I was processing the photos from a recent shoot which requires going through the photos and weeding out the ones that didn’t work out for one reason or another. One of the things that tends to really ruin a photo shoot is when your subject isn’t comfortable in front of the camera. I think most people get somewhat self-conscious when having their picture taken. I also think that it’s the photographers job to do their best to take care of that self-consciousness long before they even push the shutter. One of the ways I try to take care of that a create a level of comfort is by meeting every single potential client in person when booking the shoot. It doesn’t matter if I’ll be shooting a wedding, a newborn, or senior pictures. I make it a point to meet each client in person to discuss details, and more importantly, to lay that foundation of comfort with the client. That way, every conversation we have afterwards is building on the relationship we’ve already established when we meet in person. Photography isn’t my primary concern at the initial consultation. My goal is to make sure that when we leave, my client realizes that I’m a pretty easygoing guy that they can relax and be themselves with. I’ll take the job of photographing their event as serious as a heart attack but I will not give them a single reason to be stressed out about it. I don’t just want to be their photographer for that particular event, I want to be their go-to family photographer. Once you build the level of comfort to a certain point, the presence of a camera almost becomes secondary. There is a world of difference between a forced, uncomfortable smile and a natural smile that allows someone’s personality to shine through. I’ll work my butt off to get to the point where we see that smile because that comfortable glow can be the difference between good images and great ones.