Updated: Apr 1
How to relax and look your best... Whatever concerns you may have don’t be shy, tell me what you're nervous or uncomfortable about and here’s why....
Does the idea of posing for your wedding photos fill you with dread? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I have this conversation with most of my couples. The groom is dreading the first dance, the bride is nervous about walking down the aisle and pretty much all couples feel awkward about their portraits.
After all, unless you're a professional model, you're probably not used to being in front of a camera for hours. So how do you relax and get those natural, radiant photos?
Well, firstly you need to connect with your photographer on a personal level and make sure they have the right personality for you. Don’t hire a loud and extroverted photographer if you’re more subdued and laid back. Or the opposite, if you’ve got a lively, rowdy bridal party maybe you want to be looking for a photographer who is bright and bubbly so they can handle your group.
You want to feel comfortable in your photographers company, so get to know them beyond their stylistic approach to photography and be sure you connect with them personally.
And of course you need to communicate. If you're insecure about something it's helpful for your photographer to know. For example, if you don't like your side profile or believe you weren't in the front of the queue for good teeth the last thing you want is a gallery of unnatural grins that could look a little creepy. But here's the thing, even if you are completely comfortable in yourself and it's just the thought of looking natural or posing as a couple you're dreading, I promise I can help you relax as if it's just the two of you having a moment and you'll forget I'm even there.
I like to put a lot of thought and care into understanding my couples likes and dislikes and when it comes to portraits I never push anyone out of their comfort zone. But instead, work with you to find a solution. Take the scenario that you're uncomfortable smiling in photos I can give you tips to get authentic warmth. I truly believe we all have beautiful smiles if they are genuine, our skin glows and our eyes twinkle. It’s all about keeping it real with true smiles, laughter and connection.
As your photographer, I’m always happy to see a variety of expressions when taking your portraits from relaxed to big wide smiles. The important thing is to enjoy being together in that moment so the connection is genuine. And as long as you’re happy you're doing fine!
So, here’s a tip to help you feel more confident bringing on those genuine smiles - PRACTISE! In front of a mirror, smile in various ways and angles until you find the smile that works best for you. And if the wide, open smile just isn’t you, your eyes will tell the story of how happy you feel, your happiness shines through your eyes and happens subconsciously so don't over think it.
Of course, if you really aren’t happy about your smile no matter how much you practise, your wedding could be an excuse to look into teeth whitening or straightening options. It might just be worth investigating if you need a confidence boost. Although, I'd recommend having your pre-wedding photos first as I can guarantee you’ll feel a whole heap more confident after our session and might decide it just isn’t necessary.
But, hey, I’ve had three kids!!! (An exclamation mark for each one) So smiling isn’t what I’m self conscious about - I really must get back to the gym!
It’s different for everyone and this post isn’t meant to make us evaluate our insecurities, it’s purpose is so you can see how I can help you feel at ease so you look amazing.
I’ve worked with plenty of models (Shh, don't tell anyone but... they get pimples and have insecurities too!!) Not one of us are perfect and who would want to be, right!?
Many brides-to-be hit the gym hard and stick religiously to their diets to get down a dress size for their day and feel amazing for it. And I love it when a couples tell me they fell in love with how they are today so why would they want to change for their wedding! We’re all so different and the real truth is that in your photos and on your day you just want to be your best you.
The MUA has perfected your make up and you are in love with your dress so when it comes down to your pictures, if you are happy in front of the camera you might still have an issue about feeling natural in front of the camera. What do you do with your hands?
And this is where my experience comes in. I know how to work with you, how to see your best angles and bring out your best expressions. I know how to help you to feel at ease to get beautiful, natural photos and I have lots of tricks up my sleeve for that.
And I’ll let you into a secret… it’s just so easy! I don’t ask you to ‘look natural’ because who knows what that looks like. Instead I give you things to do, little prompts and I figure out what are the best directions for you individually. You know that shot where the couple look so in love, they seem to be in the perfect embrace? Well, I have just asked them to smell each others perfume. That's it!
My aim is to create real reactions, capture who you are and to make your nerves and insecurities melt away. Tell me how easy this sounds… You are looking incredible on your day, you’ve just said your vows and are buzzing because you’re the happiest humans on earth. We've already decided on your timeline when we’ll disappear for some photos and now is the time… you might be feeling nervous just thinking about it, but I wonder how you'll feel after I describe a typical experience?
I will already have planned the perfect area to take your portraits so I’ll ask you to hold hands and walk away from me, click, click!
There’s your first set of romantic images - EASY! Then I’ll ask you to walk back towards me and for you to whisper to each other so I can’t hear you. You can talk about your shopping list if you’re stumped for conversation, as long as you whisper. The idea is to keep you close and usually get’s you smiling as most couples like to goof around a little at this point. And for fun I may ask you to walk like you're on a boat, click, click, click - EASY!
We’ll make our way to a beautiful area of your venue and I’ll give you some very simple prompts that might sound a little silly but just remember I’m trying to create a reaction. So, I might say something like “Hug like you won't see each other for 6 months" or "Whisper the song lyrics to your first dance music"... Once your smiles are coming naturally I’ll tell you I’m going to give you some space, switch to my longer lens and completely back off, so you can just enjoy this moment of peace together. I can move around you taking pictures while you are completely unaware - EASY!! By this point you can forget I’m even there.
So, now you can see there really isn’t anything to feel awkward about. I won’t ever ask you to smile or to kiss but I’ll be there to capture it when you do it naturally.
There’s another secret I’l