Getting REAL Emotion in Photos

I pride myself on getting authentic "real" shots of my clients. My favorite feeling is when someone looks at a shot and says "that is so her/him". That simple statement means I have successfully done my job of capturing that person's energy and personality into one freeze frame. You're really lucky you're here, because I'm going to let you in on some of my secrets for getting raw emotion and personality into my photos.

1. The Huddle Chat

This is not to be confused with a some type of pep talk a coach gives his sports team....The Huddle Chat is my favourite prompt for medium to large groups, and it seriously works every time! Have your clients huddle together and tell them they have to have at least one body part overlapping with the person beside them. You really don't want your subjects to stand in a straight line because that makes for hard and disconnected shots. It's often easiest to start by having them sort of hug together a little bit. Make a cheesy joke like "at least pretend that you like each other" which, in itself, usually gets them to giggle. Then have them look around at each other. Get them to say something random to the person beside them (Bellybutton or nipples are usually good suggestions). Once they get a bit giggly make sure they twist around the look at another person, it's a serious misconception that you need to stay still for photographs. Then just keep snapping shots! The trick with this is, you should keep talking too! Tell then they're doing great and that they look "so cute", you have to make sure they don't feel like you're just a creepy onlooker to their sweet little giggly moment.

2. The Drunk Walk

Okay, this one is seriously FUN! This prompt is great for couples or for small groups, it gets a little tricky with larger groups (but definitely still possible). Basically, your clients are going to walk towards in a way that seems totally bonkers but, I promise you, it will provide such joyful and natural looking shots! Have your clients link arms and with each step cross their legs a little over the centre line of their path. Get them to look at each other then look back at the camera, then back at each other etc. It's not the easiest prompt to get on the first try, usually the clients think they're doing it wrong, but guess what?! There really is no wrong way. This always gets my clients laughing and connecting with each other in such an authentic way. I often like to do this one a couple of times. Sometimes the first attempt is a bit awkward but with a practice run and a look at the how cute the photos turn out, they only get better and better!

3. Side Snuggle