How to photograph camera-shy people

“I understand that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

The things people say when you point a camera at them!

Last weekend’s headshot client was joking with me.

But where he saw a sow’s ear, I saw a warm-hearted smile, a sparkle in the eye, and a glowing approachability. I saw him, underneath.

Women are the worst when it comes to this.

If you tell them they look great, they credit your photography skills... but if something doesn’t look right, they immediately blame it on themselves!

Imagine if you could suddenly see yourself the way that the people who love you most see you.

I’ve been taking some headshots, lately, since it’s easy to make a few hundred bucks in a quick session. But what I really like about it is getting to show people how they look at their very best.

That’s my goal.

I get a head-start by using flattering light and poses. But what really makes a good headshot is to catch your subject when their guard is down... when they feel happy and confident.

It takes some warming up and joking around to get there, but eventually we do. Of course, a little retouching can go a long way to get rid of distractions like yellow teeth and stray hairs, too.

In the end, last weekend’s headshots turned out great. And I made it $250 closer to my yearly photo income goal in a half-hour session plus retouching time.

We’ll talk more about turning a quick profit from headshots in coming months.

In the meantime, do you have any special tricks for making your photo subjects look their best? Share them on the Breakfast StockClub Facebook Page.

-- Bonnie

Bonnie Caton
Creator, Breakfast Stock Club

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From Theresa St John: Last night I went out to dinner with a girlfriend in Saratoga. We had never been to this restaurant before. Of course I had my camera with me and walked around for a few minutes snapping away (what else is new). Settled in, ate a wonderful meal, had a delicious margarita, and a three hour chat fest with my pal to catch up on the ups and downs of our lives right now.

Afterwards, the waiter asked if I got some good images. I said yes, showed him all - unedited. He asked for my card, I talked to him about the other restaurant in town I have photographed for and I THINK I HAVE ANOTHER CLIENT!!! I love my canon. :o)

From Harvey Sherrod: Hi everyone. I'm Harvey. Just started using my Breakfast Club Membership. Looking forward to learning a lot.

From Luc Brousseau: Yet another reward... the local newspaper published one of my pictures in the front page this month.

I had never seen this kind of "vertical rainbow" before. The picture was taken last December while I was driving to work early in the morning, and the temperature was very cold. The ice crystal acts as a prism, separating the sunlight into different colors and forming a sundog.

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