How to deal with camera shyness for your wedding photography

Do you hate having your photo taken? Does the idea of having a professonal photographer follow you around with their cameras all day freak you out (even though you really want all the moments of your big day caught for you to look back on)?

You’re far from alone! With almost every couple I meet, at least one of them says they hate having their photo taken. I get it, in day to day life it’s not something I’m mad keen on myself – but it doesn’t have to be like that – and it definitely shouldn’t be on your wedding day.

The main reason people give is because they hate how they look in photos and often they’re convinced that they’re “just not photogenic”. The actual reasons that people believe that somehow, inherently, they will always look bad in a photo are in fact quite in depth though. This is good, if like me you know the detail, because it gives you the tools to bust that myth (as I’m now about to prove)…

Think about what happens most of the time when someone takes a picture of you. You’re out for a birthday meal or some other gathering of friends when someone says ‘Hey, let’s take a picture’, so you all lean in around the table, while they mess about with their phone turning on the camera app. You all dutifully look at the phone and put on your camera face (everyone has one and most people hate theirs). Then you wait. And wait. And wait. Your grin begins to crack and your face goes from what is at least a vaguely credible happy camera face to a forced, frozen-smile camera face. By the time the photo has actually been taken your mouth is smiling but your eyes say, ‘I’m fed up’.

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Another reason people don’t like having their photo taken is because they feel pressurised to act in a certain way when a camera is pointed at them. It’s weird. It’s feels like someone is saying ‘I’m watching you, you better look good / act cool / be interesting’. And in the stress of the moment people put on their camera face. It’s a ‘go-to’ reaction when you feel scrutinised and you don’t know how to behave. I said before that most people hate their camera face – and this is why! They know what it means to them; how they felt at the time – uncomfortable. When they look at the photo, that’s how it makes them feel.

The photo was also very likely to have been taken on a phone. While the technology has vastly improved in recent years (meaning the photo that a phone can take is pretty impressive given it’s major function is… well… being a phone) that photo will never be comparable to a professional DSLR.

Not to mention the level of interest in photography a professional DSLR owner will have – which leads me nicely on to my next point.

The photo was possibly taken by the phone owner (who although not highly likely to be a photography enthusiast, at least knows their phone) but often by a friend/relative and sometimes even by a passer by that has been ambushed to capture the moment. Its very likely it was taken with absolutely no consideration for what was going on in the background, what the light in the environment was doing, whether or not it was a flattering angle and pose for you.

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All of these things combines to create bad photos. As most people only ever have bad photos taken of them a lot of people come to the (false) conclusion that they aren’t photogenic.

Fortunately there are ways of fixing this. Enter: the engagement shoot.

Engagement shoots are couples portrait shoots that you do with your wedding photographer before your big day. They’re brilliant, as they give you experience in front of the camera before the wedding day, meaning you’ll feel more relaxed and confident in front of the camera and can get on with celebrating, worry free!

The shoot is relatively quick; usually only lasting 45 minutes to an hour, but by the end you will feel much more comfortable in front of the camera. I’ll be honest, it’s likely that at the very start of the engagement shoot you might feel a bit weird, but that fades fast and very quickly you find that almost forget the camera is there! Most shoots finish with couples thanking me and saying how much fun they had.

The reason this shoot works so well for me is because I adapt what I do based on the couple I am with, to create and capture natural smiles and reactions.

Camera Shy 0351I might take photos from a distance for a while, or alternative shots like the engagement ring or your silhouettes against a nice background, or get you to do things that are fun (or funny) to take your mind off the camera. Obviously I use a professional DSLR which means no waiting around and catches the most fleeting looks and moments.

Wherever I ask you to stand, I have already assessed it for good light and nice background. Any position I tell you to take, or way I get you to hold yourself, will be designed to make you look good. Not to say that I’ll spend hours posing you: I believe in natural photos which reflect who you are. The instructions will be simple and easy to follow.

From the shoot you will get a collection of photos which prove that you can look great in photos and an experience that makes you relax around cameras.

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I have found that couples who have done an engagement shoot are so much more relaxed on their wedding day. That confidence leads to better photos right from the start of the day, it gives people the confidence that they are going to look amazing on the day as well as feel it.

All the photos on this page are of people who said they didn’t like cameras, do you think it shows?

Camera shy or not, If you are looking for your wedding photographer, I’d love to hear from you.

Fill in the form below to get in touch and, if I’m available for your date, we can arrange to meet up to chat things through further. I’m super friendly and a pretty relaxed chap – which I’m often told by couples was a major reason for choosing me as their photographer.

Sandy x