My daughter and I were walking home late in the afternoon on Saturday from a get together with one of her friends from school. As we walked around Cameron Pond in Reston, the bank of the dam was lit up with the warm light of the setting sun. So I had Rowan pose for me for a bit. She is really good at taking direction like a little model, which I guess is to be expected since a camera has been in her face since the first seconds of her life. Anyway, this was one of our "smile but no teeth. look at me. put your hands on your knees" shots.
I have started employing some advice I read from Scott Kelby that you should be talking to your models the whole time you are shooting them when you are doing portraits, either giving direction, encouragement, or just putting them at ease with silly banter. It does work. If nothing else it makes me feel more confident in myself. The more I feel confident, the more I sound confident. The more I sound confident, the more the model is confident in me. And on and on.