It might feel like you are the only one who dreads posing for a photo. Trust me, you ain’t. I’ve spoken to so many people who have said that they have a fear of having their photo taken and will avoid it as much as they can. It can seem awkward, make you feel self-conscious or unsure of yourself. All of these fears and feelings are perfectly normal! And I totally get it, it can sometimes get a bit awkward holding a smile or pose. But it doesn’t have to be as weird or uncomfortable as you might think.
Here’s a few tips on how you can feel more confident in front of the camera and get some awesome photos you are gonna love both now and when you’re an older, greyer and probably grumpier version of yourself down the track.
Catch up with them for a drink, coffee or over zoom before your big day. Making a connection will reduce the tension, make you feel more comfortable and give them a chance to ease your mind about the experience. Be upfront with them about how you feel about the photography part of your wedding or elopement (we won’t be offended, I promise we have heard it all), and let them know if you have any concerns. In my experience, couples that I have met with prior are always a lot more relaxed and natural in front of the camera.
Have a chat, hold hands and keep connected. Your photographer will have some ideas of spots and poses they might want to do, but if you focus on your partner and having fun together you’ll quickly forget that you are having your photo taken.
Have a drink together before or during your shoot. For weddings, time your portrait photos for later in the day so that you have some time to have a beer or some bubbles. Having something to drink can help with the nerves and distract you from that pesky camera.
If you are a naturally nervous person and really worried about your photos, visualisation exercises can help. Think about a time when you were feeling confident and really good about yourself. What did that feel like, what were you doing? It really does make a difference!
Don’t stress about having the perfect smile, because there’s no such thing. Just have fun together and that happy vibe will shine through in your photos. I’ll never say to you “smile” because I think forced smiles are bullshit. If you don’t feel like smiling, don’t. Some of my best and favourite photos are of people when they aren’t smiling.