An Essential Task for Making Alluring Portraits of Inexperienced Models (VIDEO)

Capturing beautiful female portraits can be very challenging for inexperienced photographers. And when the "model" is also new to the game, things become even more difficult. After all, many of our subjects aren't really models at all, but rather spouses, loved ones, or female friends.

This tutorial from the popular In Your Fayes YouTube channel isn't about camera gear, posing tips, lighting, or shooting techniques. Instead it concentrates on an oft-ignored task; namely, how to put your subject at ease during what could even be her first modeling session.

Today's instructor Faye is the channel's namesake and she's known for her captivating portraits. She's also an attractive professional model, so she knows of what she speaks. In this helpful six-minute episode she shares eight ways to make your subject feel comfortable and allay any fears—thereby making the shoot productive and fun for both of you.

Faye has been modeling since she was 16 yeas old, and she quickly learned that her comfort level had a big impact on what "I radiated with my face" and the impact of what the photographer was able to convey. This fact is particularly important when working with novice subjects because, despite a great appearance, they may be insecure about their looks.

The process begins when first reaching out to a subject, and it's important to be very clear about how you intend to proceed, the type of images you're looking for, and what you expect from the model. Wardrobe expectations are also very important.

Getting to know your subject and developing trust and a friendly rapport is the first thing you should do, so don't pull out your camera and begin shooting as soon as she arrives. Otherwise the session could become awkward from the onset, and that can be difficult to remedy as the shoot proceeds.

Tip #3 has to do with the fact that "everyone loves food and music," so make sure to put on some sweet sounds with good vibes and have snacks or even a meal planned depending upon the anticipated length of the session. In other words, it's difficult for a nervous, moody, or hungry model to really deliver the goods.

Good communication is also essential, both before and during the shoot. So make sure the model understands the "feel" you'd like to convey with your images and solicit her input so that she feels like an important member of the team.

At this point you're only halfway through the lesson, and there's much more helpful advice to go, including the power of positive feedback and why you should let the model view the photos as they're captured so it's easy for her to switch things up for a different look. Ask a few questions, listen carefully to the subject's responses, and, above all, have some fun!

And on a related note, watch the tutorial we posted from another adept pro, explaining how to capture stunning outdoor portraits without flash in direct sun.