How to Gain Trust with Students in 5 Seconds or Less to Get the Perfect Photo

May 24, 2022

Before we start diving into the ins and outs of getting students to pose for that perfect photo, here’s a quick and beautiful tale you might want to carry in your creative pocket throughout your career. 

In 1966, photographer Gordon Parks was all set to have a rendezvous with 24-year-old Mohammad Ali. The rapport between them was constructed the moment Parks entered the boxer’s hotel room. 

“They tell me you’re the greatest,” said Ali. 

And that was the start of a lifelong collaboration where Parks captured some of the most iconic images of Mohammad Ali. The secret behind this? Parks managed to gain the legend’s trust.

This is true for pretty much every type of portrait (or even group) photography. Here, what matters more than the technical finesse is the people skills. So, when we talk about capturing that perfect student photograph, we talk about the bond that takes form in the background, even when you’re operating in a tight timeline. 

While the camera lens manages to freeze special moments, it is the relationship the photographer has with their subjects that makes the moment “picture perfect.” Read on to learn how you can break the ice to capture the perfect student photos in less than 5 seconds!

Be Confident

Before you even begin your shoot, make sure you come well-prepared and let your confidence light up the room. When your subjects see you know what you’re doing, they will automatically begin to trust you. You can use this trust factor to guide them through the poses. Gradually (in a matter of seconds, in fact), you’ll notice how they feel relaxed and pose with confidence.

Turn the “Fun Switch” On

From a dismissive teenager to a daydreaming third grader, it’s true when the photography bell rings, most students simply aren’t in the zone to be clicked. How then do you manage to get the students to pay attention to the camera? Simply put, you don’t.

Clicking photographs doesn’t have to be a somber affair – especially when students are involved. Instead of gathering their attention, you can turn your activity into a fun experience. Encourage the students to let their guards down and be themselves on the set. You can do that by either striking up a humor-infused conversation with them or requesting them to do something silly (perhaps jumping mid-air?), so they can let loose and surprise you with happy, candid moments.

Praise. Praise. Praise.

You know the drill – the student is either too nervous or too conscious of posing, and despite several attempts, the resulting photographs scream out their mood. There is a simple trick to avoid this fiasco – praise and encourage them as much as possible.

We know how encouragement works wonders. First, it helps your subject shed their camera phobias and then begin to feel comfortable around your presence. After every snap, try saying, “Fantastic capture. I love this one!” or something like, “This is perfect, it’s great. I think this is really cool!”

Gradually, you’ll notice the tension fade away from your subject and from the photograph.

Let Your Positive Words Boost Their Confidence

When capturing student photos, it is critical to ensure the subjects stay confident and don’t feel jittery. If you think you can capture a better picture of the subject, be sure to communicate it positively.

For instance, instead of using phrases like, “That looks weird” or “No, no, no, that doesn’t look good,” make constructive comments like “This is fantastic; would you mind turning the other way? Great, that’s brilliant.”

While guiding them through the very first pose, make sure you put in a generous dose of praise to get them to feel confident inside and out.

A Post-Photography Hack You Might Want to Know!

Finding your expertise can take its own sweet time. We hope these tips will help you create great work going forward.

That said, we understand that capturing the perfect picture is only half the work. What follows is hours, days, and probably weeks of hard work to organize, shortlist, finalize, promote, and sell your pieces. If you have a creative mind, you’d probably agree that spending time on technicalities is, in short, a productivity killer. After all, you could use the same time to continue exploring, creating, and growing the way you do.

This is where WaldoPro swoops in to save the day!

Here’s how Waldo’s wizardry works: You simply provide those you shoot with a QR code or SMS code for viewing their images or you can use Waldo’s tablet-friendly Selfie Station to have each person onboard while they are waiting. Either way, your job ends when you upload the photos to Waldo’s lightning-fast cloud storage.

From there, Waldo uses facial rec and patented mobile copyright protection to deliver the right proofs to the right family, immediately following upload, via a text link sure to grab their attention. From there, Waldo’s elegant, mobile-first UI takes them quickly through package selection, and order processing, and then ships their prints directly to their home! Check out WaldoPro if you’re looking to get your conversion rates back to where they once were while spending a lot less time and labor post-shoot!