Creating Client Comfort During Lifestyle Newborn Sessions
if your client is nervous when you pick up your camera, they are going to look nervous in their pictures. and looking nervous in photographs not only makes for an awkward photo, but it creates discomfort for the audience or whomever is viewing the photograph. creating client comfort in the moments before your session starts, and continuing to encourage comfort throughout the session, will ensure that your images reflect ease and genuine emotion. clients who are relaxed and confident photograph so much better than clients who are nervous and unsure.
learning how to pose clients takes time and practice. be sure to read how i learned to pose photography clients to help you get started.
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Creating Client Comfort During Lifestyle Newborn Sessions
clients are most comfortable when you tell them exactly what to do. when we think of lifestyle newborn sessions, we think of unposed and natural photographs. but behind these photographs, it is our job as photographers to help place our clients into flattering and photographable positions that will feature them the best within the frame. by telling your client to just look natural, you are placing a lot of pressure on them because sometimes they don’t know what natural looks like. i always pose my clients, then step back and allow them to naturally interact within the pose. from the moment i tell my clients, “don’t worry, i am going to tell you exactly what to do,” i can literally see a sense of relief wash over their face. especially from the dads.
need some more pose ideas? check out my 10 tips for photographing a lifestyle newborn session.
i always carry my iPad with me to help show clients poses that i will be doing with them. sometimes, i don’t even pull my iPad out of my bag because the clients are already comfortable and confident upon arrival. but for the clients who need a little more encouragement or who visually need to see what we are trying to achieve, i like to show them example of my photographs and say, “this is the next pose we are going to do.” seeing a pose can really help create client comfort because they know what is expected of them and they aren’t left guessing.
Encouragement Goes A Long Way
when i take the time to encourage my clients while photographing them, i can literally see their shoulders relax and their smiles become even more natural. encouraging my clients is as simple as saying, “you are doing perfect!”, “you are so easy to pose!”, “that’s exactly it!”, “oh gosh, this is the photo!” when i tell my clients this and they can sense my excitement, they are encouraged that they are not only personally doing a great job, but that their photos are going to turn out amazing. remember, your clients aren’t models. posing isn’t natural to them, so giving them direction and encouragement is the biggest secret to creating client comfort to achieve natural looking photos.
i am very fun and lighthearted with my clients. i am part photographer, part comedian. want to know my real secret to creating client comfort and getting really natural photos? i joke around with my clients, a lot. i say silly things and poke fun, i share funny stories and am relatable. once my clients see that taking photos is going to include laughter and fun, they loosen up immediately and relax.
Have Them Look At One Another
when i tell my clients to look at one another, it’s not to get a photo…it is to create a reaction. when you tell two people to look at one another, no matter how much they love one another…it is a tad awkward and gets them to laugh. having them put their foreheads together, while looking at one another, makes them laugh even more because they can only see one eye once they focus on one another. creating situations that will encourage honest reactions will help create client comfort and encourage your clients to relax. in turn, you will capture moments that are full of pure honesty and joy.
Just Look At Your Baby
upon arriving at my client’s home, i tell them, “this is going to be the easiest photography session you’ve ever had. all you have to do is look at your beautiful baby.” and because i am a lifestyle newborn photographer who focuses on capturing genuine and natural emotion, most of my session includes just that: looking at the baby. once parents know they aren’t going to have to stare at my camera for the next two hours, but instead they get to adore their baby throughout our entire time together, they are instantly at ease. for parents, it is easy to enjoy their baby because they are still taking in everything about their little one. of course, i give my clients lots of direction, but for the most part, i just let them enjoy their new little one.
Remind Them To Breathe
some clients are at ease right away, but for others it takes a few photos before they become comfortable being in front of the camera. for those clients who are still a little nervous, i remind them to breathe. taking a deep breath encourages them relax their face and shoulders. sometimes having a client focus on breathing helps them take the focus away from being in front of the camera, which can help when creating client comfort.
taking the time and being intentional when creating client comfort will not only make your session more enjoyable for your clients, but your photographs will look that much more honest because you will be working in a relaxed and natural environment. creating client comfort also makes your clients enjoy their session more because it feels less stressful and more relaxed. and clients will remember how you make them feel forever! the next time it is time to update their family photos, they will remember what a great and easy experience they had with you and will be encouraged to hire you again.
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