What NOT to say during a photo shoot and what you should say instead
Photographing people isn’t just about taking photos, it’s also about interaction. And just like in every other interaction, there are some things you should never, ever say to another person. In this video from Advancing Your Photography, Jessica Sterling reminds you what you definitely shouldn’t say during a photo shoot. But also, she suggests what you should say instead.
Don’t criticize the person’s looks: If someone is self-conscious about something, don’t feed their insecurity. For example, don’t tell them that something doesn’t fit them, that the angle is bad, or god forbid that they look bad. Instead, say something like “this angle is more flattering” and “let’s try something else.”
Be positive: the second point is in a way related to the first. Instead of focusing on the negative, be positive. Don’t focus on what your subject shouldn’t do. Instead, say things like “that’s great, but let’s do this now” if you want to direct them to do something differently. Praise them when they do something good instead of criticizing when they do something wrong.
Keep the focus on the client: your client is the center of the shoot. So, don’t talk too much about yourself. It’s okay to say a few sentences, of course, but don’t make it the focus of the conversation. It’s better to ask your client about them. This way, they will remain in focus, but it could also help them to relax in front of the camera.
Don’t talk trash about other people: personally, I have a huge problem when someone starts doing this. In my opinion, this makes you seem extremely unprofessional. After all, the person you’re photographing will then, quite rightly, begin to question if you’ll start talking about them in that manner to other people. So, what should you say instead? If you ask me, it can be literally anything else. Focus on positive experiences, and show your model that you’re happy to work with them instead of talking about previous bad experiences.
As general advice, Jessica says to “stick with the things that are great.” So, stay positive, stay focused on the subject, and be friendly. And last but not least – be passionate and positive about the shoot and don’t be afraid to show it. All this will make the shoot successful and pleasant both for you and your client.
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.