This is something that comes up time and time again. A lot of people dislike having their photograph taken because they think they always look awful. This feeling can often arise as a result of bad holiday snaps, random Facebook posts etc, and that’s understandable. However, having your photograph taken by a competent, professional photographer can change your whole way of thinking.
I have met countless people, both men and women, who become total converts after one of our fun-filled pre-wedding shoots. Suddenly the thought of having photographs taken on the wedding day becomes something they actually look forward to.
A Pre-Wedding Shoot Could Allay Your Fears
I had a couple recently who had very mixed emotions about having their photographs taken. The groom-to-be was a little nervous, but the bride-to-be was a quivering wreck. She was very, very nervous indeed, and all because she was convinced that it was impossible to take a good photograph of her. So as part of their wedding photography package they had a pre-wedding shoot included.
At the end of our session she was wonderfully relaxed and a pleasure to photograph. When they saw the images a few days later she emailed me to say, “You complete my day”. A beautiful, heartfelt message, and from someone who was sure she’d hate what she saw.
Get to Know Your Photographer
So, how did we do it? Well, for starters, having a whopping great big camera lens pointed at you and being asked to smile is never going to help your confidence. It just doesn’t work that way. This is why it’s important that you and your photographer get to know each other before the day. Spending some time on a pre-wedding shoot just going through the motions of being photographed and, hopefully, having fun and gaining confidence in front of the camera.
On the occasion described above, we first met in a cafe and had coffee whilst discussing the plans for the wedding day. I explained that the shoot we were about to do was going to be nice and relaxed with no pressure. The idea was to have some fun, be a little bit silly in front of the camera and get to know each other a little bit more, and that is exactly what we did.
To start with they were both a little embarrassed, but this made them laugh, which was fine because the images ended up looking very natural. I don’t particularly pose my couples, so they just stood/hugged/walked in a way that was natural to them, with a little bit of input from me. It just worked. Lots of talk back and forth between us and their confidence grew and grew.
Having said that, not all wedding photographers will offer a pre-wedding shoot. A ‘photojournalist’, who prefers to stand back and simply photograph what happens with little or no involvement, is unlikely to offer the service. This is just not part of how they work. Their skill comes in recording the story of the day as it unfolds, and you will rarely know that you are being photographed. Some couples will prefer this because they can try to forget about their worry of having photographs taken. If done well, this style of wedding photography can be brilliant. However, it can also be done terribly by someone who thinks they are a photojournalist because they don’t like to get involved. They stand in the background and snap away at what they see, without actually ‘seeing’ and with little or no thought.
Essentially, what I am saying is this. If having your picture taken on your wedding day worries you, the best thing to do is choose a photographer…
- Whose work you like. If you already love their work, this will start to build your confidence at the outset.
- Who you feel comfortable with. Remember they will be with you for the majority of the day
- Who offers a pre-wedding shoot. This is the ultimate confidence booster, and if done properly, all your wedding photography nerves will disappear!
Guest post by Matt Pereira
Image from Matt Pereira