“But I HATE having my photo taken!”- How to feel more comfortable in your wedding photos

“You’ll never get a good photo of me-  I hate having my photo taken!”

I know you won’t be all that shocked that this is usually one of the first phrases I hear when I meet a new couple. You won’t be shocked, because you probably feel exactly the same way! I know I do. The idea of having to pose for a photo fills me with horror and dread. So having a camera pointed in your face for the majority of your wedding day probably doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, right?

Being wary of the camera is totally normal, and sooooo common. You’re planning your wedding, and GOOD photos- those gorgeous, authentic moments that you’ll remember forever-  are super high on your list of priorities. So how can you deal with camera shyness on your wedding day? Fear not my lovelies! I am hear to ease your worries and assure you that the RIGHT photographer WILL make you feel super comfortable and totally at ease! Here’s my top tips for feeling good and looking like a rockstar in your wedding photos!

Tip #1- No Posing PLease!

Wedding portraits have to be totally posed and awkward right? WRONG! When I take my lovely couples out for portraits, I like to think of it as a little break away from the madness of the day. Your chance to chill out, chat, catch up, and shout “F**KING HELL, We’re married!!!” at each other in your loudest voices. It’s probably the first ‘alone time’ you’ll get during the whole day. It would be pretty shit of me to then make you spend that time telling you to point your chin a certain way, or worrying about the position of your little finger while I spend ages snapping away. 

Instead, we go for a walk. I might tell you to stop and have a little cuddle. I might get you to whisper something rude to each other to make each other laugh. The aim is for your photos to look as natural and YOU as possible. No posing and pretending or pomp and circumstance. Just fun and cuddles and a bit of a giggle. 

I also keep it quick. Generally I’ll ask for about 15 minutes- I don’t want to steal you away from the party for too long! Oh  and I might just run up to you later on and drag you out for 5 minutes if the light is awesome. Trust me and go with it- I promise you it will be worth it! 

Tip #2- Move!

If you’re feeling super awkward, it could show in your photos- and nobody wants that! You’ll start worrying that your face looks weird, or what to do with your hands and your lovely wedding day confidence will be shot. When you feel like that, the best thing is to keep moving! Walk, run, jump, dance, twirl each other round, strike a daft pose- just move! You’ll have fun, feel much more natural and relaxed, and distract yourself from feeling awkward- and that joy will shine through in your photos!

Tip #3 – Keep it REAL!

Whether I’m spending time with my gorgeous couples taking their portraits, or shooting family groups, or capturing those lovely little candid moments throughout the day, I’m looking for something REAL. A big gorgeous smile, a proper belly laugh (complete with double chins), a real kisses and real tears. I want your wedding photographs to be (as hipster as this makes me sound ) truly honest and authentically YOU. On that crazy day, you and all the loved ones around you will be feeling ALLLLLLLL the emotions- I’m there to capture it all in a totally REAL way. So be yourself. You do you, boo. Be that glorious babe who the person standing opposite you fell in love with. Be you.

Tip #4 – Think about an Engagement Shoot

So, this is going to sound like I’m trying to upsell you. I’m not, I promise! My diary is already packed to the gills, and I like to see my families’ faces once in a while, so I won’t be giving you a big convincing spiel, honest! BUT, these lovely little shoots can be SOOOOO helpful to couples who are a bit worried about feeling like a dork in front of the camera. Engagement shoots normally take around a hour – much, much longer than your portraits on your wedding day, don’t worry! We head somewhere lovely and have a bit of a practice! You can get to know me, which in itself will help you relax, and we get to have a little trial run. I can see how you are together, what makes you feel comfortable and what doesn’t and whether you really do smile like Chandler Bing! For you it’s an opportunity to see that’s it’s probably much less scary than even your most tame wedding anxiety dreams! You can find more info on engagement shoots in this blog all about them, here.

Tip #5- Stop Giving a Shit!

I know that probably sounds like a cop out, or a bit on the harsh side, but it’s honestly the BEST thing you can do. No-one else notices your flaws anywhere near as much as you do. Your lumpy nose, spotty chine, saggy tummy- they’re all bloody beautiful and make you, YOU. It sounds a bit flippant, and I definitely need to follow my own advice, but you WILL look hot on your wedding day- especially to your lovely love who is marrying you! So stop stressing and ENJOY IT.

You know that photo of yourself when you were 21 that you look back on and think, “I wish I was as fat/ ugly/ old looking as I thought I was in this photo!”? Well that’s a reminder that when you’re old, you’ll look back on your wedding photos and know you looked FIT. You are a proper hottie, I promise. Everyone else sees it- it’s time you did too!

Bonus Tip! Choose a relaxed, creative Photographer (ahem… me?!)

So this is the big one… the most important tip… the key way to actually ENJOY having your photo taken on your wedding day: CHOOSE A DOCUMENTARY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER! 

Documentary photographers, like me, capture the day in a totally relaxed and natural way with as little intervention  as possible. This means that I often get described as a bit of a photo-taking ninja, while I try to stay incognito during the wedding and blend in as much as possible. I capture the un-posed, natural shots, the laughter and the fun of the day in a totally authentic way. None of the “can you just put your left leg, sorry I mean your right elbow, behind Cousin Jim’s head please? Don’t fall backwards!” malarky that everyone HATES. I capture a few (I recommend no more than 10) lovely relaxed group shots and actively encourage silliness and personality! No awkward posing!

This whole approach is much more chilled, and removes so much of the stress for the couple who hates photos-  theoretically you won’t even notice it’s happening! Read what some of my couples have to say below:  

Right from the beginning Rachel was super friendly and made us feel extremely comfortable. Rachel did an amazing job on the day and even went the extra mile to help us out. We don’t know how she managed to get so many incredible photos out of a group of photo awkward people, we couldn’t have wished for anything better!

Stacie & Duncan

Rachel was better than any photographer we could imagine! She made us feel very comfortable on the day, we loved having her help us capture lovely photos for our wedding ceremony. The photos came out so genuine – we didn’t even notice that she was busy taking them! We would definitely recommend Rachel (especially if you’re not comfortable in front of the camera)!!

Aleks & Martin

So- chill out, pick a photographer you trust, (hopefully that’s me!) and will work with you to make you feel at ease by creating relaxed natural images you’ll love. If you want to have a chat about your wedding photography, or an engagement shoot please feel free to give me a shout! I can’t wait to hear from you!

Rach xxx

Rachel Burt Photography

Hey! I'm Rach- a craft nerd, serial Netflix binging, tea-o-holic, peanut butter loving, music geek who loves to travel. I’m also a kick-ass documentary wedding photographer who loves quirky, relaxed couples who like to do things differently. I love colourful weddings and non-traditional couples planning their day, their way.
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