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Meeting the Clients

Lesson 34 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

34. Meeting the Clients

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

The topic of the lesson is about meeting the clients for an engagement shoot and how to make them feel comfortable and open up during the shoot.


  1. When scheduling an engagement shoot, do you always pick the location, or do you allow the clients to pick location?

    The location is generally based on the mood board that the clients have provided.

  2. Do you always meet the clients for the first time during the shoot?

    Yes, it is common to meet the clients for the first time during the shoot.

  3. How do you handle clients with modeling experience?

    If the clients have modeling experience, they are advised to forget it and follow the instructions given during the shoot.

  4. How do you make clients feel comfortable and open up during the shoot?

    By keeping a light and playful atmosphere, using humor and making goofy gestures, the photographer can make the clients feel more relaxed and comfortable.

  5. When is the ideal time to start shooting after meeting the clients?

    The ideal time to start shooting is usually around 8 to 10 minutes into the meeting, once the clients have become more comfortable and open.


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Posing Guidance for Him


Posing Guidance for Her


Foundational Posing


Posing Touch Points


Couples Body Language


Posing Three Point Check


Posing Tips with Demo


Lesson Info

Meeting the Clients

Let's go to number two. So this is the first time that I met our clients. Now we're probably gonna do a little bit of scrubbing through this. But I wanted to mention this. In the foundational side we went through this together previously. We went in depth. I actually go in a little bit of depth with them and the reason why is because I've never met them before. So I'm using the time to get a little bit more comfortable with them, and I'm actually watching their body language. We're gonna make some body language notes as we go through, and you're gonna see them basically transform from being a little bit more shy and apprehensive to getting really comfortable in a space of 12 minutes. When scheduling an engagement shoot, do you always pick the location, or do you allow the clients to pick location? We will generally base it off that mood board that we discussed. So if the mood board is a bunch of images that are at the beach, or at downtown, or at a city scene, it's really gonna be ...

