How I Interact With My Subjects During A Photo Shoot

On top of mastering your craft, you must also strengthen your people skills. It doesn't matter how good of a photographer you are if you are not good with people.

I had to learn this and continue to learn it as I go a long.

Here are a few tips for how I interact with my subjects during a photo shoot.

Get in the Right Mind Set

I am a genuine introvert by nature, so interacting with anybody is difficult for me.

But I found that interacting with people is a skill that can be learned, just like any other skill. 

The first thing I do is get in the right mindset. I have to tell myself to be outgoing and fun, and then follow these steps

  • Make A Good First Impression

  • Always Have A Good Attitude

  • Be In Charge

  • Communicate Clearly

  • Remind Them of How Good They’re Doing

  • Keep It Light

  • Make New Friends

Let’s get started!


Phillip Haumesser Photography

Make A Good First Impression 

Like a new relationship, first impressions are very important. It sets the mode for the whole session. 

If you start out with a bad first impression, it can make the rest of the session very awkward. 

So don’t forget, good first impressions go a long way.

Phillip Haumesser Photography

Always Have A Good Attitude 

A lot can go wrong during a photo shoot.

Bad weather, equipment malfunctions, kids not cooperating, adults not cooperating, flat tires, I have had them all! 

But, despite your little world crumbling and coming to an end, it’s important to keep shooting and have a good attitude.

Most of the time, my clients don’t even knows that anything is wrong.

Be In Charge

It’s easy for me to let others take over a situation if I’m not careful and then lose control of the whole session.

It’s imperative to take charge! Clients like to know that you know what you are doing. Don’t be forceful in any way or put anyone in uncomfortable situations, but make sure you are confident in everything you are doing and not second-guessing yourself. 

Even if you realize the pose you are trying isn’t working, calmly and confidently repose and try something else. 

There is a phrase that goes “fake it until you make it” that comes to mind.

Even if you are freaking out inside, you can’t let anyone see it are the whole thing could fall apart. It will all work out in the end.

Communicate Clearly 

It's important that you know what you want and that you are clear in explaining that to your subjects. 

Think about where you want every limb.

Your subjects will likely be nervous and feel awkward not knowing how to pose. They love it when you tell them exactly what to do. 

But again, it is also important to not put them in an awkward situation. Continually remind them to let you know if they are uncomfortable with a certain pose and to not be afraid to let you know.

Phillip Haumesser Photography

Remind Them of How Good They are Doing

It’s good to keep stroking they ego and boosting their confidence. Let them know that they are doing great and occasionally crack a joke by asking them something like, are you sure you’ve never done this before?

Remember, it’s your job to make them feel as comfortable and confident as possible.

Keep it Light

Keep the atmosphere light. This is especially important when you have parents with kids. The parents will continually apologize for their child’s behavior. Tell them “ah no, they’re doing great! They are actually doing what I need them to do.” Which is usually something like running and screaming with a stick. Which can make great photos! 😆 

Make New Friends

At the end of the session, I can usually see that I’ve made new friends. I have been so blest with amazing clients and I couldn’t be happier!

And a bonus to making your clients your friends is that they will go home and tell all of their friends about their experience. This is where I can confidently say most of my new clients come from.

But don’t just have the mindset to make friends of your clients just to get more work, that is a bonus. Do it because they really are great and fun people, and everyone could use a new friend.


I really hope you enjoyed this article! If you did, please consider sharing it with your friends! Have a great rest of the day!

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