The number one reason my clients book me (across the board) is for images that are “candid” … “full of emotion” … “real” … “authentic.” <—- This is what I do. This is what I capture. It is my desire to photograph and capture YOU, authentic, real, full of emotion YOU! Usually this statement of I love your images that are… is followed by something like I don’t know if you can get anything like that of us, but we’d like. Oh I can. And I will.
This also happens to be one thing I get asked about from photographers. How to get the look, what to do, what to say, etc I’ve never been good at creating a static pose. I just haven’t. I like to keep my couples or seniors moving. Work in and out of everything. And the in between moments of getting them from A to B are often the hit image. That’s often where those “That’s really us?! That really happened!” moments occur. So let’s talk about my 3 go to looks. This is probably the most strange blog I’ve posted as half of it is to couples and seniors and the other is to actual photogs.
The don’t say cheeeeeese!
Everyone knows what to do when the camera comes up. SMILE! But I want your smile to shine and show true joy and happiness not the I know, I know, CHEEEESE, smile. The easiest way to achieve this is laughter. Photogs: Find out what makes them smile. Be it jokes, you laughing, awkward moments, making a fool of yourself. Seriously I’d rather be ridiculous than be boring
This is the difference between camera up and smile! To goof around, say something funny, heck do something funny smile
Laughter is one of my favorite things. I vow to laugh everyday. Capturing moments of true joy are some of my fav!
Even with children. I pulled these two brothers to the side and had them stand together. Then I acted completely ridiculous asking them “How excited are we?!!!” This is the image that resulted. This is one of the groom’s (their father) favorite photos.
Pulling out the inner-seriousness.
This is the one that everyone says they can’t do. “I cannot make a serious face.” That’s what all of my boudoir clients say and well they all end up with PLENTY of serious images To me seriousness in an image translates to confidence. And everyone can do it! Photogs: here my trick for the serious face for non-serious folk. I don’t tell them we’re doing a serious face! HA! We start with getting into the position we’re sorta looking for and I have them close their eyes, look down, look to side, anywhere but AT the camera. Snap a couple of photos. In the middle of snapping I ask them to know look up/over at the camera. EVERY time I can grab this look. A tenth of a second later we might be laughing hysterically for that split second seriousness is there.
Remember start somewhere other than AT the camera and then look at the camera.
Role playing Kinda. haha. This is as simple as just bring 2 people together. Having them play out something. There are soooo many ways to do this so I’ll share a few successful ways that I do it. For example a quick kiss. Photogs rather than saying, “ok kiss!” I’ll have them work into it. Such as walk up to each other and kiss. The way the grab each other and lean into one another is some much different than what you get when you say ok kiss they just look at each other and peck. This one shows, the first is an “ok kiss” photo. The one on the right I had them sit all pretzel like and look at one another. I asked Kolten to tell Lauren what he was thinking about her right that second. His reply was “All I can think about are your teeth” She busts out laughing, which is the photo just prior to this. As laughing JUST starts to die down I told Kolten to go in for it. What resulted was an image of joy and love.
This one I had Heather sit in front of Sean. Now I could have told Sean to kiss her on the cheek or get super close. But that doesn’t really bring out emotion in either of them. Instead I told Sean to get in close and nuzzle haha. They love this image so much it now sits above their fireplace. What happens is we create this moments to capture that don’t look like they were done for the camera, just that they are real authentic moments in their life.
One of my favorite connection scenarios is what I call The Kitchen Sink. You know! She’s standing at the kitchen sink, he comes home, walks up behind her “nuzzles” kisses, laughs, etc. So we play it out. Usually she’s laughing before he even gets there cause she knows he’s coming but how is he going to grab her, what is he going to do? Usually this is what happens.
I let this just play out, cause sometimes it will end with a more softer, romantic moment. Such as this! Here is how the ultimate jokers approach The Kitchen Sink
Which turned into something similar to the images above of Lauren & Kolten. But like I said, let it play out and it may end a little softer such as
And at the end of every session I like to have a little fun This photo was taken 6 months ago and it’s still Sean’s Facebook profile photo. I always connect with clients before and find out what they like to do when I’m not around. This couple loves to get out in the snow. Snowboard, sled, snowball fights, etc. So I played on it, I mean I gave Heather a free shot at creaming Sean. Their expressions say it all. I really could have had her run and jump on his back for that piggy back photo. But I didn’t What happened after made for some great photos of them just goofing off together. A great way to end the session. Find out what make them tick, make the connection happen and photograph it.
I dare you. Try some of these ideas and come up with more of your own! My biggest tip is to be quick with your camera, or don’t put it down. We all get a little nervous in front of the camera and often as soon as you put it down their real reactions come out, you don’t wanna miss it After a bit of this they’ll forget the nerves and surprise you with what they choose to do at the kitchen sink or that walk into a kiss