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Formal sittings have their place, and a practiced eye can create wonderfully evocative posed scenes. But if you're looking to reveal your subject's soul, posing can be poison.
If you want your subjects to reveal something of themselves in your art photos, forget the smile-and-say-cheese routine. Instead, let your subjects relax and be natural.
To help create a rexlaxed and realistic atmosphere, come out from behind the camera. Set up your tripod, pre-focus the camera and trip the shutter using the camera's remote (if it has one), the self-timer or a cable release.
Once you're out from behind the camera, you can talk naturally to your subject and put them at ease. Since they won't be focusing on someone with a camera in their hand, they'll relax more easily. That's when you can capture a photo that reveal's your subjects true self.