Staging a casual, relaxed scene is a collaboration between photographer and subject. Don’t just fire away!
Direct eye movement.
The look-away pose is very fashionable these days but some do it better than others. See the photos above.
There is a kind of faraway gaze that still looks studied and self-conscious, when an eye seems to be peripherally aware of the camera. Doing it nonchalantly takes a bit of acting or someone for your partner to look at off-frame. Let Michael Caine guide you through the thespian way of looking.
The cat below seems to have mastered Caine’s advice!
The model’s legs should be fully stretched when walking.
Picture an alternative version of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover (shot by Iain Macmillan). Would the photo have been as delightful and iconic if a leg—say, Paul’s—had been crossed or folded over the other? It would have been a halfway-looking shot, something taken seconds too early.
A great way to feign real-looking strides is to have your model stretch his or her legs à la The Beatles. Or take some notes from model Karlie Kloss in this ad campaign shoot.:
Synchronize your clicks with the model’s movement.
Agree on the number of seconds before hands are freed, hair tossed and laughs released.
Or just catch your model unawares.
Sometimes pre-staging just doesn’t cut it. Play the uncanny voyeur who just clicks at a moment’s notice. Try this when your model is practicing between takes, sipping coffee to relax or talking to people within earshot.
As your first training, try to master the fun art of photographing children.
Arthur Elgort, the man responsible for bringing the snapshot look to mainstream fashion, also loves photographing children. This unpredictable bunch will train you well. They move a lot and have a full arsenal of facial expressions. Working with the little ones will help you intuit the right time to snap pictures.