Give your subjects something to lean on. A wall. A podium. The floor even. It's really hard for people to just stand in the middle of a room with nothing to do but look at the camera. It's better to for them to have a base, so the camera is then less intimidating.
It's not unlike how a doctor allows you to lay down when checking ur vitals. Or how an interview is usually done seated at a table. Or how two lovers can be seen leaning on the wall together. A bench in the park. Or simply, each other.
One thing’s for sure. Nobody ever engages in potentially sensitive activity standing in the middle of a room all by their lonesome.
We find comfort and security in having something to lean on, something to hold, even if it's our own arm, or putting our hands in our pockets. This provides an element of control, which provides an element of safety, which provides an element of comfort. And in this crazy random world we live in, something as simple as being able to lean on a wall, or put our hands in our pockets can mean a lot.
But as a photographer, you must encourage this activity. There's no need to give a long-winded explanation as to why. Deep down, we already know. Use it to your advantage for better pictures.
by Jason Lam