Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

FM Forum Rules
Wedding Resource List
  

FM Forums | Wedding Photographer | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2012 · How to get a couple to relax?
  
 
JoeMelzer
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How to get a couple to relax?


So, this is my first year digging into wedding photography. Last year I did three weddings that brought me to this year, starting to adertise on google to build a portfolio. Funny enough, even though I'm not to experienced I can pretty much tell from the first meeting with the couple whether it's going to be a fun couple session, or an exhausting session that you really have to work.
This weekend I had an exhausting session and I really have no clue on how to deal with this. Perhaps you can help. You MUST

The couple was kind and nice and booked me for portrait session and (very unglamorous) marriage only. Meaning, the portrait session easily lasted one and a half hour. During the whole time it was impossible to get them to relax and calm down. It could be that they simply can't - then this post is useless.
But there must be a way to get them to feel comfortable. For example: They want a couple session, but played basketball and soccer and I got a lot of shots with either bride or groom jumping or shooting, doing things. A lot of ungenuine smiles (or should I say uncertain) and in post I find it most difficult to pick a handful shots I like. To sum it up: Two nervous bouncing balls.

I tried to calm them down using static poses, have them close their eyes and imagine being at a beach or whatever. But even with closed eyes I had the feeling they were keen on moving along, doing the next thing. Oh, one more thing: without seeing a single image they were enthusiastic about the shoot and recommend me to everyone they know. Perhaps it was just me?

So, anyone: any clues on what to do in this situation? Any ideas what could be done? Or is it simply that some people are like this and you have to find poses that work with them (of course I had them jumping, seemed to fit ).



Jul 24, 2012 at 03:06 PM
zndr
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How to get a couple to relax?


When I used to deal with big corporate types like this making convention corporate videos I'd have that problem. I'd need to record an interview and they looked so stuck up no one would have wanted to buy what they were selling, or even believe their hype.

One thing I'd do is change the scene, I'd say 'Hey, it's kinda stuffy in here we need a break' and walk them down to a local cafe that had this little patio back section that if you got the right table was nothing but trees and flowers and a lovely brick wall behind them. I'd bring a little camera (pre hdslr) that could shoot good video and have a mic on it and I'd just start talking, asking them some questions that would lead to their prompts, and when they started just letting go and actually just bullshitting about their products I'd say 'hey do you mind if I record this?' and they'd say sure! and I'd reach up and touch the volume button or something else innocuous on the camera, knowing it had been recording the whole time. And we'd keep bullshiting about their marketing. I can't tell you how many corporate videos there were between 2006-2008 with a CEO or engineer or some big wig sitting at that same location.

Sometimes the key is to make it not about the photography. Some times you have to let them be them, and not worry about shooting, worry about them living. Break away from forced posing, and try and let them write their own story.



Jul 24, 2012 at 03:18 PM
ricardovaste
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How to get a couple to relax?


Do you think you let your anxieties show? If you're looking a little disappointed, frustrated or anxious it'll only reflect on them. I have little experience, so my only advise is to always smile & just move to a different location if it's not working so well.


Jul 24, 2012 at 03:18 PM
larhouser
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How to get a couple to relax?


Keeping relaxed on your end is absolutely step one. Tap into your inner Buddha before and during a shoot!

One technique I got from Ed is when you nail a shot, show it to them. "Wow you look so good here, check this out" and turn the camera so they can see. Once they realize youre getting good stuff their confidence in you and themselves goes up and things just get more fun from there.

What was the name of the Dale Carnegie book? Lavish people with GENUINE praise and give them a reputation to live up to were a couple of my favs.



Jul 24, 2012 at 04:03 PM
maxwell1295
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How to get a couple to relax?


Take them out for a drink before the shoot. I had one couple this year where I was unsure of the bride. She was a little stiff at the meeting and I was trying to figure out how to loosen her up. So I met them at a bar a half hour earlier than I planned to start shooting and made sure she had a nice tall mixed drink. Worked like a charm.


Jul 24, 2012 at 04:42 PM
hardlyboring
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How to get a couple to relax?


Confidence in your abilities is the 1st thing... then I would say confidence in your location...
You can turn that into really positive vibes for the couple.

I would also say that if you are finding couples not relaxed etc. you might want to start to look at who you are marketing to. Our "worst" weddings are the ones where the couples are not our "ideal" or typical client. Sometimes personalities just do not match.

Then it is a real crap shoot the whole time.

Taking them out before hand also helps. I am not saying get them drunk but spending an hour talking and bonding with them over a meal REALLY helps.
We normally get food in the middle of all our engagement sessions and you every time the 2nd round of shooting is WAYYYY better than the first because they know what to expect, have had fun with us, and are no longer nervous.




Jul 24, 2012 at 04:54 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



cordellwillis
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How to get a couple to relax?


Good suggestions already.

My only add to it is to not worry about it. Maybe because YOU worry about it they can see it all over your face. Let them be and shoot. It may be that they are relaxed but YOU don't know them well enough to know this. Perhaps watch them as they talk to each other. Do they "look" relaxed or the same as when you are capturing them.



Jul 24, 2012 at 04:59 PM
SGallant
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How to get a couple to relax?


I find smoking a big fatty with them at least 30 minutes prior to the shoot tends to do the job!

Ok not really, cause it would suck having to get the red out of their eyes.

If you are looking for genuine smiles. I do some of the Bambi / Jerry Ghionis tricks. Tell them to laugh out loud for no reason at all. Wait a few seconds after they do that and see if you don't have a genuine smile.

Or do the Cliff Mautner trick and tell 1 of them, no matter what you do you have to avoid being kissed by the other. And the other gets told, whatever you do you have to kiss them. You want to see a couple have fun? haha

Basically I am just a big goof ball and have fun with em. Like was said above, they will mirror you.



Jul 24, 2012 at 05:08 PM
erwinbeckers
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · How to get a couple to relax?


I'm always giving them little things todo which makes them laugh and open up:
examples:
- Let them stand close together and hold hands. Then ask them to close their eyes and kiss each other. Since their eyes are closed.. they always fail
And most of the times it results in laughing and giggling

- Let them hold hands. Ask the groom to kiss his bride in her neck... but tell the bride to do everything possible to prevent the groom kissing her..




Jul 24, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Kell
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · How to get a couple to relax?


Liquor


Jul 24, 2012 at 09:33 PM
JoeMelzer
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · How to get a couple to relax?


Thank you all for the great ideas Perhaps a bit additional info: I don't think that at any time they thought "the photog feels uncomfortable - something's wrong". They even complimented me on how fun the session was. And laughing was actually my problem: their laughter felt "over the top" the whole time and I had a hard time getting a simple smile or a relaxed face.
@cordell: I think you hit a spot with watch them talk - they seem to be that way the whole time. so, perhaps, everything _was_ good and it really was just me.

Thanks again!



Jul 25, 2012 at 07:27 AM





FM Forums | Wedding Photographer | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password