based on that. If they select a ton of those kind of images, we're just gonna basically say, look you guys, you guys selected a ton of these images that are in this one spot. Why don't we actually shoot in that one spot? Ready to start a shoot. It's about 9:00. I've got my awesome lighting assistant, Neil, here to help me out for today. Let's go ahead and meet our couple now, Alex and Alexandra. What's up guys? Hi, how are you doing? Hi. I'm fine. You have the most beautiful accent in the world. Alexandra, nice... I wanted to pause that. You have the most beautiful accent in the world. That's me going for the guy. Like we're 10 seconds into meeting them, and I'm already kind of trying to get on his side. To meet you. (laughs) How're you doing? This is Neil. He's gonna be helping us with lighting assisting, and just general stuff for today. Now, this is actually my first time meeting you guys, right? Yeah. You guys can tell 'em, yes. Yes. First time meeting. But you both do have modeling experience, correct? Yes. Okay, I'm gonna say technically. (laughs) I'm gonna say throw it out the window. What I actually want you guys to do today-- The reason for that is, if they do have modeling experience, I tell them this anyway. If I know that they've been modeling, I tell them to forget it all. Because what happens with models is with every click they change their pose. If you wanna get just a few shots, and you gotta get the right expression on both people, it's really difficult when they keep switching their pose every single time. So if she's saying oh, I've done a lot of modeling and that kind of stuff, I say, okay, I want you to forget that. I want you to go based on what we do here, because generally if they've done modeling it's gonna be fashion-related type stuff, where they're shoot and change on every click. And I say every click of the camera, don't change your pose. So I was just gonna ask, the first thing I notice in this, before you even start shooting, you were talking about, you know, getting the area, you're looking in the area. You look down at the end of the hallway, and now not only is there cars passing by, but there's one parked at the end there. We're gonna deal with that when we get into it. Okay. So, I have these notes in the slides that say BLN, that's a Body Language Note. So I want you guys to note that they're smiling. His hands are in his pockets, which is a good sign, but he's still a little bit uncomfortable. They're not gonna be talking as much. Watch this transformation as we go. You can actually see it progress. Act like this is your first shoot, you've never shot before. Models, you're gonna have a tendency when you hear the shutter click, you're gonna wanna go into a different pose to give the photographer something new. I don't want you to do that. I want you to stay where you are until we instruct you to do something different. Like a typical couple that doesn't have camera experience would do. All right? So, I wanted to give you guys a little bit of instruction on posing. Basically throughout the entire shoot, we're gonna... It's not like, we're not gonna test you on anything, it's not anything complex. We're gonna give you some basic positions, and then just, throughout our shoot we'll have you guys observe and then I'll be able to say, if you're 20 feet away, I can say, hey, go and do the close pose and you guys will know exactly what I'm talking about. Cool? So I usually like to start with my guys first because, let's face it, it's easier. Guys don't have to worry about much. You just stand there, and she's gonna make you look good. You already look good. So it'll be like good on good, and it'll be amazing. So, what we're gonna do though, is you're gonna stand-- Now we get into teaching them all the stuff that we did from our foundational side. Let's skip on ahead a little bit. Is that not weird? Contrapposto. Contrapposto. I like to give little tips and facts as we go. Okay. Oh yeah, this is weird. Because you have long sleeve shirts, I generally don't want you to go both hands, or the hand fully in, because your hand will kind of disappear. So maybe like hanging. You can have it hang on the belt if you want. You can have fingers in, thumb out. Whatever is comfortable to you on that. And then we'll have with the other hand, you'll be relaxing it, or you can place it on Alexandra. Yeah, or point in the camera. Two guns. Two gun salute. Let's all do a two gun salute. Please don't do that. No. No, that's not what you guys wanted? I thought we wanted natural, light and airy. That's what I would do. You notice how they were uncomfortable when I did that first, right? So watch this. This is like, I love studying this... I was gonna say crap. I love studying this crap. No, I like studying this stuff because it's so interesting. I'm being goofy. Two gun salute. Let's all do-- Look, she's like, a little bit uncomfortable. She's like, no, please don't. And he's kind of smiling right now and I do it again. I'm just staying goofy. And then watch. No? That's not what you guys wanted? I thought we wanted natural, light and airy They start doing it. And then my lighting assistant is like maybe I should do it too. (laughing) So if you keep that contagious goofiness, it'll actually spread to them. They'll start lightening up. Now if you do that and you're like, that was dumb, I'm not going to do that anymore, and you just kind of go back in your shell, then they've kind of won, right? But if you keep it up, it gets to the point where it's infectious, and you can start seeing them laughing and opening up, and it just changes everything. When Neil did that, I was like that's hilarious. Why is he doing it? Does he feel like he needs ... (laughing) Okay, so keep it smiley face. Like just keep the roundness of the lumbar spine. So you want to keep that curved, because it's going to bring your chest up a little bit. The chest, we talk about all those different pieces. Okay he's laughing. Oh yes, this is a good one, too. (low talking) Do the same thing again. Oh, you know they've ruled the high-fives? You've gotta look at the weenis. I'm sorry, what? I was always told to look at the shoulder. No, the weenis. Your weenis. The weenis. You know what the weenis is! I know what the weenis is. High five to knowing what the weenis is. Go weenis. Okay so the weenis is this part of your elbow, right? So you look at the weenis. That's why you didn't show me your weenis, right? (laughing) And then you'll get a good high five every time. It's the rule to a good high five. Okay, let's do it. So look at the weenis, yes? Yes. I was looking, you weren't. (laughing) Oh this is too fun. Okay, back to posing. Really everything else for you is going to be pretty straightforward and simple. We got through him. This is her. Girls are always going to take that ... I'm showing things as we go through. Girls are always going to take a little bit longer to get comfortable with different poses and there's more instruction there, and so we want to get over that, and demonstrate by actually doing all of the things that we would do. Across the front, you can do-- Okay we're gonna go through that. Again, we've gone through this live in the foundational piece, so that's why I'm scrubbing through this quickly. Look at this. This is flat-footed. This is the change in shape as soon as she shifts. So flat. You guys see the curve up here out of nowhere. Right? Huge difference, massive difference. Boom! Boom. Boom. Okay, we're gonna go through that. This is him, what am I saying here? What we want is something very natural. All we need to do, and by the way guys, if you haven't figured out by now, I'm a little bit whacky and touchy-feely. So sometimes I like to-- Remember? First time I'm going to make contact, you tell them out loud. Just put you in a pose, is that okay? Yeah. Guys and gals, how creepy would it be if a doctor walked into the office and was just like, let's do this. How weird is it to just go up to somebody and make contact, without actually saying what you're gonna do. It's such a simple thing, and yet we oftentimes kind of forget these things, our bedside manner, as photographers. Photographer-side manner. Okay we're teaching her the drop. All you gotta do is let it drop to the side, and then drop and you're up. I'm looking at, she has a fairly loose piece of clothing on. That blouse is a little bit looser. Just carry some C-47s. Ya'll remember what those are? C-47s, put a couple in your bag and then just grab it. It's a clothing pin, just in case. Just grab it and just pin the back of it and it'll fix that right up. Hey look, this is a cool part. Look at him as I'm instructing her. He's got his arms crossed. He like, yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. Okay, now there's a joke. What did we say? Help, you know, just kind of put them in place. I'm asking them to look at each other's flyaways. And they start grooming each other like monkeys. Yeah, just do some grooming. That's perfect. It's like a monkey. It's like you guys have done this before. Like at home. She makes a monkey sound. On the couch? (laughing) Do you guys have preferred sides, by the way? Um. How do you feel about it? Well really, it doesn't matter what you think. The other guy says, it doesn't matter what you think. Okay, so now they're goofing, they're having fun. You can see this, where was it? We get to this part where we do, this is our foundation poses. So we go through these. Okay so this is the part where I teach them about romanticness and touchpoints, right? Just like you guys are doing right now. And then you kind of close the chests off towards each other, so you focus on each other. The rule is, the more contact points we create on your bodies, the more romantic a photograph gets. See? Look at that? Isn't that romantic? As many contact points as possible. It's beautiful. Okay so now he's instigating the joking around. Watch, when he goes back. Now he is completely open. He's gonna stay open the rest of this entire time. He's now joking, he's having a good time, and it's almost to the point where he's doing too much. At about the eight to ten minute mark, that's where I was like, okay these guys are comfortable enough that we actually start shooting. So I'll watch, and as we go through this process, as they change and they open up, I'm like, okay, eight to ten minutes into this, let's start. They're ready. Cool. The rest of that is just all the foundation poses.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Pre-Shoot Videos
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Presets Installation Guide
Gear Guide
Favorite Software
Lightroom Presets

