In the midst of transitioning from child to woman, teen girls make dynamic subjects for photographs. They are brave, open to new ideas and poses, while still being vulnerable with a hint of childish innocence. These young women are enigmas and their beauty has preliminary requirements that must be met before it reveals itself to the camera. The photographer must be trustworthy and liked, and the girl must be willing and comfortable with herself. Communicate openly and honestly with your subject, establish her trust, encourage her while she poses and her inner beauty will do all the work.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Music player
- Various shooting locations
Be yourself. Being real is the best way to gain the confidence of teenage girl subjects when you meet. Teens like being spoken to as adults, not children. They relate better to photographers who are upfront, genuine and who give them respect.
Ask the teen girl exactly what she is hoping to achieve in her photographs. Communicate with her about references, images, ideas and style. Discuss wardrobe, lighting, props, location and make-up with her beforehand. Assure that you are both on the same page in terms of how the photo shoot will progress and results you both hope to achieve.
Play her favourite music during the photo shoot. Music is the best way to loosen a nervous teen photo subject. Invite her to move around, stretch and relax before and during the shoot. Music reduces stiffness and awkwardness in photo subject and helps bring about natural smiles.
Capture many different sides of your subject. Teen girls have many different dimensions and looks. At one angle they look very young and innocent while another makes them appear more mature. Explore different camera angles, facial expression and body postures so that she has a wide variety of shots from which to choose.
Change the shooting location and clothes. The first few shots are warm-up shots. They often look stiff and posed but as you move further into the photo shoot the subject begins to loosen up and act more natural. Changing locations and clothes gives the teenager a brief shooting break and brings a fresh energy to the images.
Experiment with some of the teen girl's ideas at the end. Ask her if she has any other ideas for shots you did not get a chance to do and shoot them. She may have an accessory, prop, sports gear or even pet she wishes capture on camera. Extra unplanned photos are special and sentimental memories that are often the best pictures of the shoot.
Review all of the photos with the teen. Answer any questions she may have about sizing, retouching, prints and reproductions. Share you opinions with her about which photos you think are her best and explain to her why. This way during her next photo shoot she will have learnt something about posing in front of a camera.
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