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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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