Ep 92 How to direct a portrait shoot with confidence


When you are shooting portraits, you need to bring your A-game as a photographer. That means instilling confidence in your subject so that they trust what you are doing and follow direction. When you’re confident, you’ll also achieve a more efficient and productive shoot – and be able to take the risks you need to get the creative shots you really want.

In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss what you need to do in order to direct a portrait shoot with confidence.

Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio.

Show notes

Useful link

23 Things You’ll Never Hear a Pro Photographer Say (via Petapixel)

Listener Question

From Kristi Louise Herd

Hi Gina, I have my first portfolio shoot with a young lady (who wants to break into modelling) and I am looking for some advice. Below is a montage of the 3 locations we are starting with. I will be working with 1 assistant. I guess my biggest fear (still) is the lighting. I really want these photos to stand out and nail the lighting. Also, I would appreciate any tips on make-up that I can offer the model.

The photos were taken (on my smartphone) roughly about the time of day we will be shooting. Appreciate any advise if you have time? Thanks Gina

How to direct a portrait shoot with confidence



  • What tone of voice are you using?
  • Calm
  • Soothing
  • Shrill
  • Bossy


“How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less” by speaker and author Nicholas Boothman
Step 1: Be open.
Step 2: Make eye contact.
Step 3: Beam.
Step 5: Lean in.
Via Business Insider

Body Language

  • Don’t assume people understand what you mean.
  • Often it’s their first time in front of a camera
  • Offer encouraging words
  • Smile
  • Use scripts
  • Role playing


  • Children
  • Teens
  • Corporate/powerful
  • Shy person
  • Over confident person
  • Person who does not want to be photographed
  • Negotiation tactics

How to direct and pose like a pro

About Gina

About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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