If you’ve ever been to a stock photo site you know how artificial some of those pictures look.
Think about it – would you want to pay for a picture with a fake smile, taken in fake surroundings and clearly showing fake emotions? Even if you’re photographing models who don’t know each other, you should try and capture authentic interactions instead of just posing them for the photo.
Contrived circumstances. Photo buyers are looking for real moments—nothing too staged or unnatural. People having a good time on a restaurant patio, a family around a campfire, a couple grocery shopping together. Don’t be afraid to separate people, rearrange the participants in the scene, and get detail shots while your subjects are taking a break.
Posing. It’s best to let your subject go about their business, and then engage them when the time is right. Use yourself as a mirror in an effort to motivate them to use the same body language as you. Be vocal with your direction, and try to keep an optimistic enthusiasm which helps keep your subject feeling confident and secure.
Big smiles. Real smiles are hard to get. Try asking your subject about themselves, or tell them a story to get the real reaction you’re looking for. Keep shooting until you feel you’ve captured that real moment of happiness.
If you want to see what the stock photo nightmare is all about, we have a funny video for you!
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