One of the toughest challenges for photographers is finding subjects to shoot. Most people do not have access to a large bank of models ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. This problem can be easily be solved just by asking your friends to be the models. Even though they probably don’t have a lot of experience, in the end, both parties will benefit. We’ll discuss those benefits in this article.
The simplest reason why you should ask your friends to go on photo shoots with you is that they are likely the most likely to say yes! As with any skill or profession, one cannot improve without practice. And if your goal is to improve portrait photography, then you need subjects. When you shoot with friends, it is a great opportunity to practice working with the camera settings. You’ll also become more familiar with the basic elements of photography such as composition, lighting, and depth of focus. As you shoot more and more, adjusting the camera settings will become second nature. This isn’t the only benefit, though. Portrait photography is also about communicating with the subject and working with them to get the perfect shot. This may involve assisting them with poses, helping them to relax, and letting them know where to stand. Communication with friends is much easier than with strangers. For that reason, taking friends on photoshoots helps you to build confidence in both your camera skills and communication skills. Then when you are hired to take photos of strangers, you can be certain of your own photography ability.
Photography isn’t for everybody. Some people have tried it and just didn’t feel any connection to it. There’s nothing wrong with that, at least they tried. But the fact is, many people have not yet tried out photography seriously. That’s why it is great to invite your friends along when you go on a photo shoot or a photo walk. There are a few ways to do this. One option is inviting a group of friends and have them all be subjects. They can even rotate being the model. Another option is to invite one or two friends along as photography assistants on a photoshoot. Of course, you’ll need to prep them beforehand if they will be going with you on a professional photo shoot. Alternatively, they can come with you on a photo walk with their own cameras. They don’t necessarily have to bring professional SLRs – even cell phone cameras would work. The key here is to get your friends involved with photography. By doing so, they have a chance to not only experience photography, but to experience it with a friend – you! Photography is much more fun and engaging when you have someone to share your passion with. In the end, you might have a new photographer buddy, while your friend has a photographer friend to ask questions and go on photo shoots with.
Many people don’t understand that professional photography is hard work. This oftentimes includes friends and sometimes even family members. One great way to educate others is to let them see for themselves what is involved. You can set up photography walks which include educational tidbits about the different stages of photography. For example, you could explain what is required before a photoshoot even starts. Location scouting is a crucial part of a successful photo shoot. Next up is figuring out the style and types of shots that you want to get. Explain to them what you do during the photo shoot, from prepping the equipment to posing the subjects. Maybe teach them a few basic principles about lighting or composition, such as why the golden hour is ideal for portrait photoshoots. The one-thirds compositional principle is great to teach beginners also. Finally, show them before and after photos of how a photo changes after being edited in post-production. This helps them to understand that the work of a photographer is not only on-location, but much of it is also before and after. When friends and family understand how much work photographers put into their photoshoots, they are better able to appreciate the resulting photos. They will also be more inclined to pay the photographer for photoshoots instead of asking for free ones.