The Awkward Person’s Guide To Having Your Wedding Photographs Taken

Hey! Chris here… and i’ve got question for you…

“Does the idea of having your photograph taken terrify you?”

Yes? Me too!

It’s one of the big reasons we started photography in the first place, so we would always be the ones taking the photographs without having to be in them!

However, when Shazia and I got married last year, I had to inevitably face up to those fears.

I feel fat, I hate my teeth, I’ve got a face like a chimp and i’m hairier than Chewbacca at the end of a national lockdown before the barbers open.

Whether that’s true or not doesn’t matter. All that matter is that’s the way I felt.

I’m great when i’m not thinking about it, but the camera is on me I forget everything I know about posing myself.

I end up looking like either a tense and moody teenager or Garth Algar from Waynes World with a ridiculously awkward smile and a look of fear in my eyes.

On your wedding day, for the most part, the images captured will those lovely natural moments that you love. All the fun and the memories, but a point will come in the wedding day when you have couple photographs taken.

Now, everyone wants the couple photographs and while you don’t want to spend all day doing them, we need to make sure they’re awesome!!

After all, your wedding day is not the day you want to have any worries.

If you are like me there are a few things you can do to help yourself feel less awkward and self conscious.

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1. Let your photographer know beforehand

Not everyone loves the idea of being in front of a camera.  It can all be a little overwhelming, especially when you’re worrying about it before the wedding, so it’s always good to let us know if you’re feeing a bit uncomfortable beforehand.

If we know that you feel a little uneasy beforehand, we can approach the portrait session to help you with that.

Pre-wedding engagement sessions can help with that, but we’ll talk about that later.

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2. Let’s keep it simple

It goes without saying, but simple is best. We’re big believers in the phrase “less is more” and this is a huge part of why our couples love having their photographs taken.

It doesn’t have to be posing, sitting on fireplaces or looking at each other longingly.

Nice and relaxed is the name of the game and there’s a method to how we do this.

We start off by easing you into things using our three step process

  1. We’ll start by photographing you from further away.  It’s less of a shock initially when we’re stood further back instead of being in your faces with the cameras.
  2. We often tend to focus on you interacting with each other first.  We love genuine interaction because it’s real. It’s not fake, set up or crafted. It’s just you guys being you.
  3. We build to the non-interaction stuff. We’re not posey photographers but there will be some things we need you to do. When it comes to the “more posed stuff”, we want to do some cool and laid back images of you together. Holding hands, side by side… you don’t even need to look at each other.

By following those three steps, we guarantee that:

  • You’ll love your couple portrait session.
  • You’ll look amazing in your photographs.
  • You’ll love every single one of your couple portraits.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!!

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3. Remember, everyone is ‘photogenic’

We are all different and that’s what makes us wonderful so don’t shy away from having your photo taken. Whatever your hang ups may or may not be, just let them go for the day.  Trust us, you’ll look amazing!!

We’ve all had a bad photograph taken of ourselves in the past, so for most people, they worry that’ll happen on their wedding day.

Chances are though that you haven’t got your angle right in the past or haven’t been photographed by a professional before.  Be a part of it and put your best face forward with a bit of positivity and a little knowledge.

Your photographer will know how to get the best out of you and put you at ease so you can put your trust in them!

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4. Forget about the camera and laugh!

Does the idea of standing there will a fake cheesy grin all day send a shiver down your spine? Us too.

Laughing takes the pressure off having to force a smile.  Subconsciously we can tell when a smile is not genuine as fake smiles don’t reach the eyes.  A good way to get a genuine smile is to laugh (don’t worry, we know plenty of dad jokes!).

There’s a reason you see ‘influencers’ at tourist sights looking wistfully into the distance when they pose for photographs.  By interacting with the environment and each other instead of the camera it makes the shot look more candid and relaxed instead of set up and meticulously posed.

“But how do you get genuine laughs on camera?!”

