Photo Tip #27

Photo Tip #27-Take Control of Your Photo Shoots

As a photographer, it’s your job to take control of a photo shoot. You don’t have to be mean, but assert yourself and give clear, concise directions as needed. Often there will be a family member, in-law, or just “busy body” who will try to stick their nose into your work-telling you anything from “my cousin Frank is a photographer” to “you’re not getting her *good* side.” Stop this behavior by being direct, firm, but polite. Communicate what you are doing, stay busy, keep moving, and work directly with your subjects to cut these people off at the pass, and keep them from taking over.

Typically, if you take control of a shoot in the first few minutes, it’s easy to retain it for the remainder of the shoot. You can still be a soft-spoken, mild mannered photographer, but make sure you step up and assert your leadership and vision when working because, ultimately, you’re the one responsible for the image.


  1. mythopolis
    November 27, 2009 / 10:11 am

    Stories I have heard from a couple of photographer friends of 'clients from hell' confirm what you say here 100%!! And control freak mothers of the bride at a wedding can be the worst!!

  2. Carol
    November 28, 2009 / 12:54 am

    @Mythopolis, yes, and it's hard sometimes to take control. People sometimes have odd notions of what looks good or how they think they will look good and photos can be very personal, so it makes for a bad combination. It's hard for some people to delegate too.

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