7 tips to feel comfortable in your wedding photos
Not really used to being photographed by one or even two people you just met? You can relax, that is perfectly fine. Most of our couples aren’t and we’ve been there, too.
We often meet a couple where at least one of the two is not a big fan of being photographed. Which is completely understandable. For most of you, this is a new and unknown situation – on the day which is already unlike any other and so full of intimate moments and emotions.
Wedding photos represent memories that will keep gaining value over time. You will hopefully browse through them many times, with great and heartwarming feelings. That’s why we really try to do everything to help the couple feel more relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera.
We want you to feel comfortable in your wedding photos
On the basis of many conversations and our own experiences with different couples, we put together some tips that you might find useful to feel more comfortable. Especially if you wish for your wedding photos to reflect genuine moments of the day, with as little posing as possible (or even none) and will probably be looking for an inobtrusive photographer.
Before we get to the tips, there are a few things we’d like to put forward that might give you something to think about. If you have no problems with being photographed and generally like photos of yourself, you can skip them easily.
Why we tend to dislike photos of ourselves
- From the psychological aspect, it is interesting to know that (unless we get to be photographed often) we rarely see ourselves from the real perspective – they one we are captured from on photographs and the one that everyone else see us from. The image of ourselves that we see in the photographs for us appear to be “flipped” as we are used to seeing ourselves daily in the mirror. Therefore as we look at our photo, our mental picture is turned around and does not feel quite right as our brain gets a little bit confused. But that is perfectly normal and we just need to get used to it.
- We also noticed that this uncomfortable feeling about being photographed often comes from a series of past unpleasant experiences with awkward posed photos. Or being caught multiple times in the most unflattering moment. This does not at all mean that you actually look like that in every moment of your life or that you will look like that on your wedding photos.
Ever paused a movie and freezed the actors right in the moment of awkward or funny facial expression? That is exacty what often happens when our friends capture a random photo of us in a random situation. But professional photographers will take care that the moments captured on photos will be as flattering as possible and will want to deliver memories you will be happy to look at even years and years after your wedding day.
The effect of media on our perception
Practically every day media sets us unrealistic ideals through carefully staged and edited photos of models. This can push many brides and grooms to strive for the unobtainable perfect, flawless look. But on our wedding day, we don’t have to become a copy of somebody else. It is the individuality that makes us interesting, special and is the reason why somebody has chosen us for his/her lifetime partner in the first place.
Photographs are absolutely not reserved just for the fashion world and commercials. We are just so bombarded with those that we keep forgetting about the most precious value of photographs – preserving pieces of memory. Unique, genuine, ours. And these memories have nothing to do with society’s beauty standards. Furthermore, we look and feel by far the best when we are surrounded with love. When we are simply who we are and don’t pay attention to the ideals set by others.
Tips to feel comfortable in your wedding photos
There are of course many factors that affect the quality and the way the photos of your wedding day turn out in the end. However, with choosing the right wedding photographer for you and following at least some of the following tips, your complete experience should be much more positive and pleasant than you might have anticipated.
1. Pick a photographer you connect with and feel you can trust
We cannot stress enough how important it is to dedicate enough time to choosing the right photographer. Just the fact that you like a few photos you saw somewhere does not mean much yet. Before sending an email or filling in the form, go to his website. Browse through his galleries or blog posts, see if you are drawn to his overall aesthetics and the way he captures different parts of the day. If that would be you two on those photos, would you love them? Read about him and about his approach to photography. Do you feel this is a person you could easily connect with? All the answers should be “yes” or at least “highly probably”.
2. Grab a (virtual) coffee with your photographer
Unless you’re a professional model, being followed around and photographed for the whole day by one or even two people you just barely met surely does not feel very natural and comfortable. (And by the way – even professional models often don’t like posing on their wedding day as they don’t want to feel like it’s another day at work. They just want to enjoy it in a relaxed way.) To make it easier for you – please don’t consider your photographer as just another service checked off your to-do list. Get to know each other a little bit better over a coffee and build a connection. In that way you will be able to greet your photographer on the wedding day as someone you already know at least a little bit and the whole experience will feel much more comfortable to you.
We always like to let our couples know they are more than welcome to chat about any non-wedding related topics. About things that they like and finding out those we have in common. This also really helps us as to get a better sense of what kind of personalities they are, what we might pay special attention to and how to approach capturing their day in the most natural way that will make them feel comfortable.
3. Book a pre-wedding session
We do encourage you to decide for a pre-wedding session. It usually doesn’t mean a great extra investment but adds a lot of value to your overall experience. Besides creating some new great memories and have them forever captured on photos, it is a way you can get to know your photographer “in action” before the wedding day. You can experience first-hand how he works and after the first few uncomfortable moments realize that being in front of the camera is not that bad at all. It doesn’t require awkward posing and is much more effortless & enjoyable than you might have imagined. You will also have a chance to get a feeling how the photos of you two will turn out. So that when your wedding day comes you can feel relaxed and forget you are even being photographed.
4. Meet your photographer halfway
Sometimes you may hear people say it is photographer’s responsibility to make a great photo. We absolutely agree we play an important part in that process. Both as creatives, artists, as well as human beings who do their best to make a person standing on the other side of the camera feel as safe as comfortable as we possibly can. But at the same time we also believe it is almost impossible to capture great, genuine memories if you are not willing to trust your photographer and let him into your world. If you can meet him halfway and open up just enough to let the real you shine through, this is where the true magic happens.
5. Breathe. Relax. Repeat.
“Am I doing this right? How will this look? Is my makeup & hair OK? Are we standing in a weird way? Does the dress look flattering on me like this?” These are all the questions you should throw out the window right now as any worries going through your head will show on the photos. During the time you step away from all the guests to take some photos of you two, it is in a photographer’s best interest to capture the best version of you. (Remember that you choose him because you like his personal style and aesthetics.) He will give you just the right amount of basic guidance and will let you know if he feels something else would work better. Just make sure you choose wedding dress that will help you feel confident in your skin and comfortable enough to have fun. And relax.
6. Dare to be yourself
This day is about you two and your personal celebration and the memories you will receive in photographs should reflect that. So do what feels authentically you and what is natural for you as a couple. We never approach two weddings in the same way and we don’t like to have any fixed ideas in mind. To create memories that will really reflect you two, we like to follow the mood and the emotions in the moment. Adventurous, cheerful, calm, afffectionate, reserved, laughing and goofing around or prefering to enjoy slow and quiet moments … There are no rules, simply stay true to yourself and do what makes you feel good. That will also help you feel comfortable in your wedding photos.
7. Be present in the moment
Most important – you are only creating these memories once so don’t let any little details ruin the whole day. Looking back you will realize how unimportant they really were in relation to the fact you were celebrating your commitment to the love of your life. Stay present in every moment and just enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.
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