Out of your comfort zone
Unless you are a model, you are completely out of your comfort zone. No one has a camera pointing at them, like a sniper, in normal life. You will be uncomfortable.
So the photographers adds in all the lights flashing, other unfamiliar gizmos like reflectors, snoots and softboxes, and then puts you in odd positions; you really are in unfamiliar territory. Then if you’re on location, there will be people walking past and looking at you… that’s weird – they’ll be looking to see if you are famous!
Relax – it’s only a camera!
As the shoot progresses you will start to relax, photographers sees it every shoot. An amazing build up of confidence that comes as the rapport builds. Rather than feel scared of the lens, it will, unconsciously, become your friend. You can do what you like and it never answers back – and a good photographer should recognise what you enjoy, and encourage it.
Photographer gives you constant feedback, showing you the shots on camera. You start to see how you are coming across, that your fears were unfounded, the effect the lighting’s creating something you can never visualise whilst posing.
It takes 2 to tango…
This is also your opportunity to say what you think – if the clothes are not working, or you see something you need changing, we can take that on board and adapt, then check the results again.
It’s a happy feedback loop – the more you see the results, the more honed we can get the look. Also the more you realise that what seems “uncomfortable” when posing, actually looks great on camera; so you are far more willing to expand on the ideas.
In the Zone!
Towards the end of the shoot, you’re in the zone – some call it “flow” – as soon as the photographer has found a new location and set up the lights, you’re in position waiting for him.
Earlier, you were stood with your head down and hands dangling forlornly at your side – now you’re standing with great posture, using your hands and shades to add energy to the shot. You’ve forgotten you were ever nervous about the camera and hardly need any direction from the photographer.
Its at this stage where the magic always seems to happen – everything comes together and you get the “real you” in the photos.
And then the shoot is over!
Not because we end it when things start to flow, but the time flies by so fast the session seems over so quickly.
That’s a pattern I’ve seen over and over again – especially with longer shoots that take in multiple locations. Each new location is a new beginning, a new space for you to occupy and a gives you a new set of ideas.