Not everyone is confident enough to sit in front of the camera. Some people can be so introverted that they feel extremely awkward being photographed. As a photographer, your job is to make the experience as relaxed and fun as possible for them. New to photographing people? Today’s portrait photography tips will help you make the shoot a pleasant experience for you and your subject.

“When it comes to people who are very inexperienced with having their photo taken, empathy is the name of the game,” Chris Chu noted in the video above. Being in front of the lens tends to be intimidating for a lot of people, and it was something that he could totally relate to as well. This allowed him to put himself in his introverted subjects’ shoes when posing them for portraits.

This empathy has since served as the foundation of the techniques that he uses when photographing introverted or awkward subjects. These are especially important to learn if you’re just starting out. At this stage, you’ll most likely practice with friends and family members who may feel uncomfortable about posing for portraits.

In his posing tips, he also mentioned some things that not a lot of photographers think about to make subjects more comfortable during the shoot. Seating the subjects down instead of standing up, for example, makes for more relaxed and natural poses in which they don’t need to worry about posture or leg placement. Hand placement is another tricky posing situation that many people struggle with during portrait sessions. For this, simply make them hold something, like their clothes or a prop.

Of course, don’t forget to share your excitement with your subject! Chu included this as a bonus, but it’s actually really essential to communicate well with them through the poses. Showing how excited you are to work with them will help your subject loosen up and vibe off you. They’ll also be just as happy as you are with the results of the shoot!

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