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A Photographer’s Thoughts: Top Tips for the Camera Shy Bride and Groom

dom the tog bride finalone2One of the most common things we hear from couples enquiring about wedding photography is that they or their partner are camera shy or that they ‘don’t look good in photos’. Whenever we hear those words we make it our personal mission to prove them wrong and so often we find couples who told us they hated having their picture taken suddenly getting into it and actually being some of the best couples to photograph. Fear of being photographed sadly means that many camera shy couples choose not to have their special day captured at all or at least not by a professional, but overcoming that fear is just a matter of confidence and finding the right kind of photographer for you. I’m yet to meet anyone who truly has good reason to be shy of the camera so today I’d like to share a few top tips for the camera shy bride and groom!

1. Trust your photographer
Whoever you choose to capture your big day the only way that you can allow yourself to relax in front of the camera is if you have complete faith in the person on the other side of the lens. You need to have faith that they understand what angles will work, what poses will be most flattering for you and faith that everything they are doing is to get the best possible photographs of you. This is where paying for a top professional will really help you rather than choosing, as many couples do, to just be photographed by a friend. Professionals have the vision and experience to understand how to get the best out of you on camera, whereas the amateur may not and might produce unflattering images or ask you to adopt uncomfortable poses which will merely increase your fear of the camera. Trust your photographer and allow them to do their job and they will help you to overcome your camera shy ways.

2. Really think about the style of photographs you’re looking for
Many camera shy couples prefer to work with a documentary style wedding photographer as their style tends to mean disappearing into the background and just capture natural moments as they occur rather than asking you to pose artificially in front of the camera. This can make it much easier to forget they are there and allows the photographer to capture natural moments rather than forced smiles.

On the flip side though sometimes finding someone who poses and interacts with you in the right way and has a real relationship and dynamic with the couple can sometimes bring something out of you that you perhaps didn’t even know was there. Think about the type of photographs you would really want if you weren’t quite so camera shy and make sure you do your research and find the person who can best bring that out of you.

3. Mirrorless cameras
For those who decide they prefer for their photographers to try to disappear into the background there’s even the possibility of taking it one step further. A new breed of professional quality mirrorless cameras has recently come to the forefront which some wedding photographers have now adopted for capturing either part or all of the day. These cameras are less bulky than the more traditional DSLR cameras and look more like the kind of camera you might expect your guests to be carrying which for some people helps them to relax and not notice the photographer’s presence.

4. Book a Professional Makeup Artist
For most their camera shyness stems from the feeling that they don’t look good on camera. Booking a professional hair and makeup artist to help you get ready on the day not only helps you to look your best but more importantly helps you to really feel your best too. If you feel truly glam and beautiful it’s much easier to relax and feel like the pictures will look great too!

5. Be open with your photographer about your shyness.
Don’t try to hide the fact you don’t like having your picture taken, be up front and honest about it. Trying to hide it only leaves the photographer confused and wondering if they need some deodorant as you keep running away from them. Talk to your photographer before the big day so that you can work together and build up a trusting relationship to get the type of photographs that best work for you.

top tips for the camera shy bride and groom

5. E-shoots
Engagement shoots (aka E-shoots) are additional photo-shoots with your photographer before the big day and many find that it helps them to get used to being photographed by a professional and get over those camera nerves before the day itself. E-shoots are also generally much more orchestrated than your photographs are likely to be on the big day so give you the chance to experience the hardest part first so that you can be relaxed about it on the big day.

6. Go Unplugged
It’s not just the official photographer who will be snapping away on the big day, all of your guests will be looking to capture some photos of the happy couple and having that many cameras around you can understandably make you much more nervous. Many couples choose to counteract this by having an ‘unplugged’ wedding, meaning that your guests are told to leave their cameras at home with only the professionals allowed to take photographs. This way you know that only the most flattering pictures of you will be seen and shared on Facebook etc. and you don’t need to worry about so many cameras on the day!

8. Forget everything you’ve ever been told about having your picture taken
Stop pulling cheesy grins, forget those awkward poses people always ask you to make and DEFINITELY don’t say cheese! Everything you’ve probably been told about looking good in photos is almost certainly going to make your photographs look false and awkward. A good photographer knows how to capture natural looking images and get the best out of each individual. Sometimes the best picture is more moody and passionate rather than all smiles and hugs, sometimes it’s a look of love or sometimes it’s a moment of real laughter. Oh, and a forced smile or a “kiss-on-demand” never ever looks good!

9. Don’t try to “just forget the camera is there”
Hopefully this will happen naturally and you’ll be so swept up in the day that you’ll naturally just relax in front of the camera but the moment you try to convince yourself you can’t see the camera you’ll find yourself clocking it more and posing even when you don’t mean to.

10. Just enjoy your day
Find the right photographer, book them and stop worrying about your photos. This is the most magical day of your lives and the important thing is to just enjoy it. If you do that then the images will take care of themselves.


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  • Catherine Pound - March 6, 2014 - 1:44 pm

    Great article! Some excellent advice for nervous couples. As a photographer I completely agree that an E-Shoot is by far more intense than the wedding day. Firstly there are a lot more people about and many things happening on the wedding day and us photographers tend to melt into the background and the bridal portrait bits are not as intense or long.

