For many portrait photographers, learning how to engage a client takes time to master. It’s an art that involves skills beyond just an understanding of how to make good photos. Professional wedding and portrait photographer Moshe Zusman shares a rare insight into his studio workflow:
The first thing you should do once your client walks through your studio door is establish the goal of the shoot. Of course they’re there to have their picture taken. But why? What will they be doing with the pictures? Do they need a corporate headshot? Will the photo be used as a social media profile image? Understanding the purpose of the photo shoot goes a long way in establishing the expectations of the client.
Establishing the expectations of a photo shoot helps in setting up the lighting. This is crucial. You’ll have to decide whether you need a single light or more than one light, the direction of the light, and which is the preferred side of the subject’s face.
The actual shooting of the images requires a input and feedback between the photographer and client. This is especially necessary if you’re photographing somebody who has hardly ever posed for the camera before.
Involving the client in choosing the two or three better frames is also a great idea. That way you can get the client’s approval before going about retouching the final frames.
This five and a half minute video is an excellent initiation into the world of professional portrait shooting, both as a technical guide and as a great tutorial on how to interact with a client during a photo shoot.
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