Even if it is just a friend or family,

what are tips to help make a person comfortable being photographed. Of course, not everyone is up for being photographed, but when they agree for a photo or you are asking them, how do you make a person comfortable with being shot?


  • \$\begingroup\$ photo.stackexchange.com/questions/610/… \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 9:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ The links provided my Matt & Mike contain further links to other related pages. No one answer covers the subject but between them you get a good feel for what other people do. My answer in Matt's link contains a link to this album of photos I have taken of "Random Strangers". As will be seen, some are taken 'unawares' but the majority were taken with prior permission. As covered in more detail in my other answer, in a street situation, pointing the camera offline and waving it in the subjects general direction + a smile + general body language generally .... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 11:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ conveys intent and request well enough without common language. | The policeman in Tian an men square was aware but not necessarily overly willing - but knew he had no choice :-) - that's part of the disadvantages and advantages for policemen and tourists respectively in Tian an men square :-) (elsewhere in the city, things 'may be different'). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 11:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ For people with bad self image (especially younger women who can have an incredibly unrealistic & low assessment of their photogenicity) I have occasionally told them I will delete the photo after taking it, regardless of how good they thought it was. And, I do. That crosses the otherwise uncrossable boundary for some. Next level up is telling people that you will delete the photo if they want you to after they have seen it. Again, some but not all find this works for them. Doing what you say is important. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


With family members who don't like their photo taken ever, I found that honesty and involvement on that person's terms really help.

My wife used to hate every photo of her, taken by anybody, any time. I found that discussing what I am trying to achieve - in detail - and involving her in what the final shot will look like and most of all where it will be used all helps. In other words, plan your shot with the person, sketch out what you're planning to do, why all the lights/tripod etc.

Then, let your subject reject some of the photos. If she/he rejects all of them, take some more.

After a couple of shoots, the shyness, fear, uninterested person will see that your photos are pretty good, that she/he can weed out the really bad ones and that the photos are NEVER posted anywhere without their knowledge and consent.


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