An Introvert Behind the Lens
I'm not actually an introvert in the true sense, but the title sounded cool so I decided to keep it.
The best I can describe myself as someone who is a bit shy and loves to keep it to himself. I don't indulge in small talks and I prefer texting over phone calls. Shout out to Whatsaap guys! My wife jokingly pointed out that I have a word limit of a thousand words per day. I’ll lose my voice if I cross that limit.
I never had stage fright or felt nervous talking to people. It's just that I don't prefer talking a lot. From an early age, I had a fair share of stage presence in school, college and office life. During school, when the chapter in grammar was taught titled one word for many, I told myself, yeah, finally a chapter very useful for me :)
So does this personal trait affect my photography?
Answer is no!
On the contrary, the most talking I do is during a photo session. So dear wife, you are partially wrong here :D
I understand that my clients are not professional models. They are regular people who want to get clicked. It’s very rare when my client is a natural or a trained poser. I don't expect them to pose on their own either.
How do I make my subject pose?
Make your subject comfortable.
The most important thing I emphasise on is how relaxed my subject is. A non-relaxed body posture can evidently ruin the whole photo. I devote a lot of time making my subject comfortable. I regularly joke with them, compliment them, show their clicked photos and give them a feedback on what more can be done to bring out the best. The key is to be friends with your subject instead of being just a hired professional. This takes out the nervousness from your subject. We actually become friends by end of the day. There is a lot of talking involved in this process and at times I even surprise myself.
Take your time
Specially during a pre-wedding shoot, I make it a point not to cover all my shoots in one day or in one go. I spread the session in at least two days, no matter what the budget is. The first day is usually the warmup for both of us. We try to know each other better and establish a comfort level. We begin with easy poses on the first day and it gradually graduates to advance ones in the following days. This also gives time to try out different locations and different costumes. It also has an additional benefit. Covering the whole shooting two days or more is less tiring than doing everything in one go. You don't want your subject to look tired in your photos. Also as a photographer if you are tired you will lose this zeal to try out different poses and places.
My take on getting your subject camera ready is to get involved in the shoot. Don’t just be a CCTV camera. Add in that personal touch. Communicate regularly with your subjects during the shoot. Photo sessions are a tensed moments, make it lighter and fun for everyone involved. That genuine smiles, comfortable body posture and that ‘twinkle’ in the eyes can never be faked.
Remember, as a photographer, you are also making memories and not just capturing them.