1. Be a friend, not just a photographer. Don't get stuck behind the camera just telling your client how to pose and what kind of smile to make, ask questions and get to know them. Make jokes, be ridiculous. Yes, sometimes a photographer has to be silly and ridiculous to get the perfect picture. This is why every photographer should have a certain level of awkwardness and shouldn't be embarrassed by making fun of themselves.
2. Help them along. You just can't expect every person to be comfortable and natural in front of the camera, at least not at first. They are probably thinking that they look ridiculous and are embarrassed about getting their pictures taken so this is why it is important to help them along. Give them some guidance on where to place that arm which they don't know where to place and just try to make them feel like they aren't complete idiots while getting their pictures taken. Another thing that can really help your client, is to actually show them the pose that you want them to make. Telling them visually can help them see what they are actually supposed to do, and if you aren't a natural explainer, this is helpful for you as well.
3. Be ready. There have been so many times where I was just a second to late in capturing a special moment, or forgot to turn on my camera. Yes, I have forgotten to turn on my camera before... maddening! This is why you should always be on guard, because you never know when the perfect moment will need to be captured. When they laugh out loud or give you a glimpse of their personality, whatever it may be, be ready.Pin It