Being in front of the camera can be daunting, I know.
I'm camera shy myself, ironic isn't it? When my couples tell me 'Oh we are camera shy and always feel awkward when we (or I) have our (my) picture taken',
I can really sympathise and truly feel their pain. Does this sound like you?
I've got your back, just like any other thing, it just takes a little mental preparation and practice.
So to help you overcome this feeling of dread, and truly be excited to have your photos taken, I'll be sharing all my tips and trick on how you can find camera confidence especially when being photographed with your partner on an engagement shoot or wedding day.
Let's dive in!
No 1. CREATE A PINTEREST BOARD
We are camera shy because we don't know what to do or how to be behave in front of the camera. So we need a little mental preparation. The first step is to start looking at couple's photos on Pinterest or Instagram. Save the ones you are drawn to and look at them periodically before being photographed. Start to imagine yourself in that vibe. This visualisation exercise will help you on the shoot day because you'll have a sense of familiarity, and the idea of being photographed won't be so alien.
If you do have a Pinterest board, it's also good practice to share that with your photographer, not to micro manage, but to show them a visual representation of what you are drawn to. That in turn will help them understand what makes you comfortable and select prompts tailored to your individual personalities.
No 2. PRACTICE
An experience is daunting at first because it's the first time you're experiencing it. This is why practicing does help. The best way to practice is to DO! So go ahead and reach out to a photographer and book an engagement shoot. It's a great way to start easing yourself into the idea of being photographed. Like any other thing you will learn so much through doing. Engagement shoots are so much fun that they are the best way to practice before your big day! They are great because they focus on getting the two of you interacting together, the perfect way to forget about the camera.
One other thing you could also do to start building confidence for those solo portraits is to practice in front of the mirror. Models do this to find their best poses and facial expressions, that's why they are so good at it, so why can't you?
No 3. FIND A SECLUDED SPOT
There is nothing worse than onlookers peaking in on a photo session especially when you're trying to get over camera shyness.For this reason discuss with your photographer to have your session done in a fairly uncrowded location. Opting for an early morning sessions ora weekday session might be a better option option for you if you wanted to avoid the crowds (all relative to your desired location of course).
No 4. FOCUS ON EACH OTHER
Being photographed with your significant other should be the easiest thing. Don't think about posing, instead just be yourselves with each other. Whatever you normally do together, keep doing in front of the camera. When in doubt, just give your partner a cuddle, a kiss, a caress. Don't be scared to go into those moments of affection. Your photographer should be attuned enough to capture that real authentic moment.
Little Pro Secret, shhh! I find that most of my couples go into cuddle mode or authentic mode when I'm not looking, so sometimes I take a few steps away to leave some space and distance and pretend I'm not looking but in reality I'm keeping my eye on them and camera on standby, and surprise surprise they go into cuddle mode, BAM, TURN, SNAP! just like that I've got an authentic moment on camera. If my ninja skills are not quick enough to capture it, I just ask them to do it again, and being so fresh and natural to them, it still produces the most heart warming photo.
No 5. KEEP MOVING
When in doubt, just move!
When we feel awkward we stiffen, so by moving we allow the body to find a more natural state of being. Apart from being liberating, movement is soothing , which in turn makes you feel more comfortable. What kinds of movement can you do?
Walking, swaying or shifting your weight forwards or backwards . You can caress your partner or stroke their hair. You can change your head directions, or play with your gaze....semi circles with occasional looks at the camera can work too. When I direct my couples, most of my prompts are centred around movement because it puts them in the most natural state of being. Keep reading to discover what kind of prompts I use to keep you moving on an engagement shoot or a wedding portrait session.
No 6. WORK WITH A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO IS CONFIDENT IN DIRECTING YOU
Chances are that you will need a lot of direction, and finding a photographer who is confident and experienced in directing camera shy couples is key!
How do you spot them? Look at their reviews and see what other's say.
Book an engagement session before you book your wedding with them. Test them out at very little risk.
Create a good rapport with your photographer, I love to hear of my couple's love stories...how they met, how they fell in love, who proposed, what they love doing together....
Not all relationship dynamics are equal, and so in getting to know my couples, it equips me to better elicit emotions which are personal and authentic to them.
I also spend time understanding their personalities and what they would feel most comfortable doing. If they have a vision, again I take that time to understand or help craft one from scratch...
Do they want a mixture of timeless and candid portraits? Being camera shy doesn't mean you have to settle for just candid shots, with the right photographer you can also have timeless photos which are easy, fun and pain free.
BONUS SNEAK PEAK
In the spirit of helping you to mentally prepare for your session, I thought to let you in on an exclusive peak into some of my favourite set of prompts for timeless and candid portraits I use for weddings and engagement shoots.I call them prompts, not poses, because prompts elicit natural states of being, and I'm usually more interested in the 'after' expressions of coming out from a prompt.
The Hold Hands and Walk
This is my absolute favourite. So simple and something very familiar to the couple. It can be shot from multiple angles, up close and personal or wide open for a scenic shot.
This walking prompt can be turned into a playful game and or escalated into a gentle run.
Multiple hand holds create a beautiful dynamic each time & the walking away whilst I call the girl's name as she turns towards the camera is always a classic.
The Try to Steal a Kiss
Another favourite, is the try to steal a kiss while your partner is trying to doge...who will be victorious? This always generates genuine laugher as they tap into their inner playfulness.
Again this can provide so much variety with either the couple looking towards each other, or huddled into a big-spoon embrace.
As the game calms down, that's GOLDEN photo time for me, because the couple will naturally ease off and will have a little interaction of their own as they come down from the high of the game.
There you have it guys, my top tips to help you find camera confidence. To sum things up, mentally prepare for your shoot so it feels more familiar, book an engagement session to allow yourselves that time to practice and feel more comfortable and at ease on your wedding day. Create a good rapport with your photographer and find one experienced in directing camera shy couples. Allow yourselves to be you throughout the shoot, it's just an other lovingly day out together. And, when in doubt, just keep moving or give your partner a cuddle.
I hope you guys have found this guide super helpful. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out, I'm always happy to help ,
If you want to learn more about my Fine Art Wedding Photography you can go to the info page here: