CANDID POSING : TIPS + TRICKS

Oh the joys of early spring! Photographers may agree with me, March and April are considered the coasting months where you know you should be prepping for the crazy wedding season, but instead looking outside your window for the ugly brown color to pass and searching for ONE green blade of grass to pop up. No seriously, that is my mood right now. I am ITCHING to photograph ANY COLOR that nature can offer but instead we get a DUMP of snow on Easter. What the heck Alberta! So in the meantime, I am going to offer some tips to anyone interested in how I create candid images...

So before we start, I thought I would show you the difference between traditional and candid for those who are unclear about the difference. Both forms I use during my shoots, but I am drawn most to candid imagery as it is more natural and brings out my clients true personalities :)

1. KNOW YOUR CLIENTS BEFORE HAND

I cannot stress this enough.. your clients need to feel comfortable with you before they are able to open up in front of the camera. This starts the moment you receive a message from them inquiring about your sessions. Do they have a vision for the photos? What made them want to get photos now? Maybe he finally made the leap to propose or they just celebrated their 10th anniversary and want to showcase their love. SHOW your excitement when you communicate with them. Your personality is KEY to getting them through the door, so don't be afraid to put some spunk in your replies and not be too professional. They need to know you are on board and stoked to photograph their love.

2. PROPS + LOCATION IS KEY

Oh man, this is my main goal for shoots. Why are props & location such a big deal? YOU WANT FAMILIARITY. Think about it, if you are around things you are familiar with, you feel automatically more at ease. So, I will try to find a location that relates to them first, before offering other locations. Maybe it is where they first met, their favorite hiking spot, where he proposed, etc etc. Once the location is down pat, then I will encourage them to bring props. This goes back to point 1... knowing your clients. Are they outdoors or indoor folks? What are their hobbies and passions? Although not every shoot of mine includes props, they are definitely a great opportunity to offer candids.

3. GIVE THEM A TASK

When I start the session, I will set up the environment by making sure they are in good lighting, the background is beautified, and the props are available before bringing the clients over. I will then give them a 'task' similar to the below image.. asking him to play a song on his guitar. When clients have a task to focus on, they are less likely to feel awkward and more likely to be in their element. In the second shot, we incorporated their love for reading.. having her read a chapter for him. In this case, the couple had a million great ideas with their props so it produced incredibly natural images {bonus!}

4. BLEND IN

Time for your ninja skills to come out! Once you have set the couple in the perfect lighting and in the right pose .. {yes, its true, you still incorporate "posing" with candid imagery}. The next step is to leave them be and let them get comfortable alone. I will usually whip out my 70-200 lens in this case, so I can get as far back as possible but still ensuring close up images. You need to blend into the environment in order for them to feel more relaxed and begin to show their true personalities. So in other words, my clients are like squirrels and I am wanting to observe them from afar hahaha. Of course this is just to warm them up, usually I will get close up and personal after a couple of poses.

4. THE 2 C'S : Communicate + Compliment

Okay, who doesn't love compliments?! I want to make my clients to feel on top of the world during our session.. to feel confident! Now thanks to my mom's genetics, I have this tendency to blurt out compliments left right and center. Because when I LOVE what I see in the camera, I just HAVE to share it. I will usually do a little happy dance infront of them, or race over and show them the back of my camera, or just downpour compliments about their style, cuteness, and so on. And more often than not, I will compliment them RIGHT before I take the shot, to get that genuine smile from the couple. When all else fails, you ask the partner to whisper in her the others ear some funny word or ego booster and BAM - automatic smile! 

People need to be assured that they are doing things right. So don't stop communicating with them throughout the process. Give them praise and explain to them the shot you are trying to create so they are always in the loop!

5. LET IT FLOW

The last point to sum up all the others.. Let it flow my friends. When you are digging the shoot and feeling comfortable, they will too. Don't have a STRICT plan in mind, but instead see where the shoot takes you. Be open minded to hearing feedback from them. Check in with the couple and ask how they are feeling during each pose. If they look uncomfortable, they probably are so simply change positions! It is all about reading vibes :)

Well this is my first official 'personal' post on my new site. If you have any subjects you would like me to write about, let me know below and if their is enough interest, I will whip one up on my spare time :) Thanks for checking out this blog and I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break! xo Jalisse