Nervous about having your wedding photos taken?
You’re not alone.
I’d say that 90% of couples, at some time or other, will point out to me how awkward they are in front of the camera. I have the exact same response to all of them which is this… it’s MY job to make sure you feel comfortable in front of the camera. I will draw energy and inspiration from the two of you as a couple and direct you in a way that I think is going to be comfortable, fun and produce the best photos of your wedding day.
For me, it’s all about energy, emotion and connection. Everything else is secondary.
In saying this, you are able to control those secondary things, so if you’re feeling nervous and would like to do some practicing, here are a few things you can try out in front of the mirror.
1. Pull up from your crown
Imagine right now that someone has tied a string to the crown of your head and is pulling it up. Did you just sit up straighter? Yea, you did. Don’t lift your chin though, just the crown of your head. Notice how your back got straighter? Did your chest come out a little too? GOOD! The back of your neck should feel really long. You should notice a big difference already.
2. Chin forward and down
I don’t know WHY we do this, but we all tend to lift our chins up. I want you to pull up from your crown, lower your chin slightly and then jutt it forward. It’s going to feel REALLY weird, I know, and I’m sorry. But not really, because you’re gonna look awesome. If you’re looking in the mirror while you’re doing this, do you notice that you get a slightly more defined jaw? Practice it a bit and take some selfies until you start realising how damn beautiful you are.
Your wedding photos are telling a story about the start of your marriage. While having your wedding photos taken with your new partner, your primary focus should be on each other. Relax into your usual way of being together. Talk, kiss, laugh, touch. Chat about the ceremony, laugh about what Aunty Gertrude is wearing, share your feelings.
Be yourselves together so that you recognise the people in the photos later. Love the way he makes you laugh? A photo of the two of you laughing together is going to mean SO MUCH more to you down the line than a posed smiling-at-the-camera photo.
Your photo shoot should be about the two of you together, not about the photographer.
4. Body Language
You can do all the things that your photographer asks you to do – wear the most exquisite dress while standing in scenery that would have Pinterest people going nuts…but if your body isn’t relaxed, it’ll be all over those photos. Do everything you can to STOP thinking about your wedding. At this point in the day, there is nothing (I repeat: NOTHING) you can do about the fact that the cake is melting, or that the flowers aren’t the shade of lilac you ordered. Try your best to forget all of that, and just focus on the person standing opposite you – committing his or her life to you. When you begin to feel those stress butterflies fluttering, take a deep breath in, and out, and feel the tension leave your body. A lot of people hold stress in their jaws and brows. Soften your jaw, relax your brow and lock eyes with your love. (If this is you, maybe come up with a code word. Then when one of you recognises stress on the others face, you can whisper the code word and both take a deep breath together.)
If you love your photographer’s work, then let them work. They see potential where you do not. They see the problems you don’t. They have done this many times before and are skilled at what they do. Step back and let them search for the beauty.
You might see a beautiful backdrop and wonder why they aren’t shooting in that direction, but try to remind yourself that they are basing their decisions on more than just scenery. They’re looking at light, distracting objects, colors, mood…so much more than just a backdrop. You’ve hired your photographer not just for her photos but for her decision making. Let her do the job you’ve hired her to do. Your job is to simply be present in the moment and love the person standing beside you.