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Wedding Advice – How to overcome your fear of being photographed

One of the most common lines I get from clients is “we’re not very good in front of the camera” or “we’re a bit awkward being photographed” or “we’re scared to get our wedding photos taken”. This fear is so common, most of us are not used to standing in front of a professional photographer everyday and it can create anxiety leading up to your wedding day. It doesn’t have to be this way! You are not expected to perform for the camera, in fact I’d rather you almost forgot it was there and just focused on marrying your love! This is much easier said than done so here’s a few tips I hope will calm your nerves when it comes to being photographed…


We all have insecurities

I thought this was a particularly relevant time to have this chat on the week of International Women’s Day as I know it can be a real fear for a lot of brides.

Because of a whole lot of reasons to do with societal pressures and how we view ourselves, as women we often have insecurities about our bodies. Lots of brides tell me they hate their arms or the have a bad side or have a double chin. Everyone is their harshest critic. I wish we had more confidence in ourselves. It’s so easy to get caught comparing ourselves to others especially in this social media age. 

It’s not just women, men have their own insecurities or worries about feeling awkward/uncomfortable/insecure in front of the camera too. I get told this a lot when communicating with brides and grooms and honestly, it doesn’t worry me. It’s my job to help you feel comfortable and enjoy it!

Maybe this time leading up to your wedding is a great chance to focus on your own self esteem and self love. Everyone should do this! What can you do today to feel more confident in yourself and realise how wonderful you really are? Speak words of affirmation over yourself, try gratitude journaling, serving others, prayer, nourishing your body with good food and exercise, surround yourself with positive & encouraging people, meditate and be kind to yourself. Most of us would never speak to our friends they way we speak to ourselves. Nip that negativity and comparison self-talk in the bud!


Everyone is capable of taking a bad photo…

…but a good photographer will get you looking your best. I have been on the other side of the camera and I know what it feels like. You want to put your best self forward. Trust your photographer to guide you. When photographing clients I’m always thinking of them viewing these images later and whether they would like how they look.
 
Here’s a not-so-secret secret. Your photographer doesn’t give you every single image they take. Well, I don’t. Part of our job as photographers is to curate a beautiful body of work of your wedding. Now, I’m not going to cut out a whole portion of the day like getting rid of all photos of you walking down the aisle. I’m going to capture every moment possible but you’re not going to get every frame I snap on the day. Culling is an important part of my job. Firstly to get rid of any “misses”. Pretty much every photographer not matter how long they’ve been doing it will get some images that are out of focus/overexposed/a weird composition/unusable. Especially shooting digital you naturally have a few duds amongst them. You’ll never see these.

Then you’ll capture images with people blinking, mid-talking/eating, weird faces = cull. You’ll often have loads of the same image. For example in the portrait session, the couple might be doing the same pose and I may have 5-10 images of that but only pull out the best 1-2 where they look the most natural/happy/whatever.

As I’m going through the images I’m putting myself in your shoes and asking whether I’d like that photo of myself. If there’s two images of you laughing and one you’ve got the double chin going on (it happens to us all hun!) then I’m gonna cut it and give you the better one. This might sound ruthless but rest assured I’m giving you every possible moment captured at your best and not leaving out any raw, funny moments either. 

I edit your images. Some people don’t actually get what that means (maybe I’ll do another blog post and explain more fully). For me it pretty much means, colour correction, straightening/cropping images, correcting highlights/shadows/temperature etc. Kind of how you edit your pictures for Instagram but on a much more professional level software and using my custom-made presets + tweaks on each individual image. I try to keep my style natural and fresh. I will get rid of a huge pimple on your face but I won’t retouch your body to look completely different to reality. I know some photographers do do this and it’s up to you whether you’re ok with that, it’s not something I do for weddings. I would rather direct you on the day to capture you at your best natural, already-perfect, beautiful self!


Trust your photographer

And I’ll say it again: book a photographer you trust! It’s SO important.

To be completely honest it’s a red-flag for me if I get the vibe that my potential clients don’t trust me from the get-go. And it leads to clashing expectations and potential pressure and disappointment down the track if you don’t communicate about this up front. Do your research, look through their portfolio of work, make sure you like their style and then get to know them.

Get a feel for your photographer straight away. Do they show their personality through their website and social media? Meet or FaceTime with them if possible. Notice if they are quick at replying to you and give you all the information you need. Are they pumped about being a part of your day? See if you click! If you don’t, be honest about this early on and look at finding someone better suited to you. 

Trust is a two-way street and it goes a long way and makes our job a lot easier if you trust us!


Book an engagement shoot

An engagement shoot is a great way to have a bit of a “practice-run” before the wedding. It’s not only a perfect excuse to capture some beautiful images in normal clothes at your favourite place. It’s also a chance to experience how your photographer works, get used to being in front of the camera and realize it’s not actually that scary! I find this gives my couples a lot of reassurance and calms nerves before the big day. Being photographed as a couple is pretty similar to just hanging out together… plenty of walking, talking, cuddling and kissing. What’s not to love?

Your photographer will give you direction when it comes to posing. I like things to be natural and not too stiff looking. I will guide you into that. Even just getting you to focus on each other and giving you plenty of encouragement. I promise it will be fun and not cringe-worthy.  


Enjoy the moment!

Focus on the love of your life and celebrating with family and friends on your wedding day. It’s not your job to make all the photos look good, the photographer will take care of that. And your wedding is not a fashion photoshoot, a big show or a popularity contest. It’s not a time to be worrying about what others think or if you look good enough to be featured in a wedding magazine. I’ll say it again, it’s the start of a marriage, and that, is the most important thing.



