One of the biggest issues I come across with clients is that they think they are awkward.
"We've never done this!"
"We are the most awkward people!"
"We're going to need your help!"
"We have no idea what we're doing!"
First of all...
Your job is not to know what to do, that's my job. You're job is to show up and have a damn good time!
And secondly, how do you know you're awkward if you've never had photos done!? And if you haaaave taken photos and have felt awkward... then that's because you didn't do them with me! ;)
I know what will get you smiling your real smiles! I have methods and poses that I use that have shown to get the best and most raw emotions out of you, without the deer-in-headlights look. So I've put together a little guide to help you ease the awkwardness you might feel.
There are three main types poses....
#1: Sitting Down
This is a great pose for the littles. It gets you on their level so that everyone's smiles are close together. It's also a good pose for the littles who aren't exactly mobile yet. You can help them stand and get the older child involved in the pose as well. I almost always bring a blanket to session so clients can get a chance to sit for a pose or two.
#2: Standing Up
This pose is another fun pose to get everyone close together. I usually ask a parent to tickle the children to get everyone laughing. I'll also ask the parents to pucker up and give a smooch. This will sometimes get the littles wanting to give a kiss too. Being interrupted by your little one while trying to kiss almost always gets everyone laughing!
I use this type of pose when your little ones start to get antsy. Kids will be kids and I am fully aware that most times they won't sit still for very long. (I have a 4 and 3 year old... I FULLY understand, ha!) So when the time comes that they want to wander, let 'em! I will sometimes ask them to run towards me while parents hang back and admire lovingly. Or if they're a little older, I have the parents smooch while the kids run around the parents playing tag. Another fun pose is to ask the kids to jump up while holding the parents hands. (I avoid asking to pull them up rather than letting them jump, so that we don't hurt their shoulders or elbows.)
Using the same main three poses with couples...
The same can be done when it comes to couples, engagment photos, and weddings. I just switch up my directions a bit.
A lot of the times I'll tell one partner to whisper in the other's ear. I recommend saying something a little spicy or something they know will get the other laughing. I really don't want to know what is said, ha! I just want to see you laugh! Another trick is to make little psst psst psst noises in their ears. It tickles and get anyone laughing!
For the Standing or Movement poses I like to fake dancing. So I'll ask the one who is dancing to sway back and forth, not fully spin around, while the other is holding their arm up "spinning them". Another way I get you laughing and giving me your full smiles is by having you pull each other in and out. While facing each other and holding hands, you'll just sway in and out of each other, maybe giving a quick little peck on the cheek as you come into each other!
No matter what...
I hope you go into our session or wedding relaxed and ready to laugh. Not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera and that's absolutely fine. What I do for you is just let you have a great time while capturing it all. My goal for you is to capture your true selves. I want your photos to reflect your essence. Because these aren't just your photos.
They are your memories.