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Monday, 24 October 2011

Top 5 Tips to 'Break the Ice' During a Photo Shoot


I have been approached by quite a few photographers and models expressing their concern about feeling nervous, edgy or uncomfortable during a photo shoot. The reasons for this might vary from one person to another, still, there are some practical things that would help if implemented in order for a photo shoot to run smoothly, be productive and why not, be more fun.

Today, I would like to share with you these five helpful guides that I have found very practical during my work.


Sophie Howard
In order for both of you to feel at ease, it would be ideal if you set a meeting before the actual shoot. The meeting can be formal such as discussing the photo shoot with the model at your studio. If you do not have such facilities, you can always opt for an informal meeting such as discussing the photo shoot at a café. In so doing, this meeting would help to break the ice in order for you and the model to be more at ease with each other, towards a more effective photo shoot. Such meetings should be conducted in a professional way i.e. being polite, cordial and focused.


A good way to start a photo shoot would be to put on some music in the background. This can be done both for outdoor or studio shooting. Ask the model beforehand what style of music she likes or any particular tracks that are her favourites. Many models find it much easier to pose with music in the background. As a photographer you can ask the model to dance if she feels more confident in doing so. That way you can shoot without having to direct poses for the first few minutes of the photo shoot. Some of my best photos have actually originated from these first few moments.


It would be a good idea to have some refreshments, coffee or tea and sweets available. These can turn out to be very helpful in those particular moments, when the model gets stuck or tensed up, especially during a long challenging session.

Eva Wyrwal
Cheerful Attitude

Needless to say having a couple of jokes up your sleeve to through around while you are shooting would definitely help and be much appreciated. Please do not over do it and make sure that the jokes are of good taste!


It is important that you compliment your model all through the session. You should use words that enforce the good work that is being done from her side. Words such as 'great', 'wonderful', 'fantastic', 'brilliant' and 'awesome' would give the model more confidence and perform better. You should use general terms and at no time, should your comments be sexist or racist.

Together with my above tips you can invent other original ways and means towards creating a calm and relaxing environment for your photo shoot. It should be your primary target to break those barriers that inhibit both you, as a photographer, and the model from giving the best during a photo session.

Are you still finding it difficult to direct your models? It is imperative that you keep abreast and update your posing repertory so that you never get stuck behind a camera.

Posing Secrets - The Photographer's Essential Guide Vol.1  by Malcolm Boone is a unique and practical tool which will guide you step by step, in mastering the art of posing a model.  I strongly suggest that you give it a thorough look.  It is definitely worth the money!

Author: Michael Abela

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