A recurring theme from my clients is one thing which makes me feel awesome. It’s something they almost always say, and when they say it, I know I’ve done my job right. I don’t manage it every time; sometimes the dynamic isn’t quite right, or circumstances make things difficult. But more often than not, 99% of the time, my gorgeous clients will say,
Jay was brilliant – we barely even knew she was there. And when it came to our portraits, we felt so comfortable in front of the camera.
I confess when I hear that, I kind of give myself a secret high five in my mind. Because then I know that the couple is happy, and that they felt great all day long. And I helped them to do that! I appreciate that you don’t want to be posed for the camera. You want those natural shots, where you look so loved up (because you are).
It is, of course, a very unnatural thing, having a camera pointed at you for most of the day. And so, of course, you will be aware of the camera at various points during the day. And so it’s very important to not let that put you off having beautiful photos taken of you and your partner. It’s a shame to get so dolled up, looking amazingly gorgeous, and then hardly have any beautiful photos of the two of you together.
Those special moments, away from everyone else, are usually the ones you will forget first.
When I take your stunning portrait photos, I can (hand on heart!) say that I will NOT ask you to “smile for the camera”. *Shudder* I think about how I feel when people ask me to do it. It’s just not something that makes me feel comfortable. So I wouldn’t want to make you feel that way. I won’t even ask you to look at the camera – it’s a far more special moment when you are concentrating on each other.
If you’re not sure what to do with each other, then that’s ok! I might direct you a little bit (“Ahwww go on, kiss her forehead, she looks gorgeous…”)
Or perhaps I might ask you to hold each other in a certain way. It would never be out of your comfort zone; I absolutely respect that. But it would be a lovely moment for you to be a little closer together, a) without intrusion from me, and b) looking as natural and as comfortable as you can.
Both of those factors are massively important to me, because at the end of the day, everything revolves around you, the couple.
Quite often, my lovely couples will hear me say “we need to get your portraits done sooner rather than later. Let’s go now whilst we have the chance.” There’s a sense of urgency, I can’t deny it. But not because I want to go home and put my feet up. (C’mon – we know that’s never the case. So many of you have caught me on the dance floor at 11pm, and asked me how the hell I’m still going after a full day.*) No, it’s because I know you need to have your time out and moment of peace, and reflection on what’s just happened. You just got married!!!
As time is ticking by, that window of opportunity for peace with your new partner gets smaller and smaller. I don’t want you to miss that moment.
Once we’re out and away from the distractions, and if I’m feeling that wonderful loving, caring vibe from the both of you, then I will step away completely. Why should I jump in and interrupt that special moment? You will have been rushing around all day, and barely had a chance to actually enjoy each other. You don’t need me to tell you what to do.
And those moments make my heart soar, and yours too, as I’ve been told. That gentle stroke of a cheek as you finally calm the tension and nerves. That little giggle as you share that private joke. That moment when you tell them how incredibly fit they look, and that you’re the luckiest person in the world to have married them.
Sometimes, just sometimes, I get busted, lurking nearby. But that’s ok too, because you still look gorgeous. And you’re often too wrapped up in each other to care to much anyway.
Some tips for relaxed wedding photos which might help you along the way:
Genuinely ignore the photographer in the moment. If you’re naturally comfy, they shouldn’t have to “work you” for a photo.
Focus on your partner – you just got married! Enjoy this peaceful special moment with them.
Think about how gorgeous and amazing you look and feel. You may not get to do this again, so enjoy the moment.
Talk to your photographer if you’re nervous. Tell them you’re not comfortable, or don’t know what to do.
Establish a good relationship with your photographer – it’s so much easier when the photographer is like an old friend.
Check out what your photographer can and can’t do. If you don’t feel relaxed any other time, it will be no better for portraits.
Book a pre-wedding/engagement photo shoot. It’s a great way to “practise” what the day might be like, and predict how you will feel.
Laugh! Don’t be surprised that laughter is a great way to shake off nervous energy to help you relax.
So. If you’re worried about having your photo taken on one of the best days of your life, you needn’t worry any more. Like I say to every single one of beautiful couples, you can always talk to me if you’re nervous about being in front of the camera. I’ll also drop many of the above suggestions your way, to help prepare. It’s ok to be a little anxious about it; it shows that you care a great deal treasuring those memories. I will connect with you and do everything I can to put your mind at ease, make you feel comfortable, and help you connect with each other.
That’s part of the reason why you’re choosing me – so you can completely enjoy every photography related aspect of your day. From the moment you book me to long after the big day, I’ll help make things as easy as possible for you.
I can’t wait to hear from you soon!
*Adrenaline, that’s how. Oh, and an extreme love of my job. 🙂