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What is Rapid Rapport™?


My Definition

In a world with loads going on, it’s the ability  to create a connection with a person and produce a portrait  that shows that mutual connection and makes the viewer engage with it is called Rapid Rapport


What is Rapid Rapport™

This is a description of rapid rapport™ by a recent client.

Part of the effect of rapid rapport™ is that you connect with people who hate having their photo taken. People who are really photophobic, who always say, ‘oh I never take a good photo or, I hate seeing myself in photos’, but because you do establish such a strong rapport and so quickly.

That often, they’ve never seen of themselves, because all the photos they see of themselves normally are ones in which there is no connection, and they look awkward, and they look uncomfortable, and so they see a photo of themselves looking awkward and uncomfortable, and it just confirms that sense that they hate having their photo taken.

But you don’t get that reaction, you get the rapport. So the photos you take of them show that connection, and they see that. And they love the photos and they’re delighted and amazed because nobody has done that for them before.

Back to me now…

A great photo doesn’t have to take hours and hours; it can be done in minutes, even seconds as long as there is rapport and a connection. I have photographed many celebrities and well-known people in seconds, admittedly I may spend a couple of minutes setting the scene before I press the shutter, but the actual photo shoot takes a very short amount of time.

Less time in front of the camera and less time to feel uncomfortable.

I’ve honed this technique over many years and photographed well over 20,000 people.What is Rapid Rapport © Nick Gregan

Wondering what to talk about?

This is where your preparation comes in. I like to know a little about the person I am about to photograph. Whether it’s their latest book, TV show or sporting achievement. It pays to have a little common ground to get the ball rolling.

I spoke to one well-known author about the main character in her books. It helped that I was an avid reader of her work but if I hadn’t been I would still have ‘boned up’. I think it sends a signal to the subject that I am interested in them, that I have thought about who they are and am not just seeing them as a ‘subject to be photographed’. Using Rapid Rapport™ get the ball rolling..

I broke the ice with another client who was a musician (I never liked their stuff) by chatting about Abbey Road studios. Saying how I’d worked there a few times and suddenly we were off chatting away – Rapid Rapport™ in action.

The CAW Effect

There are three crucial elements to rapid rapport™, every photographer shoud be able to develop these attributes and apply them to every shoot they undertake.Confidence, Ability & Warmth of Personality.

Confidence to get the shot, having that utter belief and knowledge that whatever happens you will deliver an awesome photograph for your client. This way, as a photographer there is absolutely nothing to interfere with your connection with your subject.

Ability knowing you have the technical skills, the mastery of your equipment and the ability to see and shape the light to your needs and those of your client.

Warmth of personality is incredibly important in building a connection. Being photographed isn’t easy for everyone, in fact it can be an incredibly uncomfortable experience for some. The openness and warmth of the photographer’s personality help in putting people at ease. From the subject’s point of view, belief in the photographer’s confidence, ability go a long way to putting them at ease.

After all, we are all just people. Some may be more famous, more talented in certain areas, more outspoken or more sophisticated than others. But, they are just like me – doing their job. I want them to have the easiest portrait they’ve ever had and I want to enjoy taking their photo.

Final Thoughts on Rapid Rapport™

As I’ve said many times, a great portrait is a collaboration between the photographer and the sitter. Neither of them can do it by themselves. Sometimes it can take a long time for a person to feel comfortable. When the headshot photographer and the subject form a rappor and work together, that’s when the magic happens.


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