Check out my IGTV on this topic here.

One of the most common lines I get from clients is “we’re not very good in front of the camera” or “we’re a bit awkward being photographed” or “we’re scared to get our wedding photos taken”. This fear is so common, most of us are not used to standing in front of a professional photographer everyday and it can create anxiety leading up to your wedding day. It doesn’t have to be this way! You are not expected to perform for the camera, in fact I’d rather you almost forgot it was there and just focused on marrying your love! This is much easier said than done so here’s a few tips I hope will calm your nerves when it comes to being photographed…


We all have insecurities

I thought this was a particularly relevant time to have this chat on the week of International Women’s Day as I know it can be a real fear for a lot of brides.

Because of a whole lot of reasons to do with societal pressures and how we view ourselves, as women we often have insecurities about our bodies. Lots of brides tell me they hate their arms or the have a bad side or have a double chin. Everyone is their harshest critic. I wish we had more confidence in ourselves. It’s so easy to get caught comparing ourselves to others especially in this social media age. 

It’s not just women, men have their own insecurities or worries about feeling awkward/uncomfortable/insecure in front of the camera too. I get told this a lot when communicating with brides and grooms and honestly, it doesn’t worry me. It’s my job to help you feel comfortable and enjoy it!

Maybe this time leading up to your wedding is a great chance to focus on your own self esteem and self love. Everyone should do this! What can you do today to feel more confident in yourself and realise how wonderful you really are? Speak words of affirmation over yourself, try gratitude journaling, serving others, prayer, nourishing your body with good food and exercise, surround yourself with positive & encouraging people, meditate and be kind to yourself. Most of us would never speak to our friends they way we speak to ourselves. Nip that negativity and comparison self-talk in the bud!


Everyone is capable of taking a bad photo…

…but a good photographer will get you looking your best. I have been on the other side of the camera and I know what it feels like. You want to put your best self forward. Trust your photographer to guide you. When photographing clients I’m always thinking of them viewing these images later and whether they would like how they look.
 
Here’s a not-so-secret secret. Your photographer doesn’t give you every single image they take. Well, I don’t. Part of our job as photographers is to curate a beautiful body of work of your wedding. Now, I’m not going to cut out a whole portion of the day like getting rid of all photos of you walking down the aisle. I’m going to capture every moment possible but you’re not going to get every frame I snap on the day. Culling is an important part of my job. Firstly to get rid of any “misses”. Pretty much every photographer not matter how long they’ve been doing it will get some images that are out of focus/overexposed/a weird composition/unusable. Especially shooting digital you naturally have a few duds amongst them. You’ll never see these.

Then you’ll capture images with people blinking, mid-talking/eating, weird faces = cull. You’ll often have loads of the same image. For example in the portrait session, the couple might be doing the same pose and I may have 5-10 images of that but only pull out the best 1-2 where they look the most natural/happy/whatever.

As I’m going through the images I’m putting myself in your shoes and asking whether I’d like that photo of myself. If there’s two images of you laughing and one you’ve got the double chin going on (it happens to us all hun!) then I’m gonna cut it and give you the better one. This might sound ruthless but rest assured I’m giving you every possible moment captured at your best and not leaving out any raw, funny moments either. 

I edit your images. Some people don’t actually get what that means (maybe I’ll do another blog post and explain more fully). For me it pretty much means, colour correction, straightening/cropping images, correcting highlights/shadows/temperature etc. Kind of how you edit your pictures for Instagram but on a much more professional level software and using my custom-made presets + tweaks on each individual image. I try to keep my style natural and fresh. I will get rid of a huge pimple on your face but I won’t retouch your body to look completely different to reality. I know some photographers do do this and it’s up to you whether you’re ok with that, it’s not something I do for weddings. I would rather direct you on the day to capture you at your best natural, already-perfect, beautiful self!


Trust your photographer

And I’ll say it again: book a photographer you trust! It’s SO important.

To be completely honest it’s a red-flag for me if I get the vibe that my potential clients don’t trust me from the get-go. And it leads to clashing expectations and potential pressure and disappointment down the track if you don’t communicate about this up front. Do your research, look through their portfolio of work, make sure you like their style and then get to know them.

Get a feel for your photographer straight away. Do they show their personality through their website and social media? Meet or FaceTime with them if possible. Notice if they are quick at replying to you and give you all the information you need. Are they pumped about being a part of your day? See if you click! If you don’t, be honest about this early on and look at finding someone better suited to you. 

Trust is a two-way street and it goes a long way and makes our job a lot easier if you trust us!


Book an engagement shoot

An engagement shoot is a great way to have a bit of a “practice-run” before the wedding. It’s not only a perfect excuse to capture some beautiful images in normal clothes at your favourite place. It’s also a chance to experience how your photographer works, get used to being in front of the camera and realize it’s not actually that scary! I find this gives my couples a lot of reassurance and calms nerves before the big day. Being photographed as a couple is pretty similar to just hanging out together… plenty of walking, talking, cuddling and kissing. What’s not to love?

Your photographer will give you direction when it comes to posing. I like things to be natural and not too stiff looking. I will guide you into that. Even just getting you to focus on each other and giving you plenty of encouragement. I promise it will be fun and not cringe-worthy.  


Enjoy the moment!

Focus on the love of your life and celebrating with family and friends on your wedding day. It’s not your job to make all the photos look good, the photographer will take care of that. And your wedding is not a fashion photoshoot, a big show or a popularity contest. It’s not a time to be worrying about what others think or if you look good enough to be featured in a wedding magazine. I’ll say it again, it’s the start of a marriage, and that, is the most important thing.



Check out my IGTV on this topic here.

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