People Photography 101: Interacting With Your Subjects

I am often asked how it is that I get such great candid shots and portraits. So today I’m going to spill the beans and give you my secret to getting those great shots. Ok, it’s not really a secret but it’s something that many don’t think about. If we want want the people we’re photographing to look natural they have to feel it too.

So how to we do that as photographers? Simple. Act naturally. Interact with your subject and carry on a conversation. It will put them at ease and it will bring out their true personality. Not everyone likes to be photographed, but they will like it a whole lot more if they are comfortable with you. Keep your subject involved with what you’re doing and show them a few shots from time to time. It will help them feel connected to you.

Now for the “what not to do” part of this post. Don’t ever, under any circumstances do the “1… 2… 3… snap” trick. That’s the shortest route to a boring and stiff photo. I can’t stress enough that you should never ever use this technique.

So there you have it, a simple yet effective way to make your people shots better.


3 thoughts on “People Photography 101: Interacting With Your Subjects

  1. Just curious, what do you think about the idea of using a tripod and a remote shutter release for people shots? I could imagine that would help with those who are “photograpphy shy” as they could interact with you more directly.

    • That’s another great way to break down the “barrier” of the camera between the photographer and person being photographed.

      While I typically don’t use a tripod for most of my people shots (because I’m usually using some type of flash, which would freeze any movement), I like to peek out from behind the camera every now and then and will even snap a shot or two after I’ve composed the shot.

  2. Making eye contact with the subject by “peeking out” from behind the camera (after having composed the shot and locking the focus) sounds like a great idea. Will definitely give that a try. Thanks Stephen 🙂

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