Even for the bravest of us, the prospect of being at the centre of the camera’s attention on your wedding day can be a daunting one – especially as emotions run high! This will be one of the happiest and most memorable days of your lives together, and there’s no reason to let that worry take away from the positive memories, or your excitement in the run up to the day. I love working closely with my couples to put them at ease, and to remind them what a joy it will be to see their celebrations and love captured naturally in photographs.
I believe there are three key elements to feeling comfortable in front of the camera on your wedding day, and I really hope sharing these thoughts with you today helps you have the best day you can.
Venue: Villa di Ulignano
Take your time choosing a team you trust
This may seem like somewhat indirect advice, but in truth having a team that you trust and respect will do wonders for your confidence and your state of mind. Knowing that you’re in safe hands with your caterer, venue manager, wedding planner, florist, hair and make-up artist, and so on, will give you the peace of mind to enjoy your wedding morning in all its glory – to relax with your loved ones, to laugh at every opportunity, and to breathe in all the excitement and emotions of the day. This kind of natural confidence will shine through your photos, and you will love seeing yourself in such a happy place, comfortable in front of the camera on your wedding day. When choosing your photographer (and videographer), be really honest with yourself about what kind of person you’re looking for, both in terms of personality and style. Knowing that you’ve invested in a photographer whose work you adore and who you have fun being around will help you look forward to being in front of that camera, and seeing what magic they capture. Really get to know them during your first consultation – ask all the questions, no matter how silly they seem to you – and take your time to find the right person for you. In a way, the more you put in, the more you get out of that relationship: the more personal you can make your emails and enquiries to them, the more information you give them about you and your hopes and dreams for your wedding day, the more aligned you will be, and the more certain you will be that you’re the right fit for one another.
Invest in an engagement shoot
Now that you’ve chosen a photographer whose work you love, it’s time to get to know them! Spending some additional time with your photographer is a wonderful way for you to get to know their shooting style, and for them to learn how and how much to direct you. Many photographers now offer engagement sessions (or couple sessions) – I offer them either as a standalone service or, for a discounted rate, as an optional add-on to the wedding package. Couple shoots come in many shapes and sizes, and are tailored to you – but generally, you can expect to spend a few hours wandering around a particular location with the photographer, and to receive anywhere from fifty to a few hundred edited digital photos in return. The session will be slow-paced, informal, and all about you.
The photographer will follow you around, though he/she will probably remain mostly unseen, giving you minimal direction, typically in the form of gentle suggestions for you to interpret as you wish, and space to just be comfortable around one another. You can choose any location for it – ideally somewhere where you know you will feel comfortable laughing, cuddling, and generally interacting easily with the space. All you really need to bring is you, dressed in the outfit you wish you could wear every day, with the make-up that makes you feel best, and your favourite pair of shoes. It may seem an unnecessary self-indulgence, but spending the extra time with your photographer will allow you to establish a relationship in a relaxed and fun way – rather than meeting them properly for the first time while you’re nervous and busy getting ready on the wedding day. Giving them a glimpse of what you and your partner are like together, naturally, and chatting to them about your lives, quirks, and worries will give them an even better chance of capturing you in the most genuine way possible when the wedding comes around. Let yourself have fun during this practice round! Eventually, you’ll forget the camera is even there, and you’ll love smiling for real – and then you’ll be able to use what you’ve learned and be comfortable in front of the camera on your wedding day. This is one of the moments of your lives when you’ll be most excited, most full of love and hope, and where one of the biggest life-changing events is happening, so you’re definitely justified in wanting to have all those emotions captured professionally. Not to mention, you’re likely to be increasingly busy as the wedding draws near – breaking that wedmin routine by taking a few hours out of a day to walk around a beautiful place and do nothing but enjoy each other’s company will feel like a real treat. Finally, there’s a very practical reason to consider doing this: the photos will be great! Depending on the timing of the shoot and the agreement with your photographer, you could use them for your save-the-dates, your wedding website, any of the on-the-day stationery decor, your guest book, your thank you cards, or maybe framed as gifts to friends and family – as well as of course printing your favourite for your own mantelpiece.
Be yourself. This one may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that the best photos of you are the photos in which you’re just being yourself. Don’t worry about posing, about angles, or about what you think you’re supposed to do and look like – let the photographer worry about composition and light, and just enjoy being with one another. Natural, candid moments are the most photogenic, and if that means letting yourself be silly, or emotional, or head over heels in love, just do it. Don’t worry if you feel a bit awkward and clumsy when you first notice your photographer taking pictures on your wedding day! Remember that they’re there for you, to capture all the romance and love and magic of your wedding – and they’ll ask you to look at the camera if they really need you to. Every photo is just an opportunity for you to spend time together, so take deep breaths, get close, focus on each other, and have as much fun as you possibly can.
hope this has helped you feel more confident about being in front of the camera on your wedding day – if you’d like to chat more or work together, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!