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Three Guaranteed Ways To Feel More Comfortable In Front of the Camera

Part of getting married is having your picture taken. A lot. 

And if you’re like most, I’m sure you’re worried about feeling awkward in front of the camera. 

How are you two supposed to interact? Will it look natural when it feels so unnatural? Will your significant other make that weird face? Or, desperately wish they were hanging out with their friends instead of with you?

If I’m being completely honest, you’re going to feel a little uncomfortable at first. Sorry, it’s true. It’s going to take some time to warm up and feel like yourself. And that’s perfectly normal!

My advice? Don’t waste precious time on your wedding day trying to sort it all out. Instead, read these tips and feel comfortable starting now.

1. Book an engagement session

A lot of my couples mention that feeling comfortable with their photographer is really important to them. And it should be!

It’s largely why I’m a big fan of engagement sessions… Because they can help you to feel more confident on your wedding day. And in turn, have even more beautiful photos.

How? Because engagement sessions allow the three of us to get to know one another better. And because we know one another better, we’re able to connect and trust each other more. And that makes all of us feel a little more relaxed and like ourselves. 

That’s how I want to capture you – as your true self.

This extra time together means I’ll pick up on little things here and there: Like the natural chemistry between the two of you. Or how you show affection towards one another. And, maybe most importantly, I’ll discover what things you’re not comfortable doing.

You’ll also get a feel for how I’m going to guide you through pictures on your wedding day. You’ll see that I’m not going to have you look at the camera the whole time. Because I also want you to focus on one another.

In the end, not only will you receive more beautiful photos of the two of you to use for your Save-the-Dates or to display at the various showers and parties you’ll have… You’ll also receive gorgeous wedding photos that look like…well…YOU!

Check out these engagement session tips and tricks for more information!

“Our package included engagement photos and good thing it did—that session with Sara prepped us for our wedding day!” – Kristel, Bride

2. Communicate your concerns

When it comes to getting your picture taken, it’s perfectly normal for thoughts like these to float through your head:

“Where do I put my hands?”

“Does my hair look okay?”

“Do I look directly at or slightly away from the camera?”

“I wish she would take this picture from my other, better side.”

So for starters, I highly recommend finding a photographer you feel comfortable with. Someone who asks questions about what it is you envision. And who makes you feel heard by showing you they’ve listened.

One way I try to make my clients feel comfortable is by getting to know what’s important to them early on in our process. So when my couples feel anxious or nervous about their session, they feel comfortable speaking up.

Which is what I encourage you to do… Speak up! 

As a professional photographer, I can tell you – we don’t have the magical power to read minds. (Wouldn’t that be amazing, though?!)

But I try to get to know my couples better by asking them more than just how they met or where they work. I also want to know who they are as a couple. Are they all about PDA? Not comfortable with it? Silly together? Adventure-seekers?

So in the case that your photographer doesn’t ask you some questions first, ask them to hop on a quick phone or video call to express your concerns. Over the past 7 years, I’ve heard it all!

“I prefer not to show my teeth when I smile.”

“I like my left side better than my right side.”

“I don’t like the way my arms look.”

“I don’t really like kissing my partner in front of other people.”

In case you’re worried that saying something will make you sound high strung or demanding… I promise you, it won’t. It only helps your photographer get to know you better. And capture you the way you want to be captured. Which results in photos you’re proud to share with your family and friends. And as photographers, that’s what we all want!

“With Sara, things just felt so effortless. We told her some things we liked and without ever having to push harder on it or say “well actually I was hoping we could do it this way”…she truly listened that first time and worked REALLY hard to capture what we were hoping to get.” – Jennifer, Bride

3. Wear something that makes you feel awesome

Here’s a tip that translates to your engagement session, wedding showers, engagement party, and even your wedding day: Wear something that brings you joy. That feels comfortable. And makes you feel like you. (The best version of you!)

Otherwise, your confidence isn’t going to shine through.

This might seem obvious. But I get asked “What should I wear?” enough times that it seems necessary to talk about it. 

My advice is to always wear something that makes you feel comfortable. Trust me – this isn’t the time or place to try out a new style. If you normally rock jeans and booties… Wear jeans, booties, and a nice blouse to your engagement session. If you feel most confident wearing pants instead of a dress… Wear a kick-ass white jumpsuit to your rehearsal dinner. If you normally wear tight-fitting clothing… Wear a form-fitting gown.

I recently went against my own advice and wore something a little atypical for a photoshoot. And when I saw the photos of myself afterward, I didn’t like the way I looked. (Surprise, surprise!) The photos were technically fine. The lighting was good and the poses were flattering. But I didn’t feel like myself. And because I didn’t feel like myself, I wasn’t confident in myself. And that showed in the images. 

Take it from a professional who also feels awkward in front of the camera: Wear an outfit that makes you feel awesome. I promise your confidence will shine through. And you’ll have awesome pictures to prove it.

 

Recently engaged or looking for someone to capture your Virginia, Maryland, or DC wedding? I’d love to hear from you!

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