For most of our couples, it’s about their engagement and comfort with us. If you’re relaxed with your photographer, you’ll have a good crack on and the laughs will just be a by-product of the fun you’re all having together.

It’s why our couple photographs look so fun and relaxed..

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5. Just let go!

It’s a hard thing to hear when you are already feeling a bit worried about it but RELAX!  On our wedding days, the time for the couple photographs is the time to step away from the day for ten minutes and chill.

Is your mam stressing you out? Don’t worry about it.

That awkward uncle creeping on your bridesmaids? Not your problem.

The cake not in the right place? Who gives a shit. It’s cake. It’ll get cut and eaten.

Just enjoy your day and don’t worry.  It’s far easier to capture those moments when you can let go instead of worrying about how you’re looking on camera.

Just remember, you’ve had an expert team spend all morning preparing you to look possibly the best you’ve ever looked, where you’ll be photographed by the person(s) whose images you love, so don’t worry.

If there’s one day you’re going to look awesome, it’s your wedding day.

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6. Book a pre-wedding engagement shoot

Everyone’s seen a cheesy pre-shoot, which is often the reason why people don’t want to have them, but with us, they’re super fun and relaxed.

Pre-wedding engagement shoots are a great way to dust off the nerves before the wedding day and get used to having your photograph taken.

They’re great for several reasons:

  1. They get you used to the camera being pointed at you. This is normally when people “freeze” so the more it happens, the easier it gets.
  2. It gets you used to the photographer’s instructions so you know on the wedding day what they’re asking of you.
  3. They get you used to “posing”, where to put your hands and also your favourite angles. They’re a great way to figure out what you like and what you don’t like.
  4. They give you confidence, both in yourselves and your photographer. You’ll have seen your photographer’s images on their website/instagram etc, but you won’t yet have any images of yourselves that they’ve captured. A pre-shoot gives them that chance.
    After you get your pre-shoot images back and you’ll love them, you’ll feel confident in yourselves but you’ll also trust your photographer more too.

Not only that, but pre-shoots give you chance to spend more time with your photographer before the wedding.  If the key to amazing photographs is being comfortable with your photographer, then spending more time together will help that.

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7. Have a drink beforehand/during

Not that we encourage drinking, but a cheeky whiskey or even a Prosecco or three before having your photographs taken will definitely help you feel more relaxed.
It’s not cheating, it’s just making things easier for yourselves.

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8. Bring your dog (or hire one)

Okay we’re joking about hiring a dog… kind of, but if you have a dog, providing they’re not absolutely f*cking nuts and likely to destroy the wedding venue, bring them along!

They make for great photo companions and considering for most people, dogs are the most important part of the family, why not have them there to share the day with you.

It will make you both happier knowing they’re there and based on what our clients tell us (who’ve had dogs there), it just makes the whole day complete.

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9. Book a photographer you get on well with

It’s not rocket science. I hand on heart believe that the key to having amazing wedding photographs capture is your connection with your photographers, so when we say “choose someone you get on well with”, what we mean is…

Could you see that person(s) spending all day with your family and friends and feeling really comfortable with?

That should be the only question you have to ask.

Obviously their images need to be amazing but that’s a given. You wouldn’t be looking at that photographer if they weren’t.

  • The more relaxed you are with your photographer, the more fun you’ll have with them.
  • The more fun you have with them, the more genuine laughter you’ll have in your photographs.
  • The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the more comfortable you’ll look in your photographs.

It take two to tango and we can only do so much.

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Final thoughts

However terrified you might be about having your photograph taken or however awkward you might feel, the worst thing to do would be to shy away from it and hope for the best.

Don’t ignore your worry. You’re going to be photographed on your wedding day so you might as well be photographed by the best person suited to you.

Book someone who you love but also book someone who is going to inspire you and who will help you come out of your comfort zone.

If you do that, your expectations won’t just be met… they’ll be exceeded.

 

You’ve got to remember though, couple portraits are such a small part of the day. For the most part, we’ll be capturing all those fun, natural moments like the ones below…