Relaxing Your Subject
Relaxing your subject is very important because even friends and family that are normally at ease in your company may freeze up when you aim a camera at them. This can cause the picture to look unnatural.
At one point or another you will have to deal with someone who is a bit camera shy. If you want a good photograph, you will have help them feel more relaxed.
How to go about helping them relax depends mostly on your relationship with them and partly on the type of person they are and the surrounding that they are in. Make sure that they are in an environment that they can be comfortable in. Show them some of the photographs that you have taken so that they will feel confident in your abilities.
If you know that you will be dealing with someone that is camera shy, you should prepare ahead of time. Decide what light angle and viewpoint you will use, and what kind of exposure you want. Use a stand-in if necessary so that you can pre-focus. Being prepared will show confidence in your technique and help keep you subject from getting more nervous.
Use props to help divert the subject’s attention away from the camera. This works particularly well with children who tend to appear self-conscious and uncomfortable in portraits. Find a setting or situation that will help the subject feel more confident.
A long focus lens also allows you to distance yourself from the subjects, but still be able to focus on any aspect of their image. This works great with getting those parents playing with child shots.
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