Ok. It is hard to stay relaxed in front of the camera on the biggest day of your life and when all eyes are on you and when you have never done a photoshoot quite like this one before. Totally understandable. I had a friend come for a visit who insisted on shooting a couples shoot for Pete and I. Pete is comfortable in front of the camera. I don’t feel the same way. My palms were sweaty, heart thumping and I wasn’t feeling very beautiful. I was still salty from our surf earlier in the day, so that may have had something to do with it. But (!), I ended up having the best time with these tricks and reminders.
Wear something that makes you feel amazing.
Whether you’re planning an engagement shoot or your wedding day shoot, wear something that makes you feel amazing. If it is an engagement shoot, talk to your photographer ahead of time to get some tips on what to wear (I foresee an upcoming blog post topic). As you look for your wedding dress, keep in mind what you really love and feel good in. This will make you glow come wedding photography time!
2. Know your photographer.
This is a very good reason (among others) why an engagement photo session is a wonderful thing to do. It can help so much if you know your photographer, even if it’s just a little bit. These are all things I really really love! Even finding a small connection helps you feel more comfortable. When I have photographed an engagement, it has helped both the couple and me get a feel for the dynamics, so once the wedding day comes it moves a lot more smoothly. And you are way less nervous! 3 things I love are dogs, coconut chocolate ice cream from Chocolate Tofino and sharing amazing recipes (here’s my recent fall favourite from Oh She Glows). You can learn a little more about me by checking out an earlier blog post.
3. Have a drink!
No joke. A little rosé goes a long way. It removes those initial jitters and allows you to fully get into it without thinking about it too much.
4. Remember you are with the love of your life.
This might be the most important tip. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of this lens pointing right at you and you needing to look or act a certain way (it happens to all of us!). I you remember that you’re with the love of your life and put all of your focus on him or her, it can help you relax immensely and be as natural as possible. A good way of doing this is pretend you haven’t seen each other for a couple of days, or it’s friday and you finally have a moment to just simply be together after a busy week.
5. Plan more time.
As a photo shoot goes on, you get more and more comfortable. Scheduling multiple shoots throughout your wedding day, or taking more time for the bridal photos is setting yourself up for ultimate ‘in-front-of-the-lens’ comfort. As a photographer, I love having more time with the bride and groom to capture them in their most natural state. It also means we can go to several locations!
6. Have fun with it.
Have fun with the process. Dance with each other, get your love to spin you around or pick you up and tell each other jokes. Don’t be afraid to be yourselves and have fun with each other! If you have ideas or props that will allow you to have more fun or be more comfortable, bring them. The photographer will always work with you to make it the most enjoyable experience!
I have put these simple actions and reminders into practice with my clients, as well as my camera-shy-self, and it has made a huge difference. My goal with each shoot I do is to channel in as much positive and fun energy so we can have a blast and capture the love all at the same time.