From senior portraits to professionals' headshots the two biggest hurdles that I face with my clients are:
- Establishing trust with my subject.
- Building a client's confidence so that s/he feels as good as s/he looks.
The tighter that a person's shot is on their body or face the more critical s/he seems of his or her appearance--and more than likely it's brought up in conversation before I've even fired my first shot.
Some ways I overcome those hurdles:
- I like to show clients sneak peeks of their shots on my camera's LCD screen and take quick snaps on my iPhone throughout a session. I also let them know that no edits were made. What you see on the screen doesn't look the same as what you would see in your bathroom or full-length mirror at home. The photographer literally has a different view than you do--we compose shots to capture you at your best postures, facial expressions, and angles as you face the camera.
- The makeup artist that I work with accentuates a person's best features without making my client unrecognizable. She explains and shows our clients how only subtle enhancements (around the eyes, lips or cheeks) can emphasize the assets they naturally have. I usually shoot this process so clients can see this subtle transformation for themselves.
- I start with either "warm-ups" or insert "breaks" into our portrait sessions. From making silly faces to exaggerated poses we work together to "loosen up" and get more comfortable with the camera.
What I do for each client during a session can also apply to what you can do to feel more confident in your look before you head out the door. A new outfit or newly coordinated look, updated hairstyle, or a new accessory (new tie, scarf, piece of jewelry) is enough to make you take a look at yourself a little bit differently. It doesn't change who you are on the inside; it makes you take another look at yourself in a more positive way. Just as a photographer works on bringing out your best features, you should resolve to find those best features in your mirror each day.