This also contributes to the key goal of putting your subjects at ease. The truth is, if you want to capture the sincere emotional essence of your subject, you really want them to be themselves and that won’t happen if the subject is feeling nervous.
Many photographers make the mistake of over-correcting subject behavior right off the bat when diving into a shoot. This is not the best bet. Even if you begin your session and your subject looks too stiff, or they’re slouched over in a way you don’t love, give it some time before speaking up and correcting their behavior. More often than not, your subject will move around and correct their posture and experiment with different facial expressions on their own. The subject is much more likely to respond well and feel at ease if they’re met with positive reinforcement and enthusiasm, especially when you’re first starting out the session.
Try giving nothing but encouragement, compliments, and positive reinforcement when you’re first getting started. You will make your subject feel confident and good, and he or she will then be more likely to start moving around and experimenting on their own. Once this happens, you have the freedom to point out which poses and expressions work even better for you compared to others.