PHOTOGRAPHY PROMPTS FOR INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS/HEADSHOTS
“Say Cheeeeeese” is out! Let’s talk about fresh ways of interacting with clients to achieve spectacular results.
Often the first statement I hear from clients when we start discussing their photoshoot is “I am not photogenic!”. It’s common for people to want something “photoshopped out” or that they “don’t know how to smile” or that they “feel awkward”. But the trick isn’t in photoshop or a funny joke, the trick is giving people a chance to be themselves. But how do we get our clients to be themselves with a giant camera sticking in their face? It’s really quite simple. You prompt them with questions that will generate genuine responses to achieve natural looking photos that are less ‘Walmart’ and more Platon.
Even after years of learning how to pose people and the reason for them, I’ve always found that the real top quality photos that last for years are usually of people ‘being themselves’. A lot of the time I would wait for that moment to reveal itself before clicking my shutter. But waiting around for something to happen isn’t very efficient and doesn’t come across as very professional. So, instead of waiting for the decisive moment I figured it would be much more beneficial to help facilitate and create those moments and the results are always amazing.
To get you started here are a few examples of thoughtful questions to prompt your clients into forgetting they’re at a photoshoot. These are only intended as a starting point, you should customize your prompts where necessary. For example, if it’s someone you’re close with or know a lot about you can start to personalize your prompts to each individual you photograph.
Try these to get started:
- Who is the funniest person you know?
- Where is your favourite place in the world?
- Besides today, describe the best day you’ve had
- What’s your favourite movie?
- Think of something you are proud of
- What’s a song you can’t get out of your head?
Using prompts like these can generate honest, authentic expressions and poses but none of it benefits the photo work if you don’t time your shutter properly. Be ready! As we all know it’s in the timing. A split second too soon or too late can make all the difference between a blink and a stunning photography. Of course the most important part is to get out there and start taking photographs!