Ratings and Reviews

CPR Photography

I think Pye Jirsa is one of the best, if not the best, instructor for photography on Creative Live. He is very personable, smart and approachable. He has a perfect blend of personality (comments, laughs, tangents..) to the amount of instruction. He asks the questions for you, because he knows you are thinking those questions right then. He's very good about identifying settings, gear, etc.. and not leaving us in the dark about how he "got the shot". He goes into great detail. His instructions flow, but are linear, which is helpful. He's very organized, and you can tell that he really put a lot of work into his presentations (slides, video, test shoots, live teaching, graphics, etc..) I have been listening to him for like 10 hours straight, and still haven't gotten tired of him. He keeps things moving, He's very funny too. Nice job, I've learned so much. :)

a Creativelive Student

This course was AMAZING. I'd say int he past year or two I've fallen into a slump. Uninspired by my surroundings and uninspired by my clients. As a result, it showed through my work. My posing suffered as well and more than a handful of times some of my shoots became more than awkward. Then I bought this course and watched most of it in the course of a day. I walked away inspired, blown away, and renewed. The next day I walked into an engagement session confident. I gave my couples a quick overview on posing and then we just had fun in front of the camera. Immediately afterwards they texted me about how amazing their shoot was and how relaxed I made them feel about posing. The photos turned out fantastic to say the least. I've since shot several more engagement sessions and each one of them has been amazing. If anything, this course should inspire photographers to think outside the box and provide you with the necessary skills to take incredible engagement photos. Thank you Pye and Creative Live! I cannot speak more highly of this course. I should also state I purchased Pye's Natural Light course on SLR Lounge: this course is a wonderful addition to that. If you already own the natural light course and are hesitant about purchasing this one, don't. Buy it and reap the benefits!


This is by far one of the best courses I have taken. Pye makes learning fun and easy to understand. I feel like I have learned so much throughout the course, that I have truly advanced my photography skills. I am so excited to get out there and try so many of the techniques that he showed. I would love to take another course of his. The pricing for the course doesn't even compare to how wonderful the education truly is, I really got more than my money's worth on this one.

Student Work