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4 Camera Shy Posing Tips Every Photographer Should Know

Between scheduling sessions, meeting with clients, shooting, editing, getting contracts signed, printing, and trying to work through the whole “posting schedule” thing on Instagram, you’ve got a lot going on as a professional photographer.

If you have a consistent client base, it can be even more stressful when customers are overly anxious during your sessions, every minute counts, and things need to get done.

What’s important during times like these, is to think of it from your client’s perspective.

You likely have different kinds of clients and not all of them are going to be models. If they’re not models, they’re likely feeling stressed out, unsure of what to expect, and nervous that something could go wrong.

For many, it might even be their first time getting professional pictures done. The unknown can be scary, so it makes sense for your clients to be a little nervous.

As a professional photographer, you should be ready to ease the concerns of your customers so they can be confident in the final photos and want to use you again as their photographer. That’s why we’ve put together a quick video this week, to walk you over some tried and true ways to take control of your sessions and help your clients look and feel their best.

Tips to Help Camera Shy Clients Pose with Confidence 


Tip #1 – Direct the Client

Trying to look your best without any direction can be intimidating. When a client doesn’t know what to do, they will likely end up with an awkward smile, stiff posture, and random hand placement. Put yourself in their shoes and provide them with direct, easy-to-follow orders. They look to you for guidance, so give it to them!

Pro-tip: Come prepared with ideas, poses, and prompts that will keep the session moving along without having to make those decisions on the spot.

Tip #2 – Don’t Let It Get More Awkward with Silence

Silence can easily make your sessions awkward and leave room for overthinking and self consciousness. Try to fill the silence with directions on how to pose or casual conversation, some photographers even play music during their sessions to help put clients at ease.

Tip #3 – Use Positive Reinforcement

Once you get your client comfortable, make sure you maintain it as much as possible by providing them with positive reinforcement. When they’re doing a good job, tell them! This will help keep their confidence up during the portrait session.

Tip #4 – Learn About the Compliment Sandwich

Now that you’ve got your client feeling good, how do you provide feedback in a way that eases anxiety instead of adding to it?

That’s where you use the compliment sandwich, and here’s how to make yours:

  1. Start off by voicing what your client is doing right.
  2. Explain what you’d like them to adjust
  3. Finish it off by telling them how well they’ve adapted, or point out something else they’ve got down.


The four tips above are simple but extremely effective. They come from simply putting yourself in the client’s shoes and easing concerns that they’re too afraid to speak up about. If you come prepared and they know what to expect, you can minimize their stress before they even get the chance to feel it.

Make sure to watch the video where we dive into each of these steps and offer some great ideas that you can put into practice today.

Now that you have some thoughts on how to make your photoshoots run smoothly, make sure you’ve got all of the resources you need to keep it as simple as possible.

Having poses ready to go can make all the difference. That’s why we’ve created an easily accessible guide that will help you take control of your sessions and build your clients confidence. Check out our “Posing” board on Pinterest for ideas on posing people for pictures and see the difference you can make with just a little bit of preparation!

Fill out your online application today.


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