Black and white image of a camera pointed at a family
Photography Tips

4 less than ideal photography subjects and how to handle them

When you’re photographing people, you might find that some subjects are, well, no walk in the park. It’s not always easy to get dozens of good photos with clients who aren’t the most cooperative. When this happens, take a second to assess the situation and see what you can do to improve the session. Every person’s needs will be different! Stay calm, maintain patience, and just do your best. Here are some “less than ideal” photography subjects and how to help the session go smoothly.

The Perfectionist

We’ve probably all met a perfectionist at one point or another. This client will arrive at the session with a Pinterest board dedicated to poses and photo styles. There’s a good chance they’ll try to micromanage the posing, especially in a group setting. They might even want a say in the editing style — even if it doesn’t match the style you’re comfortable with.

The most important thing to do with The Perfectionist is to communicate. Before the session, talk about what they’re looking for and be honest if you’ll have to make some changes. Make sure they know what your editing style is from the get-go. During the session, try to keep things lighthearted and stress-free. Above all else, if The Perfectionist tries to tell you how to do your job, don’t take it personally. They want the session to go well, just like you do!

The Statue

When The Statue arrives at the session, there’s a good chance they’ll say something along the lines of “I don’t know what I’m doing” or “I’m not photogenic.” What they don’t know is that everyone is photogenic. This subject might be a little awkward — which is totally fine — but they’ll wait for you to tell them how to pose. They might look a little stiff at first.

While it might be frustrating to direct every move, this might actually work in your favor. The Statue will probably pose however you want them to. Now, getting them to loosen up a bit might take some work. Make sure you add humor to the session to get some genuine smiles! Building a good rapport with The Statue can also help them feel more comfortable in front of the camera.

photography subjects
Photo by from Pexels

The Wild Child

Ah, the energy in a small child. As humorous as it can be, it can also make a photo session very difficult. The Wild Child will run around like a maniac during the shoot, and it might be near impossible to get them to pose. They might cry, get distracted, or ruin their clothes.

When you’re scheduling a session that includes a little one, you might want to dress for a run. There will probably be plenty of chasing around in order to get the good shots. It’s important to remind yourself and any other clients at the session that you may not get perfectly posed photos of a Wild Child. Keep snapping the camera every chance you get, because the benefit of a Wild Child is adorable candids. Embrace their running and capture those moments! If it helps, you can direct the child’s attention to something they’re interested in, like a flower.

The Cool Kid

Finally, we have the Cool Kid. This will most likely be a young teenager who would rather do anything than pose for photos with family. Like The Statue, they might look stiff and somber, but the Cool Kid will be much more stubborn about loosening up. They also might not want to follow posing suggestions.

The best way to handle a Cool Kid is to bring on the humor. Make sure they feel comfortable and, again, develop a rapport. The Cool Kid likely won’t respond well to nagging from anyone else at the session, so try to redirect attention when that starts to happen. Take lots of photos and try to capture any brief moments where a smirk crawls across their face. Good luck!

Check the October Dreams Photography blog for more tips.

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