When the Photographer Becomes the Client

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During the month of March, I hired two different photographers for two different portrait sessions.  I finally got the chance to go in front of the camera for a change, to feel what my clients feel when I am photographing them for their business, their engagement session, their wedding, or their business’s promotional materials.  I had great experiences with both photographers and love the results (shout out to Maureen Cotton who did my professional portrait and Allana Taranto who my wife and I hired to do sweet portraits of us).  I thought I’d share a few things that I learned from being the client instead of the photographer, which may help you next time you have to be in front of the camera.

1.  Let the photographer be the boss.  Only the photographer can tell from her perspective what the light looks like, how the background is working with the foreground, what elements she’s including or not including in the frame, and how she’s composing the overall shot.  While it’s great to have an idea of what you’d like the pictures to look like, let your photographer be in charge during your session.  After all, you have paid her the Big Bucks to know what she is doing.  Get out of her way!

2.  Similarly, ask for feedback on how you should stand, what to do with your arms/hands, how your expression looks, etc.  If you’re not sure how you look in a photo ASK!  Your photographer will be able to give you suggestions for poses, stances, expressions, etc.  Be open to feedback and suggestions.

3.  Be yourself.  I tell this to all of my clients, too, but after seeing what I look like photographed, I say it with even more gusto!  Be silly, be serious, smile your usual smile or show your usual expression.  In my photography I always want to capture clients as they are naturally, so don’t be afraid to act and look how you really are.

4.  Trust the photographer.  If you don’t trust her and her judgment you shouldn’t have hired her in the first place.  You hired her – now trust that she is going to use all of the tools and tricks in her Photographer’s Toolbox to make great photos of you!

5.  Have fun.  (Kind of a no brainer, but worth saying.)  I had a lot of fun during both of my portrait shoots and am so happy with the photos.  A photo shoot is a document of a moment in time, so try not to micromanage it – just enjoy it!

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