How Photographers Can Make a Photo Shoot Less Awkward for the Model
Published 29th January 2013
I never thought photography could give an insight on how complex human behaviour is. Taking shots of human subjects is made interesting and challenging because of it. Think about it. In weddings or any other event for that matter, it’s not unusual for people to shell out a large sum of money on clothes, jewelries, etc. Why do they do that? So they’ll get noticed, of course! The irony of the situation is that once they see a camera, they end up hiding instead. Sure, there are those who go on with what they’re doing despite the knowledge that someone’s taking a photo of them. That’s good, except for the fact that despite them trying to act “naturally”, their faces don’t look natural at all with them looking sideways at the camera while talking to a person, for example. And then there are people who block themselves with their hands, much like celebrities in scandal. And let’s not forget the people who’ll stop at nothing just for you to include them in every single photo. If there’s one thing in common between all those types of people, it’s that they can all make the situation awkward between them and the photographer.
So the photographer now asks, “How do we face this awkwardness that exists between the photographer and a model? Is there a way to lessen that?”
One thing you can try is camouflage. Not the concealing-yourself-with-some-color-and-pattern kind of way. It’s more about being as stealthy as possible. It can be pretty challenging when you’re using a big lens, but one thing that can help you is shooting through conversations. You can act like you’re taking a photo of someone else to make the person be more at ease. To achieve the result you want, understanding your camera and its focusing capabilities is a prerequisite. You’d also need to be quick in getting the shot. Take a look at your surroundings as they can be of help too. Spot the mirrors as reflections usually work great.
In events and parties, you can bring with you a long lens and stay in a corner, being as inconspicuous as possible. Then you can shoot away as nobody notices you. I’m sure you’ll get great candid shots with that.
Another thing we photographers have to deal with is the misrepresentation of us being the bad guy. But it’s something that can easily be countered. Simple people skills is all it takes! Creating small talk might not be your thing and it can be really challenging at times. But being a successful photographer doesn’t just involve knowing every aspect of your camera and the principles of good photography while you’re safely hidden behind your camera. You need to have the skills to work with the mood and comfort of a person for you to get shots that are nothing short of excellence. Photography is an art after all. And it involves the art of bringing out the best in people by putting them at ease and letting them show their true selves for the photo. How you’re going to do that is up to you. You can try a good joke, a one liner, a compliment, whatever it is you think would work. Give them your complete attention and make them feel like you’re their best friend, even just for that moment.
We all wish things were simpler and easier, but that would take the fun out of everything, right? That’s how it is in photography. But you don’t have to worry as you have pointers like the ones in this article that can surely help you along the way.
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