How to Photograph People

Learning how to photograph people wouldn’t be different from learning how to photograph anything else, except for one thing: People care about how they look when you’re finished. That said, before launching into the technical details of getting good people pics, let’s take a minute to think about the human factor for a minute.

You Look Mahvelous Dahling!
The pros in Hollywood know that no matter how beautiful their subject, they’ll look better if they believe that they won’t be embarrassed by your work. Because that’s true, be sure to compliment the person you’re photographing, and to turn the camera and show them how it’s coming when you get an especially good shot.

Direct: Don’t suggest.
Learn to use the phrase “I need you to…”, as in “I need you to turn just a bit to the right”, or “I need you move a bit closer together” when shooting a group. It’s a magic phrase when photographing people because you’re telling them what to do without being at all bossy. You may not have a clue what you’re doing yet, but when you take charge and direct it sends the signal that you in fact do, and that can have a calming effect on all involved. Calm and happy people look better than nervous and unhappy ones, so do yourself and your subjects a favor: Take over!