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Effective Communication During A Photo Shoot

Portrait Photography by Amanda CornelissenIn the highly competitive field of photography, being able to effectively communicate during a photo shoot is one of the most important skills a photographer can acquire. The better the photographer is at giving precise instructions, the easier it will be to capture the unique perspective most people are searching for in their photos. The photographer must demonstrate a great deal of professionalism, keeping a positive attitude and actively listening to their client. People are often nervous when being photographed; therefore the photographer should empathize with their client by observing and understanding the feelings they may be experiencing. Aside from location and time specifics, proper compensation should be discussed prior to the photo shoot, as opposed to during or after. If the photographer can properly communicate with the client, the photo shoot should advance smoothly.

Professionalism is an important factor in any successful photo shoot. As a photographer, experienced or amateur, a person must exhibit proper etiquette. In order to make the subject feel comfortable, the photographer should make them feel as relaxed as possible by offering calming talk when appropriate, and always taking the time to listen when the client speaks. Arriving on time, coming prepared, and choosing appropriate dress for the occasion is also essential. The personality and behavior of the photographer may prove to be a deal-breaker in the future of their business if professionalism is ignored.              

Portrait Photography by Amanda CornelissenIn addition, showing empathy for the subject is an important factor when trying to make a living in the realm of photography. The photographer should observe the individual’s body language to see how instructions are being perceived and understood. Synonymously, the photographer needs to watch for cues to determine if he or she is coming across as demanding, or seemingly trying to rush the job. If demeanor and body language is not indicative of a state of total relaxation, the photographer needs to step into the subject’s shoes for a better perspective regarding their emotions. Remember, “Speaking in a moderately low-pitched voice at about 125 words a minute makes you sound pleasing and professional.” 

Photography often starts off as a hobby and when people start to notice one’s pictures, doors begin to open. A friend may want her child’s senior photos to be captured by someone who has a good eye, or a jewelry maker may want her items photographed to sell on her website. When frequent jobs are being offered, the photographer may wonder what the proper compensation is for the amount of time they put into the photo shoot.  Overall, a photographer will need to determine how much their time is worth and express that clearly and confidently to the client. This includes, but is not limited to, how much time is spent on the photo shoot, if any equipment was purchased, travel costs, and prices of local competition. Well known photographer, Caroline Thompson, indicated through her experience that step one in determining fees, is to decide which type of photography service will be offered.

Portrait Photography by Amanda CornelissenIn conclusion, properly communicating with the client, and keeping an open mind, can do a great deal for establishing a person’s reputation as a well-respected photographer. If the photographer is seen as patient, empathetic, and caring, the possibility for achieving a large client base may present itself. In addition, separating themselves from fierce competition by properly determining their self-worth, is something with which many photographers struggle. In order to achieve the desired client-base, it is essential to be reasonable and consistent. If the photographer can overcome these obstacles that often stand in the way of even the world’s best photographers, they will be well on their way to a successful career.

References Guffey, Mary Ellen & Loewy, Dana. Essentials of Business Communication. (Vol. 9e). Cengage Learning, 2013. Thompson, Caroline. “Photography Rates: What to Charge for Photography Services.” Bright Hub. 3 Nov. 2012 <http://>. 

Amanda Cornelissen

About the Author: Amanda Cornelissen is a local photographer in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a Health Information Management Degree candidate at Intellitec Medical Institute. Her portrait photography is outstanding. For more information on Ms, Corneliissen, contact The Searchlight Studios at:

45 Comments to Effective Communication During A Photo Shoot:

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Carol Stratton on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 7:49 AM
I just read the article written by Amanda C.- Skylight messenger-in regards to photography. I had to comment on it. We have used her for various photo needs. i loved reading what she had to say, as she practices what she preaches. Such a refreshing article -and such a wonderful artist behind it.
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School Concert Sydney on Monday, August 11, 2014 3:19 AM
Communication During A Photo Shoot is the best way to make your photo shoot effective and original.

Amanda on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 12:03 PM
Thank you, Carol. Very much appreciated.
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Laura Fadden on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 12:24 PM
I am so proud of you, Amanda. I have told you all along you are a great photographer and should persue this as a career. Glad to see you are taking it serious. Keep up the good work.
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Allison Carroll on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 12:57 PM
Amanda, this is very well written. I've always admired your photos as well! I should hire you to takes some pics for me next time you're in town ! Good job girl:)
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Mike jection on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 7:18 AM
I like you blog. You a are a fabulous writer.This artical is very informative for every one.I really like your thought.Keep shearing.
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Dr. Counce on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 7:32 PM
Thank you, Mike. The Searchlight appreciates your readership.

Amanda on Thursday, January 16, 2014 12:02 PM
Thank you for showing interest in my article.

photographer camden on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 11:36 AM
In the exceptionally aggressive field of photography, having the capacity to successfully convey throughout a photograph shoot is a standout amongst the most essential abilities a picture taker can gain. The better the picture taker is at giving exact guidelines, the simpler it will be to catch the exceptional viewpoint most individuals are hunting down in their photographs.
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Dr. Counce on Thursday, January 09, 2014 5:19 PM
Excellent advice. Thank you for your comment.
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Erik Beard on Friday, January 10, 2014 11:13 AM
Well said and some of the reasons I prefer landscapes.
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Amanda Cornelissen on Saturday, January 11, 2014 5:32 PM
My deepest gratitude goes out to each and every one of you. Thank you so much for your constant support.
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Photographer at Sunshine coast on Monday, January 13, 2014 6:35 AM
I read your post containing points regarding the effective communication during a photo shoot and I must say your work is really plausible. I also want to read about it more , Would you please share.
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Amanda on Thursday, January 16, 2014 11:58 AM
Thank you so much for your interest. When I have completed further articles, I will be sure to share them.

Better SMS marketing on Thursday, January 16, 2014 4:18 PM
I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read on Effective Communication During A Photo Shoot.. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
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Amanda on Thursday, January 23, 2014 12:32 PM
Thank you for taking the time to read my article and provide such positive feedback.

Julie Chase; The Searchlight Six on Friday, January 17, 2014 1:35 AM
You are very welcome. Thank you for your interest in The Searchlight Messenger. We endeaver to publish quality content. We also enjoy publishing contributing author works on all subjects inside Business, Education, and The Fine Arts, as well as Medicine. It is our intention to encourage our contributing authors to continue providing more content for our now 80,000 regular readers as well as our new readers. We have asked Ms. Cornelissen to contribute more articles to The Searchlight Messenger. Thank you for letting us know how we are doing.
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Dennis on Monday, January 27, 2014 3:29 AM
That was good post.
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Dr. Counce on Saturday, February 08, 2014 7:45 PM
Thank you.

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Thank you very much for your comment and readership.

wedding videographer in dubai on Tuesday, April 08, 2014 4:50 AM
Nice post!! I love that pic where a cute little girl thinking at something. It is beautifully captured. Light effect is perfect.Beautiful!!
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Julie Chase on Friday, April 18, 2014 1:52 PM
Thank you very much.

Amanda on Wednesday, June 04, 2014 12:05 PM
Thank you very much.

photo editing on Monday, April 21, 2014 1:42 AM
Effective communication is really a very vital skill which we have to learn if we want to be a good photographer. Because Without having this skill its not possible to gain success in this highly competitive field of photography. So thanks :)
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Dr. Counce on Monday, May 05, 2014 11:14 AM
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Dr. Counce on Saturday, May 24, 2014 8:30 AM
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Dr. Counce on Monday, September 08, 2014 8:34 PM
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