Do you hide when a camera is pointed at you? Are you constantly untagging photos of yourself on Facebook? If you feel like you’re unphotogenic, but still want some great photos to remember your wedding, check out the following tips.
1. Find the right photographer
There are a few things you can look for in a photographer that will make your portrait session easier on your wedding day:
- meet with them and make sure you’re comfortable with their personality and share a similar approach to photography;
- try to find someone with a diverse portfolio that isn’t just full of people who look like models and shows that they know how to make regular people look good; and
- choose someone who is ok with putting the amount of focus on portraits that you want. For example, if you want to just spend twenty minutes getting a few relaxed photos of yourselves, don’t choose someone who wants to spend three hours getting epic portraits.
2. Focus on the candids
Not a big fan of posing for portraits? Don’t spend your wedding day doing it. You’ve worked hard at putting together a fun day for your guests – you should get to enjoy it with them. Most of my wedding clients prefer a short portrait session because they want to spend time with their guests, so we take about an hour to do all portraits (family, wedding party, and couple portraits). This time can even be shortened if you don’t want a lot of variety.
Focusing on the candid photos can also get you some gorgeous, genuine photos of the two of you interacting with each other, all without you having to do anything for the camera. Sometimes my favourite photos of the couple from a wedding are from the first dance, the recessional, or even the couple cuddling or dancing late into the night. Plus, you’ll get great photos of your loved ones enjoying your wedding and just being themselves.
3. Do an engagement session
The best way to get good at something is to practice and that’s why I love doing an engagement session with my wedding clients. I know it seems counter-intuitive to do an extra portrait session if you hate having your photos taken, but it can really help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera. You’ll get a chance to learn how to work with your photographer and they’ll learn how to get the best from you. Seeing some great photos of yourselves from the session will also boost your confidence in advance of the wedding day.
4. Remember that the wedding is a whole different ballgame
You’ll be a mix of extreme emotions on your wedding day and the portrait session likely won’t be on your mind much. Couples tend to get nervous before the ceremony, especially if they don’t like being the center of attention. Once that’s over with, they generally feel relieved and joy is the overwhelming emotion during a post-ceremony portrait session.
If you’re even more nervous about the ceremony, then doing a first look and the portraits beforehand can make you feel more relaxed for the wedding. Some couples feel more comfortable seeing each other early in the day, because they know how to calm each others’ nerves.
5. Get away from the crowd (or don’t)
When you do head out for some portraits during the wedding day, make sure you get away from the crowd. Don’t bring your families or wedding party with you, because they’ll just distract you and make you feel more self conscious. It can feel really awkward to be affectionate in front of people you know well, especially if they’ve been drinking and are teasing you.
On the other hand, if you don’t care about getting intimate portraits and just want to get it over with, bringing your closest friends can make it seem more casual and fun.
6. Focus on each other and let the nervous laughter out
I try to get my couples to focus on each other during the portrait session, rather than focusing on the camera. Some couples feel awkward and aren’t sure what to do with themselves. I let them do their own thing for a while, before posing them when needed. Remember that nervous laughter tends to look like smiling, so don’t be afraid to let it out.
Remember that most people feel awkward posing for photos and everyone feels unphotogenic sometimes. Think about what you want from your photos and which photos are most important to you, then use the above tips to make wedding photography a great part of your day.