How to: Give Direction Behind the Camera

My sister has called me bossy more times than I can count growing up, and she may be right, but I prefer to call it 'giving assertive direction". However, when I first picked up a camera and started photographing weddings, I must say I lost my bossy pants, and fell very very very quiet behind the lens. It wasn't until I empowered myself with the steps below that I found my pants and got the images I wanted, and felt my clients deserved.

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  • Create a Vision | First things first, I realized I couldn't tell someone what to do, if I didn't know what I wanted them to do. Call me old school, but to this day, I still try to emulate poses from my inspiration board. Knowing what I want my clients to do first is key in providing them direction on how to get there. I compile my favorite poses and a create the vision of where I want the photography session to begin and end. This way, I have the advantage of leading my clients rather then following. 
  • If it Feels Uncomfortable, then it Looks Uncomfortable | I know the instant a client is uncomfortable just by looking at them and I simply ask, "Are you uncomfortable?". 99.9% of the time, they answer yes and we're too scared to say anything. I move them into a position that feels more natural and looks much better. However, we would never have gotten there if I had not asked the question. Just like our family vacays, it's perfectly ok to ask for direction, the locals know the best routes ;) 
  • Show What You Want | If I'm having a hard time communicating verbally what I'm looking for, then I simply show my client be rein-acting the pose myself, or showing them the back of the camera and pointing out exactly what I'm looking for. Most people are visual learners, like myself, and when they can see what you want, the direction becomes that much clearer. 

Hopefully this helps provide a little more, or at minimum clearer, direction behind the camera :)