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Tips For Series: Beginner Photographers During a Session

If you're just starting out as a photographer, you're first session with someone you don't know can be freaking scary! I still remember my very first "real" session with "real" clients. I was so nervous! I'm here to give you a few tips to hopefully help your session go smoothly, and also to help calm your nerves a bit.

The very first thing you should note, is that the tone of your session is set long before you start shooting. Actually, it starts from that very first inquiry. If you're stuffy and formal, then that's probably what your clients are going to except when they show up to the session. Be yourself from the beginning! Show them how excited you are about working with them and let them know this is going to be FUN. That way, when the time comes for your session, they already have a sense of who you are and what it'll be like to work with you and they can let their guard down a bit.

Next, don't rush. When I first started photography, I thought I had to be shooting the entire time during a session (if I'm honest, sometimes I still feel this way). I thought I had to pull my camera out right away and start shooting, because generally that's what the client expects. I'm here to tell you though, that it's okay to take your time. Don't rush through getting all set up. Instead, use that time to talk to your clients and get to know them a little. It'll help calm everyone's nerves and help everyone relax.

Also, don't feel like you have to rush through a session. Definitely don't waste their session time, but you and I both know that generally an hour is plenty of time to photograph a couple or a family. Put the camera down a little and interact with your clients some throughout.

My third tip is to have a rough outlined planned out in your head. I used to screenshoot images off of Pinterest and try to memorize them incase I ran out of ideas. That just stressed me out more. So, what I've started doing, is writing more of a script out beforehand. I write out what kind of poses/prompts I want my clients to do, and how I want the flow of my session to go that way I'm not jumping all over the place with poses.

Take a couple's session, for instance. I want to get them warmed up a bit, so I'll have them do something that involves them moving around first. I get them moving and start giving them fun and light hearted prompts to make them laugh and interact with each other. After I feel like they're warmed up, I'll tell them we're going to get more serious, and I use this time to get more intimate shots and give them sweet prompts. I generally end it with a few extra silly prompts just for fun!

And lastly, like I said in the beginning, be yourself! I can, hands down, say that my sessions that have been the most fun and have gone the smoothest, have been the ones where I've been completely myself. Don't be afraid to laugh and cut up with your clients, and show them who you are.

Go into your session with confidence, and don't forget to have fun!


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