    Catherine xReplyCancel

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The Fairground – Yolanda & Jonathan’s Wedding Tale

Today we’re thrilled to share with you a Yolanda & Jonathan’s beautiful, extravagant and absolutely fun-filled wedding at Aberdeen’s gorgeous Fasque House, captured in all it’s glory by the fantastic Aberdeen Wedding Films.

There are so many amazing elements to this wedding, from the beautiful setting of the old Scottish estate to that dress, the extraordinary towering cake and all those little details the couple worked so hard to put together. But for us the most important thing about a wedding is the people: sharing your joy with all of those closest to you and just enjoying yourselves and having fun, and it doesn’t get much more fun than having a full-blown traditional fairground to entertain your guests! All of those happy smiles as they whiz around the Carousel, candy floss aloft and all the kids running riot in their own dream setting helps to make this a truly perfect day for the overjoyed couple, and what a lovely film it is.

Thanks so much to Westley from Aberdeen Wedding Films for sharing this with us today and congratulations to Yolanda & Jonathan on their beautiful wedding. You can find more examples of Aberdeen Wedding Films’s beautiful wedding videos via the links below!

Aberdeen Wedding Films

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The A-Z of Weddings Infographic

Here at Bride Vs Groom we like to think of ourselves as almost an encyclopaedia of useful wedding tips and information for the baffled Bride and Groom and today we’re going one further and giving you the full A-Z listing courtesy of this fab infographic from the folks at So here’s your one stop post for a few tips on anything from Apps to Yoga… NOW you know your ABC’s!

Claddagh Rings-IG

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The Monday Musings: Falling in Love Again

dom the tog bride finalone2Recently I had something of an odd experience. I received an email from a publisher asking whether it would be possible to use one of my images on a book cover. Whilst extremely flattering this in itself is not remarkable as such for a photographer – sometimes you just happen to have captured the right image for the job, but what was unusual was that this was an image that I had forgotten was even online, having taken the photo in question as part of one of my first ever photography projects when i was only 16.

Whilst weddings and portraits have formed the bulk of my professional career I first started out as a fine art photographer. Back then I spent many happy hours developing film in the dark room before the digital revolution took over and I absolutely adored it. My first proper camera was my grandfather’s Canon A1 and the moment I first held it to my eye and looked through that viewfinder I completely fell in love with it. Since then I have had many incredible cameras both analogue and digital and each has allowed me to develop my photography in different ways and been incredible tools to use. But whilst I do feel great affection for them ever since that A1 (with the possible exception of the first digital camera I purchased for the studio which holds many fond memories for me) each of my cameras has been just that – a tool to enable me to take the kind of pictures I wanted to take. As my photography skills have been honed cameras have become interchangeable and discarded once an upgraded model offered me something new. None have truly offered me the kind of bond I had with that A1 – the kind of bond that led me to go out and take all of those crazy photos I used to go out and capture, photographs I wasn’t taking for a client or as part of someone else’s big day but for me, as a pure creative outlet.

My first love - the Canon A1

My first love – the Canon A1

I’ve been discussing this lately with a few photography friends and I think many of us feel that same desire to occasionally get back to what started us out in this industry – the pure love of taking a picture. Don’t get me wrong, we all love photographing weddings but it’s a different feeling taking photographs for somebody else and all the responsibility that goes with it. When I was 16 I used to go out and photograph anything and everything, and whilst I may cringe at some of my early attempts and the mistakes my comparatively untrained eye used to make, the ideas behind those crazy projects represent a part of me that I had almost forgotten and that I’ve deeply missed.

This weekend though something special happened, something that I had not felt since that magical moment I picked up that beautiful Canon A1 for the first time. On Sunday I held to my eye a camera which, though digital, reminded me so much of the A1 that it was, once again, love at first sight and I instantly felt inspired to go out and hit the streets and take photographs in the mindset of my 16 year old self. This was a camera that was not merely a tool but felt like the thing that had been missing from my hand, and whilst it will certainly not replace my existing cameras for my wedding and commercial work (although I would be interested to see how I can integrate it into these areas in the future too) this is a camera which I can truly take enormous pleasure in using.

Sadly as I couldn’t take it away there and then I have to wait a few days before I can see my new love again, but I really can’t wait for our second date where we can really get to know each other and maybe share a few of the results. Before you ask I’m not ready to share my new love’s name just yet, this isn’t a camera review after all! But it’s not about one camera, it’s about finding that special something that helps to inspire you whatever it may be and using it to release your full creativity. We’re lucky enough to have a job doing something we love but once it becomes your job it’s easy to begin to forget that it’s also your hobby. I can’t wait to pick up that camera once again and see if I can find the 16 year old Dom lurking in the shadows.

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Story Frames – The Enforcer


Our Story Frame images are always strictly unposed, but every now and then we have to send in the enforcers to ensure that this remains the case! As our groomsmen and friends line up for their group shot one of the lads took centre stage to ensure that such a pre-composed image could not be taken! Top work agent, top work.
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The Perfect Place-cards Inspiration Board

As the guests take their seats for your wedding reception the first thing they’ll be looking at is not those dramatic table centres or those beautiful hand-made favours, their first impression is always going to be seeing their own name on the place-cards and that’s why they need to be picture perfect! So we’d like to share some of our favourite finds of the week when it comes to the coolest place-cards around!


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