“I dread having my photograph taken.”
“I’m not a natural in front of the camera.”
“I don’t know how to pose.”
In the run-up to your wedding you’ll have lots of things on your mind, and having your pictures taken is probably at the forefront – especially if any of the quotations above resonate with you. A lot of people feel this way; believe me, if I had a euro or two every time I’d heard these words from my clients, I’d be a rich woman.
And if this sounds like you, I have some advice. It’s very simple, although I don’t intend to sound flippant or blunt. Ready?
Don’t think about it.
Yup, that’s right. Do your homework, research photographers, meet with them and make your final selection (and you can read my top tips on choosing a wedding photographer here), pay your deposit and then…stop thinking about it. Revolutionary, hmm?
Why? Well, if you’ve done the above, you really have done all the thinking you ‘should’ do before the big day. Too much thinking can exacerbate the feelings above – i.e. anxiety about not being ‘natural’ enough.
And guess what? Feeling anxious about not appearing natural enough makes it hard to relax and feel natural on the day. Anxiety breeds anxiety – it’s a vicious cycle.
Here’s the thing: thinking about the photographs too much definitely affects your mindset, and makes the photos a ‘thing’ to get through – a bit like the speeches. And the last thing I want is for your photographs to feel like a chore.
So many couples tell me after their wedding that they ‘actually’ enjoyed their couples portraits – and it’s clear from the ‘actually’ that they weren’t expecting to! The reality is that time together on your wedding day is pretty scarce – there are so many friends and relatives to get around that you’ll frequently find yourselves on opposite sides of the room. Some time together to pause, talk and get some more intimate photos feels like a respite – however brief – from the glorious madness of the rest of the day.
In the run-up, you might want to go through your photographer’s blog and portfolio to find some examples of shots and styles you like, plus a (healthy) dose of inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram. So go ahead, have a look, pop them all together somewhere (Pinterest is great for this) and share them with your chosen photographer.
But beyond that? Relax. Don’t force it. Instead of using it as a non-negotiable tick list of essential shots, use it to establish a sense of the aesthetic you like and to set the tone. Then leave your photographer to work their magic.
Presumably, you chose your photographer because you admire their work. So…trust them. Remember these two truths: 1) That natural photography works best when you forget your photographer is there and 2) A good wedding photographer will have done lots of work in advance to prepare so that you can forget about them.
And if you heed my advice you’ll find that when the big day dawns, you’ll feel relaxed, ready to go with the flow and enjoy yourself to the max. Because isn’t that what weddings are really all about?