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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Portraits: making 'em laugh...Has anyone got any tips on getting portrait subjects to smile or laugh? I'd like to think I'm a fairly ...
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Old 08-11-2005, 13:10   #1 (permalink)
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Portraits: making 'em laugh

Has anyone got any tips on getting portrait subjects to smile or laugh? I'd like to think I'm a fairly humourous chap, and I can have my mates chuckling down the pub (as most of us can, I'm sure) but getting a laugh out of tipsy friends and getting a laugh out of someone you're taking pictures of are two different skills, I'm sure.

I guess this might be one of those areas where people like to keep tips to themselves but I thought I'd ask nevertheless. I suppose the key is probably to keep chatting to them and just take photos as part of a normal conversation. But even so I'd appreciate some advice.
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Old 08-11-2005, 13:13   #2 (permalink)
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When photographing groups particularly, instead of saying "smile" or " say cheese" say "Say SEX" Guaranteeed smiles from ear to ear.
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Old 08-11-2005, 13:17   #3 (permalink)
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Nice tip. It's made me grin just reading it. A ringing endorsement if ever there was one.

Not sure I'll be able to use it on vicars at church functions though (see this post for explanation of why I'd be photographing vicars).
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Old 08-11-2005, 13:25   #4 (permalink)
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It never fails. Also I used to sometimes photograph really large wedding groups from the top of a set of lightweight aluminium step ladders to get the short arses and the inevitable 'hiders' in shot. I used to lark about pretending to lose my balance which kept everyone's attention. I never actually fell off, but I came close a few times.

Photographers have a shocking reputation for being serious, and getting uptight, bossy and snappy, so most people expect the worst from us. I've heard horrific tales of the wedding photographer from the week before being a 5 star tw@t, and I've actually seen some of them when I've been doing overlapping weddings.

Keep it light, chatty and humourous working quickly and efficiently and you wont go far wrong.
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Old 08-11-2005, 13:26   #5 (permalink)
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LOL Vicars are human beings Jamey.
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Old 08-11-2005, 13:27   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks CT. Sounds like a good way to work. I'll try to do just that.
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Old 08-11-2005, 13:32   #7 (permalink)
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Steve is just really nice
Steve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really nice

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If you are not comfortable saying "sex" infront of a crowd or the vicar, then use "sixteen" instead. Its a longer word and gives you more chance to get the shot on the "teen" section. I often found that people (groups especially) would say it slowly and elongate it, they also laughed a great deal at each other while saying it, why? I am not sure but it gave the results needed.
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Old 08-11-2005, 13:39   #8 (permalink)
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Dave is just really nice
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Don't use a rubber chicken like I've seen some Wedding Photographers
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Old 08-11-2005, 14:10   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT
When photographing groups particularly, instead of saying "smile" or " say cheese" say "Say SEX" Guaranteeed smiles from ear to ear.
That was my first thought too before I got to the second post. I've often found that if people look a little uncomfy with that telling them if they don't want to say "sex', just thinking about it should be good enough.

Kind of a death or glory ice breaker but photography is all about taking the odd risk.
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Old 08-11-2005, 14:24   #10 (permalink)
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I suppose shouting "pink or brown ?" would take it too far ...although the vicar might answer OK.... :coat:

What about " My wife can't wrestle but you should see her Box" :lol:
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Old 08-11-2005, 15:52   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJW
What about " My wife can't wrestle but you should see her Box" :lol:

:lol: ...
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