I get clients to relax in front of the camera - or in this case, my entire family!

Here are my 8 rules for taking awesome photos (& how I get clients to relax in front of the camera!):

Rule #1:  If a client doesn't seem relaxed, it's because they're not relaxed!  I never start shooting unless I can visibly see that they have started to relax in front of the camera.

Rule #2:  I have my camera out all the time - even before we meet.  It's good for clients to see it around - in the studio at the Pre-Shoot Consultation, in my hand on Facebook 'behind the scenes' posts and of course right from the start of the photo shoot.  You can't get someone all at ease and then whip out a camera!

Rule #3:  I'm friendly with all my clients.  Whether its a Bride & Groom, a new Mum, a couple or a family shoot, I love getting to know you first.  We'll do this over email, on the phone and in person before the photo shoot so you'll know what I'm like and by the time it comes around to taking the pictures, we'll be old friends!

Rule #4:  Another great way to get clients to relax in front of the camera is by starting off the photo shoot with some general chatter. We'll wander around looking at fabulous locations for your shoot or picking outfits.  I'll explain how the shoot will unfold, what you can expect from me and what I need from you.

Rule #5:  Most people hate having their photo taken (that used to be me too!) because they are used to seeing bad photos of themselves!  Not everyone is a photographer which is why you are paying a professional for the service.  you simply can't be the best at everything right!.  You wouldn't ask anyone but a dentist to pull out your bad tooth now would you?!  Once you've been professionally photographed, you wont be so nervous in front of the camera again! (trust me, I'm speaking from experience both with clients and myself!)

Rule #6:  During the shoot, I'll help you through every part of it and give you specific instructions on what to do and how to pose.  I love natural shots as well though so you'll find I'll capture the in-between moments too.

Rule #7: I love showing you one of your beautiful photographs straight from the back of the camera!  Half of the problem is that as clients, we don't know if what we are doing is right or what we look like.  Sometimes photographers put you in funny positions and it feels weird, but as soon as I show you that image on the back of the camera, your level of trust in both yourself and me will sky-rocket.

Rule #8:  I'm a bit daft!  I love saying silly things and making you laugh - hey I make myself laugh too!  You'll find I come out with all sorts of random things and you'll probably hear random snippets of my life too - remember we said we'd be friends by then?  We definitely will by the time we finish!

Surrey Portrait Photographer, how to get clients to relax in front of the camera-1

Above is my amazing Grandad at the gorgeous Polesden Lacey near Dorking, Surrey.

I hope you enjoyed this post!  What are things you worry about when the camera is on you?!  Leave me a comment below and maybe you'll be featured in our next blog post!