Tips on Pacing Your Portrait Session

Under the bridge

Today’s feature is from .

Emily says:

“This is a senior portrait session shot in under 2 hours in Charleston, West Virginia.”

Emily’s Photography Tip:

One reason why my shoot with Sophie was so successful was because we moved quickly. In less than 2 hours, Sophie wore three outfits and we drove to three different locations around Charleston, WV.

I don’t like to linger too long in one spot or one pose while doing portrait sessions. Usually, after more than a few minutes in the same spot, clients start to look noticeably bored or self-conscious.

So even if all I’m doing is having a client take a few steps in a different direction to set up the next shot, we are still are moving along and keeping a nice pace. This allows me to use natural light in a lot of different ways – direct, open shade, back-lighting, etc.

Also, once you have a composition you like and you’ve positioned your client, don’t be afraid to try a lot of simple, small tweaks regarding where they are looking.

With one pose and setup, you can have your client look at you without smiling, then with a smile, then look down and to the side, then up above and past you…. you get the point.

Since clients sometimes have different preferences for how they think they look the best, these small tweaks can help ensure your clients will not only love how the photo is composed, but also how they look in it.

However, also keep in mind that you can definitely move too quickly and stress your client out by being too hyper. So definitely don’t do that.

But I’ve found that keeping your client in the same pose in the same spot for a few minutes and then moving onto another setup is a great way to keep things feeling fluid and productive.

By sticking your client in one spot and giving yourself a few minutes to work the scene and then moving along to the next spot, you can get a wider variety of images and prevent your clients from feeling bored or over thinking things.

In a field
Under a Bridge, part 2
On the East End at sunset
In the grass
In a field, part 2

Emily used a Nikon D3s with a Nikon 35mm f/1.4 lens, a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens, and a Nikon 85mm f/1.4 lens to capture these images.

Emily Porter is a West Virginia Wedding & Portrait photographer.

See more tips on Client Direction.

 

 

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