10 Tips to Help Your Clients Feel Confident in Front of the Camera

A professional photographer taking a picture of a group of people at the beach

Helping your clients feel confident and safe in front of the camera is incredibly rewarding. When their confidence shines through in their photos, it yields truly genuine and captivating outcomes. While it might be challenging at first, recognising and addressing any anxiety your clients may have is essential to achieving remarkable results.

Today, we’ve collected 10 simple ways you can help your clients feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera, whether that’s achieved before, during or after a shoot – we have it all here for you. 

Nail your pre-shoot communication

Some people are natural when it comes to posing for photos, while others aren't as comfortable being photographed. Since you won't know your client's preferences until you meet them, conducting a pre-shoot consultation can be a great way to begin their experience with you. This allows you to get to know them a bit beforehand, establishing a sense of familiarity and helping them feel more relaxed when the session begins.

Chat with your clients

Start the session with a friendly chat. Get to know them, asking them about their preferences, likes or dislikes regarding their photos. Being able to pinpoint and address their concerns early on will allow you to alleviate any initial discomfort. Plus, they'll be grateful for your proactive approach!

Be their sidekick

Beyond your technical skills or the quality of your work, how you interact with your clients can truly leave a lasting impression. Most clients are more likely to feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera when they sense genuine care and enthusiasm from their photographer.  

Give clear and simple instructions

Unless you're doing a commercial shoot, your clients will not likely have any modelling experience. Assuming they know how to pose, especially with their hands, often leads to awkward posture.

Luckily, that's where you come in! Make sure your instructions are clear and straightforward. It's always helpful to show rather than tell what pose you'd like them to try. Remember to offer encouragement and positivity when directing clients, especially if it takes them a few tries to get it right.

Let your clients go off script

Always reassure your clients that they're not obligated to follow every instruction you give. Let them know that if there's ever something you suggest that doesn't resonate with them or they don't feel like doing, they should tell you so. Your priority is to capture authentic moments and you can only achieve that if they feel completely at ease throughout the process!

Watch out for your clients

Because clients can't see themselves during the photo shoot, they may not be aware of subtle details like a stray strand of hair out of place or a jacket sitting oddly. These small nuances might escape their notice, but they can significantly impact the outcome of the photoshoot. As their photographer, it's important to pay attention to these details and provide gentle guidance to ensure they look their best in every shot!

Don't miss out on candid moments

Speaking of posing, don’t just focus on the staged photos. When you're talking with your client, whether through a compliment or conversation, remember to keep the camera rolling. These spontaneous interactions can result in some of the most stunning and authentic photos. So, don't hesitate to make use of those in-between moments and snap away!

Let them have a peek

If you feel, despite all your efforts, they are feeling uncomfortable or stiff, show them a photo on your camera. Let them see how beautiful they look and nothing is holding them back. Scroll through a few of them and they'll start to see themselves as you do – radiant, confident, and utterly captivating.

A small encouragement goes a long way

One of the most enjoyable aspects of a photoshoot must be the thrill of getting dressed up and excited for the occasion. It's a unique experience where participants carefully select outfits they envision cherishing for years to come. Clients coordinate colours to highlight their strong connections and put genuine thought into how they present themselves for the shoot.

Although they don't necessarily do all that for a compliment, it's sweet to recognise their effort. Doing so not only uplifts clients but also boosts their self-confidence, which shows in the photos. Expressing positive feedback like 'You're doing amazing' or 'Great smile!' can instantly put them at ease and allow their genuine selves to shine through.

Keep your clients engaged

How many times have you heard someone say, "I feel so awkward in front of the camera" or "I just don't know what to do with my hands!"? Most clients can book a photoshoot even though they don't necessarily enjoy being in front of the camera.

One effective strategy to help your clients unwind is to keep them moving! Remaining stationary for too long can lead them to become stiff both physically and in their expression. Encourage them to engage in gentle movements, perhaps taking a brief stroll or interacting with their surroundings. This not only provides relaxation but also allows for subtle adjustments in posture, resulting in a more organic and natural feel for them.

Through your guidance and expertise, you can create a space where your clients feel seen, valued, and understood. Hope reflecting on the tips outlined above you can free camera-shy clients from the shackles of self-doubt and bring forth their authentic selves! Whether it's through kind encouragement, playful prompts, or simply being a skilful communicator, you can improve your craft and enrich the lives of those you serve!

P.S. If you'd like to read more about the best practices for your photography business and discover helpful tips and tools, browse our growing collection of articles. Many of these insights come straight from the mouths of successful professional photographers!