There has been a bit of a change of perspective as of late for me and my overall approach when photographing people in general. There is always a time and place for the standard approach of posing people in very archaic ways. I don't want to frame it in a negative light, there is an application to it. The problem crops up however when you try and use this method on situations where you strive for emotion or natural reaction.
A certain air has to exist. The subject has to be in a comfortable frame of mind and there's a sort of energy that bounces back between the model and photographer. This is not something easily established when the photographer has to guide the subject to very specific posing. The flow ceases to exist and the overall feeling becomes rigid, something that shows in the final product.
When you try and create a story within your shots they have to be filled with movement. There has to be a sort of freedom for the subject to play within.
With that I mind I'm beginning to try and shift my overall approach to create scenes or stories. Give the subject a feeling, a simple story or just an overall scene and create the comfort and will for them to be themselves, to act and react to the flow of things rather than be guided. I want to guide them initially, before the camera is even in my hand. Once that is established it then becomes my job to capture that as an observer, regardless of whether the technicals of photography are aligned in my favor or not. A photograph with emotion will always win out over technical virtuosity for me.
Now, this of course takes a certain level of comfort within both the subject as well as the photographer. Initially as a photographer you have to be able to create that within the person you're working with and that brings to the forefront a lot of refinement on people skills and interaction. It means developing vision and developing stories and tales. It brings together a lot of different elements from outside of photography in general and focuses a lot more on personal character development.
It's however something that will push so many other aspects of ones own photography. It translates to practically any sub genre within photography. Regardless of what you shoot, it is ultimately about people.