I was filming some b-roll footage in a coffee shop today and I wanted to get a shot of someone pouring coffee. The barista I recruited to help me had never done this before.

Neither had I — but she didn’t know that.

I could tell she was nervous about all the little details. She didn’t know where to put her hands, if she was supposed to do anything in particular, when to start, when to stop, etc. I didn’t do a good job explaining everything up front because this was my first time capturing this type of shot too. I had a good idea of how I wanted it to look, but I was figuring it out as I went and I was less prepared than she expected me to be.

In that moment, I realized something. Here were two people trying to create something. Neither of them were acting naturally and confidently, and that would probably show in the end product. If I wanted to get a good shot, one of those people would have to step up.

So I did.

I put the camera down and explained exactly how I wanted the shot to look. I told her where my camera would be focused and that I wanted to capture the steam coming up as the coffee fills up the cup. I explained that it would be just a few seconds and she shouldn’t worry about anything other than pouring the coffee naturally.

As soon as she heard my decisive voice telling her what to expect, her body language changed instantly from nervous and unsure to playful and content. I picked my camera back up, knowing we were both on the same page, and let the magic happen. The shot came out perfectly.

When anything is getting done with multiple people, somebody has to step up and be the leader. People are always searching for a voice of confidence to follow. Be that voice even if you have to do some self-convincing first.