So a couple weeks ago I was in contact with the college's wrestling coach about a photo project I am working on. The project called for one photo of some wrestlers on the mat. After the coach sent out an email to all of the wrestlers on the team I only got two replies.
So it came down to earlier today, after class I spent about 20 minutes running around the building searching for the open matts. I finally found it hidden down a random set of stairs in the back of the building. I walked in to find 6 or so guys all staring out of the corner of their eyes and pretending not to be interested. A couple made a joke quietly to the guy next to them as I set the lights up.
They started to gather just as I was finished turning everything on and I grabbed one of the guys (not one of my volunteer models) and put them under the light.
"I need to test the lights, I am going to make you look bad ass as hell" I told him, loud enough so the others could here. I snapped a quick photo
The second I showed this guy the photo his reaction was enough to have em all lining up. Before I knew it I turned one portrait shoot into a set of group photos.
I had them all lined up and gave them a hard time for not emailing me back when the offer was first presented. So within 3 minutes I was able to add a bunch of portraits to the shot list.
After I got the glamour shots out of their system, they all left and me and my two models had the room to ourselves. This allowed me to get them to give me some real looking emotion (I got them to scream at the top of their lungs repeatedly for the shot.) It was a very successful shoot so when we were done, I took a couple simple portraits that they could go home with.
Moral of the story here is the photographer can control the atmosphere of the room as easy as they can control the lights in the room. It just takes confidence when walking into the lions den, or in this case, a room full of college wrestlers.