What is the best way to be photographed on your wedding day? Many people I work with can be camera shy, say that they ‘hate having their photo taken’ and really struggle with the feeling of being in front of the camera. Sometimes people can be quite shy and look permanently uncomfortable whilst being photographed, which ultimately results in a shot that isn’t great and of course, furthers the belief that they are ‘un-photogenic’.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, here are a few of my tips about being photographed at your wedding and how to avoid feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera.
Try not to look at the camera – unless you really have to! You’ll need to look at the camera for those posed group photos where everyone is smiling toward the camera, but for the natural portrait shots of just the two of you, just look at the other person rather than at the camera. This creates a much more natural shot and you avoid feeling like you’re being examined through the lens! ‘Walking’ shots are great because they give a sense of narrative, but also they keep you buy thinking about walking, looking at each other and smiling, which usually means there’s lots of laughing about getting it slightly wrong!
Find a style of photo that you like. Find photos that you want your images to look like and show them to your wedding photographer, this will give them a better idea of what kind of person you are and what you want your photos to look like. They can then collaborate with you to get a series of shots and also bounce some ideas around with you that they think you’ll like!
Practice. Nothing comes easily to people, getting some practice in is a very good idea if you’re nervous in front of the camera. Have a couple of practice shoots where you and your partner just go for a nice day out and take lots of photos together. Or better yet, hire your photographer for an engagement shoot (a pre-wedding photo-shoot) to help you get used to being photographed and to get some extra, informal photos of just the two of you.
Choose your photographer carefully. You want someone who can make you feel relaxed and comfortable even without a camera. When you go for that initial meeting have a chat and get to know your wedding photographer, ask sensible questions about their pricing & portfolio but make sure you feel like they can make you smile and you’re comfortable around them.
Plan your photographs around your wedding day. The shot above was a complete surprise to me on the day, but once I realised what was happening, I could organise the gentlemen in order to get a great photograph. If things that that are exciting and fun are going to be happening try and think how your photographer will approach them and make sure they know it’s going to happen! This way they can think how they’re going to shoot it and get the best shot!
Be yourselves. This sounds pretty basic, but don’t think of photography as a conventional thing anymore. Do what the wedding photographer says but have some fun too, the best shots I’ve gotten are where people are not following the rules of a wedding day and just having some fun doing something really quirky and amazing.
I hope these tips help you feel better about having your photo taken, remember that the photos are your own, you’re paying someone else to take them, but you need to ensure you’re happy and having a good time. The best smile is one that shows genuine joy, rather than posing for the camera!