Photographers are tasked with making their subjects feel relaxed for great-looking shots, and one Canadian photographer has a novel approach to her work: asking her clients to pretend to be drunk.
Myriam Ménard posted a video of herself on TikTok where she asked a couple she was photographing to walk down a hill “as if you were super drunk.”
The short clip took off and has garnered over 15 million views. Speaking to PetaPixel Ménard says that it’s a technique she uses regularly and produces spontaneous results.
@cremeuxphoto Anyone else do this? 😄 #poseideas #elopementphotographer #photoshootposes #phototips #couplephotoshoot ♬ omg she may be insane – Troy
“I use this technique simply because I feel like people find it funny. I don’t want them to stand there and wait, it’s uncomfortable for most people, even me,” she says.
“I truly want them to escape their mind. Their bodies then tend to relax and in photography, this is wished for since the camera captures all the details, the energy of a posture, of a gesture, so I take care to show people in their most relaxed form despite their nervousness to have their picture taken.”
Ménard is an accomplished wedding photographer and her work speaks for itself. The Quebec native is aware that most of her subjects have never been photographed professionally.
“This trick is a good way to immerse them in a goofy and relaxed atmosphere. This way their attention is no longer on what they think they look like but rather on the game.”
Ménard adds that she is careful to ask people first if they have had bad experiences with alcohol, as it’s imperative not to offend someone by making them feel uncomfortable.
“I am very aware that the subject can be very sensitive for some and anything but humoristic.”
Her Technique has Gone Viral
The savvy photographer posted the TikTok video on May 3 and the video has garnered 1.4 million likes since.
“Some found it funny, others were offended that I asked to do such an exercise. Many wanted me to show the results of the pictures in the same video,” she says.
“But in general the reaction was positive. I believe that the content was original and interesting for both the people who will be photographed and the photographers who will have to find ways to relax their subjects.”
One of Several Unique Techniques
Getting subjects to act inebriated isn’t the only party trick in Ménard’s bag. She also asks couples to pretend that they will lose their sense of smell within 24 hours and they have to remember their partner’s smell forever by taking a good whiff of their scent.
“Sometimes it’s very funny, sometimes beyond romantic! Some start smelling their partner so strongly that it tickles, others sniff their partner in such a touching and moving way that their love can be felt through my lens,” she says.
“I love the intensity of this exercise because my mission is to capture their essence, their vulnerability, their love, but I only have the image to do so.”
Image credits: All photos by Myriam Ménard.