I often think that a photographer’s job is mostly to just make the people on the other side of the lens feel as comfortable as possible. If I’m goofing around, my thinking goes, then it makes life easier for the folk on the other side of the lens.
It’s easier when you’re working with bands because most bands, being groups of people often in close proximity to one another for long periods of time, know exactly how to entertain themselves. And usually, that means mucking about behind me whilst I’m shooting. And that is usually guaranteed to get some sort of reaction from the subject in front of me.
It doesn’t always work the way you’d expect. Sometimes they’ll make their friend laugh at exactly the wrong moment and it will ruin the shot. Sometimes, however, they’ll make them react at just the right time and the shot will be amazing.
Portrait photography is like baking a cake* – sometimes the cake sinks and is tasteless and sometimes it is better than you could ever have expected.
*With apologies to Neil Gaiman, who said this about writing.