I had a maternity shoot last month with Astrid and her fiance Brian.
It was my first time meeting them and as always I wanted to make sure that I made a good impression.
I like what I do, i.e. taking photos and trying to capture nice moments in people's lives and hopefully make them happy.
While doing this, it is also important to not only enjoy the sessions but to make it fun for my clients as well.
Here are my 6 tips on how to have fun at a shoot
1. Take some nice music with you
Create a nice atmosphere through ambient music from the start, especially during your setup. This is perhaps even more important if you are doing a location shoot, for instance in the client's own home.
This helps to not only fill the silence but it also gives you something to talk about during the setup phase, which at time can be long and boring.
Some further points to remember regarding your music selection
Ambient music I have seen seems to work best for maternity and baby Photoshoots
It's perhaps a good idea to have a Spotify or similar playlist ready before your session starts
Get input from your clients on their choice of music and have that ready as well if you can.
2. Get acquainted don't be strangers
Get to know your clients during the setting up phase, it's not only fun but you get to understand what they are looking for in your session with them.
In many situations that simple discussion with your client can make it very easy for you to understand what style of photography they might be looking for.
In this particular shoot that I was at, it was only during the small chitchat that I realised that the client was looking for a more natural style of photography with genuine smiles and poses.
No matter how much you try to pre align before a photoshoot, such information can always come up in conversation and it makes all the differerence.
3. Be prepared with a guide
It's a normal practice for me to always have a pre alignment meeting with my client and to understand from them what they need.
In some cases, I'm not able to actually meet with the client and the conversation either takes place through chat or on the phone.
I asked them to share photos of the location that they're interested in or I also share some ideas from my side if it is an outdoor shoot.
Once I have actually had this discussion with the client, I then share with them a detailed brief of what I am expecting to do during the shoot, including images related to the location.
This brief will also include the style of lighting, editing as well as what I expect them as clients to wear in terms of wardrobe.
In a nutshell, take a detailed guide with you, preferably on your smartphone that you all can refer back to during the shoot.
4. Take your funny bone with you
If you really want to get a genuine smile out of the client, then one thing you need to try and do is be able to create humour out of any situation.
My guess is that most of your clients will not be professional models and in that situation no matter how good looking they are, getting that genuine smile out of them, is going to be more difficult than you can imagine.
Learn to enjoy the session, crack jokes, talk about the little things, get your clients to talk about things they like, it will get you the real smile that looks amazing in photos.
5. You're not the only creative one there
The client is also creative, be open to following their hunch - in this case the Swiss chocolate shots were Brian's idea and the photos came out awesome. In fact, if you ask me, the most genuine smiles were during his time, maybe because there was a running joke between the two which came through in the photos.
Now while I had a full plan of what to do, where to shoot and how to light the area, these type of shots are always something I keep extra time for, because you never know what you'll end up with.
It's sometimes also important to encourage the client to be open with their ideas as well. If you've been able to break the ice, then this might not be an issue for you, but do keep it in mind.
6. Clean up behind you
In the end, remember that you're in their home, so leave it clean and tidy the way you came in. This will leave a lasting impression and frankly it's also the right thing to do, just good manners basically.
Want to share your experiences? Would love to hear from you all.