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General photography questions and answers: Discuss What do you say?...For those that do group photos or single portraits......do you still say 'smile' before taking the shot? If not what ...
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Old 18-11-2008, 14:37   #1 (permalink)
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What do you say?

For those that do group photos or single portraits......do you still say 'smile' before taking the shot?

If not what do you say?

I've just been asked to photograph some 'very important people' and portrait stuff is something I don't do.
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Old 18-11-2008, 15:05   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

well currently I say think of a man thats not your husband but I think that might not be appropriate on this occasion

If someone isnt smiling I tend to say something funny to make then give a natural smile rather than a forced fake one..
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Old 18-11-2008, 15:32   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

Thinking about it, I don't say anything in these kind of circumstances as they usually know the drill and wait for me to point the camera.
And you did say VIPs so I'm sure they know the score
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Old 18-11-2008, 15:36   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

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Originally Posted by Summerleft View Post
well currently I say think of a man thats not your husband but I think that might not be appropriate on this occasion
I could try it as a last resort

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markulous View Post
And you did say VIPs so I'm sure they know the score
They might but I don't.....maybe I should let them put the camera on timer and do it themselves
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Old 18-11-2008, 15:40   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

With shots I did for the rugby team and school team I used to tell them to think of the coach playing in pants in the mud. Used to make them all laugh.
Apparently if you say "Wogan" it puts the lips in a nice sexy pout
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Old 18-11-2008, 15:44   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

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Apparently if you say "Wogan" it puts the lips in a nice sexy pout
LOL Sarah I will incoporate that in what of my chat up lines
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Old 18-11-2008, 15:49   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

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Old 18-11-2008, 16:02   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

For a more formal shoot I would just get them all in position, keep talking to them & then ask them all to "look directly in the lens" & click, followed by "hold that pose" , click , "just one more to make sure we've got the shot" , click .......... on to next pose.

I'm told by a now retired portrait photographer, that the 2nd shot is always the best shot. 1st shot they are tentative, 2nd they now relax, 3rd they've lost interest
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Old 18-11-2008, 17:01   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

Someone who I've shot always says "t*ts and teeth" and, of course as she says it the mouth goes into a smile! You could always say that you'd heard that that was the thing to repeat. That'll get them laughing!
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Old 18-11-2008, 18:06   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

Like it, have to remember to shout that at cycle races
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Old 18-11-2008, 19:07   #11 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

'Sausages' works well I find - and I think that 'Prime Minister - say 'sausages'' has a nice ring to it.
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Old 19-11-2008, 19:20   #12 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

I often say 'Ok, no smiling or looking happy!' ... at which pretty much everyone smiles and looks happy
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Old 20-11-2008, 08:55   #13 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

Whatever you do, don't use the cringe-worthy words "this one's for page 3", it has to be the most awful phrase that I've heard from a photographer.

Otherwise, the patter is something you build up over time, go with as funny as you are comfortable being with the subject you are with. Personally I used to find that being quick is one of the best things. If someone smiles you have a split second to catch it before the smile turns into a false smile or they blink, so when you ask them to pose "Smile!" then bang, bang, take two shots. For larger groups you will need to take several shots to get everyone with their eyes open. Once you point the camera at them you need to be ready to fire otherwise people's eyes drift off and they start wondering if you will ever take the shot!

For formal portraits this doesn't necessarily work as you need to take your time but you can ask the subjects to look down at the floor, and then look back up at the camera. The expression they arrive at the camera with is refreshed again, and you get a moment of sponteneity. Likewise, asking a couple to look into each other's eyes often cracks a smile, and then get them to look back at the camera.

The worst I've witnessed was a photographer shooting a mother and daughter as they arrived at a party. He used the line "all 3 of you smile!" mistakenly thinking that the daughter was pregnant. In the following moments the mother and daughter looked at each other totally bemused until it dawned on them that he had mistaken the daughter's expanded waistline for a pregnancy...I was trying to dissappear into the scenery while the photographer simply ignored his gaffe and welcomed the next couple through the doorway

Hope that helps, although a lot of what I used to shoot was party photos and not VIP corporate stuff.

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Old 20-11-2008, 09:23   #14 (permalink)
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Re: What do you say?

Thanks Andy and everyone else's suggestions
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