5 Tips to Make Couples Smile on Engagement Session
When it comes to their work, every professional photographer has their own style, but the common goal for everyone behind a camera, is to capture their client’s natural expressions effortlessly. Having the ability to evoke emotions like a smile, and timing them to perfection, is truly an art. It is not always easy to get a bride and groom to follow your lead. This is where patience and creativity are key! It is also important to remember that your clients are not “professional models” and sometimes, even when they are in a relaxed state, they may be uncomfortable in front of you, or merely because a camera is pointed at them. Whatever the case, if they are too shy, the images you capture may not be as amazing as could be if you wish them to be. The best results come when your clients smile sincerely and you get to capture the moment with unique pictures. While there no one rule or “Success Formula” to achieve these results, the following tips can help!
1) Feel comfortable in front of the couple
Naturalness must come from you. Simple as it may seem, it does not always occur to everyone. Some less experienced photographers, for example, may feel nervous when taking photographs, so being funny and/or natural with clients may be a little difficult at first. It is very important to create a pleasant atmosphere and to approach the couple with sincerity. This, of course, means being you! You do not have to pretend, for example, that “you’re long-time friends” and fake an intimacy that does not yet exist. But it is extremely necessary to be friendly, pleasant, and open to developing a really sincere friendship. It is important to take an interest couple’s history and what their expectations are with regards to work.
2) Love your job
If you make a living out of taking photographs of people, you should genuinely enjoy dealing with people! It’s hard to imagine a totally antisocial photographer taking captivating, sincere and sentimental pictures. More than being able to interact with your customers and make them comfortable in front of the camera, you should exude a sense of satisfaction and love for your work. Any discontent you may have, will be felt by your clients, and will make it much harder for them to produce a natural smile. Rest assured that when your clients feel your passion for what you do, they will know that they are in good hands!
3) Shoot them quickly
One of the most important tips is to act quickly. Making a couple stay in any position for too long will bring an end to the fun and naturalness of the moment and risks ending in embarrassment. Keep in mind that you can’t really expect sincere smiles for more than a second or two, so be swift!
4) Do not force the couple to do things that they do not resonate with
The more you know about the couple and their personalities, the easier it will be for you to determine what they will be comfortable with. For example, not every couple is 100% romantic, so it is important to take into consideration that each couple may express their affection in different ways. They key is to let yourself flow with the couple, without hindering your creativity. For example, if you inform your clients ahead of time that some of the poses may look or feel “weird”, they feel be prepared and not resist as much. If they know that you have done this a lot of times and the results will be spectacular, they will be more likely get over their shyness or apprehension. So, capturing incredible pictures in unique settings like the couple in the middle of a crowded park will be easier, and the couple will thank you for taking a chance and doing something they did not expect. They just need to trust you, and embrace the situation, with a smile!
5) Be yourself
It’s no use telling jokes, unless you’re a good comedian! Be pleasant to the couple, in your own way. If you are naturally a funny person, who likes to play around with situations, that’s great! But if you are a little quieter, that’s not a problem at all. The only requirement is to be friendly, natural and happy with the work you are doing, so that you will make your customers comfortable with you (and the camera). The laughs that result will be natural, and that is what you are looking for. Remember, a photographer who conveys confidence and joy in what he does, will automatically create a pleasant environment with the couple. The result will be naturally captured beautiful and memorable pictures!
Now apply all tips above while shooting a wedding or an engagement session and you will see how the final result of your images will be improved. Let’s rock!