I’ve fiiiiinally gotten to the point where 9 times out of 10, I don’t feel nervous before a session anymore. Instead, I feel excited. Wait, whaaat? That’s possible??
Here are three things that have really made a difference.
In the early days, there was a lot of anxiety around whether I would accidentally miss a shot because I didn’t have my settings right. But after years of practice and paying attention to what settings work best in different environments, I like to say that I’ve gotten it down.
The same thing goes with posing. Yes, I used to pose my couples pretty formally. But I knew there were better ways, and I went hunting for them. I figured out some fun prompts to tell my couples, and more than that – I figured out what environments and photo ideas would clearly show them. What would make them feel comfortable and get them laughing naturally, so that there was no more of that awkward everybody-look-stiff-and-uncomfortable poses.
Ohhhhh man, has this been BIG. No more showing up to a session having barely talked beforehand and then trying to cram in a quick “let’s become friends in five minutes” chat before getting some photos. Nope, nope, nope.
Instead, I give couples my number as soon as they email me for the first time. Yep, you read that right. Texting is 10x easier for so many of us, and I want what’s most convenient for them. I’ve also started sending questionnaires 1-2 weeks in advance so that we’re all on the same page, and I can be as prepped as possible for their session. AND, I’ll touch base with them a day or two before just to make sure they still know what time we’re meeting, where, and anything they should bring or be aware of.
Wayyyyyy more fun!! I’m trying to become more consistent about this next part because it’s made a big difference: going out to eat together before their session. People connect over food. There’s just something about bonding over tacos and laughing about spilling root beer all over the table (#guilty).
Listen, they’ll feel comfortable if you’re comfortable. Invite them in, get to know them for who they are. What are they passionate about? Do they have any vacations coming up that they’re excited about? What’s their story?
Some genuine conversation and laughter goes a long, long way. And that’s probably the biggest thing that’s made me a whole lot less nervous before sessions these days. Because I stopped focusing on whether I remembered everything (that’s important too, just don’t dwell on it) and instead focused on them.
That’s the real game-changer. What are some ways you can help them feel more comfortable beforehand? How can you curate their session around them, to make it feel more meaningful?
Drop me some ideas in the comments, I wanna hear what you’ve got!