BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
James C. Delk

How To Relax Shy or Embarrassed Subjects

My wife is a beautiful lady but she gets shy or embarassed when she has her picture (snapshots) taken. She always has her eyes closed or a fake smile and therefore her pictures almost always don't reflect her true personality or beauty. How do I get her to relax and just be herself when having her picture taken?

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9/16/2002 10:09:06 AM

Jeff S. Kennedy   The best way to deal with people like that is to get out from behind your camera. Set it up on a tripod and use a cable or remote release. Engage her in conversation and/or have her do something (for example, have her knit if she likes to knit). As she speaks with you watch for those moments when her expression tells you to shoot. Make her laugh. Make her look at you lovingly. Do all this by directing the conversation to achieve the reaction you want.

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9/16/2002 11:34:46 AM

Stephanie Adams
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/17/2001
  It is tough to photograph shy individuals, but I do agree with Jeff. I usually start off by talking to the shy people and helping them to forget I am going to photograph them. Talk with them first, before you set up, then have them take deap breaths. You can tell jokes, ask a funny question you know will get a funny facial expression too, or ask a serious question if you would rather a serious expression. The more you engage in conversation as a normal person rather than a photographer, the more natural and comfortable your subject will be. Good luck!

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9/16/2002 5:25:17 PM

Susan    Edward Weston had Tina Modotti read while he took her portrait. I have always wanted to give this technique a try!


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9/19/2002 4:46:35 PM

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