A confident photographer can put clients at ease, but what can you do if you’re lacking in self assurance? We asked Ana Brandt, Jerry Ghionis, Tamara Lackey, Jen Rozenbaum, and Tatiana Lumiere how they keep up their confidence, and here’s what they had to say:
“The only way to feel more confident with your shooting (or in business) is to practice, practice, practice. Repetition, experience, and practice will always be your best teachers. The more you practice something, the more confident you are with it.”
“Secondly, being successful is hard work. You cannot take the easy or lazy road. If you want your business to be successful, it’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of energy and you’re going to be exhausted sometimes. But there’s no other way around it.”
“Finally, don’t let a fear of mistakes cripple you. Anyone who is successful in business has made many mistakes along the way. It’s part of the process and it’s simply impossible to move forward until you know what doesn’t work.”
Newborn and Maternity Photographer
“In order to stay calm and confident, I believe in having good energy and a positive attitude. Babies are very in tune to the energy around them, and they can sense if you are nervous, unsure, or afraid. Stressed out? Short on time? Agitated baby? It’s a recipe for disaster.
“The best thing to do is stay calm and just be in a zen sort of state. I usually wear comfortable clothes – often leggings or yoga pants, keep a drink handy and just try to tune everything out and focus on the baby. When I am posing a baby, nothing else matters. It’s almost at times like the world stops. I have a job to do, and that’s to keep the baby safe and calm. If I stay in this calm state, it raises the confidence of my client and often gives me a very sleepy baby.”
Style: Simply Stated
Song: “Beautiful” by Secrets in Stereo
“During a shoot, I keep my confidence up by taking my time and really observing what is going on with the client both physically and emotionally. The first 15 minutes of shoot is a vital time to connect with her and see what her comfort zone is, how her body moves and where her head is. Once I get a good feel for those boundaries, I know how to work with her better.”
Children and Portrait Photographer
“One of the best ways to stay confident about what you do is to not just practice again and again and again (though practice is invaluable), but also having something to reference. That keeps me confident when it comes to posing, too. There are times you can feel completely confident about your shooting, but not be able to think of one new pose. Having all that in my back pocket definitely keeps me feeling confident.”
“Going to a shoot having some moderate anxiety is a good sign. Think of anxiety as an energy. However, if there is negative self talk involved, treat it like random noise. Switch the focus of your attention from yourself to your client. Plan your next move, direct posing, assess light. Channel that energy outward. If all that is on your mind — taking best possible portraits of your client right this moment — then there is no room for questioning your skills and feeling overwhelmed.”
**Song: “All About Your Heart” by Mindy Gledhill
Still need feeling a bit unsure? Take a look at what the pros have to say about the best advice they’ve ever gotten and see if any of their tips help ease your mind. Or head over to our photographers’ Facebook group, Animoto for Professional Photographers, and share your struggles and successes with your fellow photographers.