How to get natural expressions in photos


With family and wedding photography the experience you offer is almost as important as the photographs.

One of last weekend’s wedding couples booked me specifically because of the way I made the group photographs fun at their friend’s wedding.

Most of the testimonials on my website talk about the experience more than the photographs.

Your personality is half the reason people hire you. Last week a family paid extra so that I’d do a 4 hour round trip to photograph their family holiday simply because they ‘thought I sounded a lot nicer on my website than the local photographers’.

So how do you offer a great experience for your photography clients?

Whether it’s a wedding or a family session one of the keys is knowing what to say to get natural reactions and interaction.

You can’t just ask people to smile or ‘say cheese’.

Get Pro Photo Club Members have access to two downloadable PDFs which are available in the downloads section of the membership site.

One is called ‘No More Dreading-Wedding Group Photos’.

The other is called ‘How to help people interact and relax in wedding and family photographs’.

Here are a couple of examples of things I do…

For a family session I’ll ask one of the children ‘What do you love most about mummy’?

This will go one of 3 ways…

  1. The child will say something sweet which will melt mum’s heart and she’ll always remember what they said whenever she looks at the photograph.
  2. The child will say something cheeky like “pocket money!” and everyone will laugh naturally.
  3. The child can’t think of anything. At this point I shout out in mock horror (and a glint in my eye) “Oooh you horrible beast, you MUST be able to think of something nice to say about your lovely mummy…” at which point everyone laughs and interacts and perhaps mum will tickle the offending child.

One of my many tricks for a wedding is to bring a loud-haler. This not only makes it a lot easier to round people up without shouting and sounding angry, it also adds a fun dimension – particularly if you give it to one of the children.

One of the things I say at weddings and in family sessions is ‘Describe the groom/daddy/the bride in one word’. There’s always some joker who shouts out something that gets everyone laughing naturally and interacting.

So if you struggle getting natural expressions from wedding and family clients then download the two PDF’s I mentioned from the membership site.

Knowing what to say to get great natural reactions and expressions builds your confidence.

Not only that, you get everyone on your side. You become the photographer who finally made the awkward experience of being photographed FUN!

Have a fun week.

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