Having your photo taken can be nerve-wracking. And that’s especially true at an important event, like your wedding, when you’re wearing fancy clothes and planning to look at the photos for the rest of your life. (No pressure at all, right?) But wedding photo anxiety is common among engaged couples. If you’re not used to being in front of the camera or you’re not sure how to pose or find the right angles, those nerves can come across in your photos. Of course, you don’t want that! Thankfully, there are five ways you can overcome wedding photo anxiety in time for your special day.
While you’re working through your wedding photo anxiety, remember that most couples who get married aren’t used to being photographed, either. Think about all of the married couples you know—friends, family members, coworkers. How many of them wear formal gowns or tuxes and stand in front of a camera on a regular basis? Not many! And their photos came out beautiful because they were happy. In addition to your nerves, you’ll also feel happy. And that will come through in your photos.
Of course, you still want to feel as comfortable as possible on your special day. So in addition to focusing on your happiness, you can try these fives tips and tricks as well.
1. Choose the Right Photographer
The very first step to overcome wedding photo anxiety is to choose the right photographer. Typically, we define the “right photographer” as the photographer who’s within your budget, who’s available, and who does good work. But for those with wedding photo anxiety, you also want to find a photographer that you work well with.
The right photographer will help you feel at ease during a photo shoot. They may not erase your anxiety, but they can help you relax and smile for photos. And if they can draw that out of you, the photo will turn out even better.
Finding the right photographer will require some emails, calls, and/or meetings. When you chat with them via email and on the phone, or when you meet them in person, how do you feel around them? If you hit it off and you feel comfortable chatting with them, you will likely feel comfortable being photographed by them. On the other hand, if you don’t feel a connection with them, the photo shoot will feel tense and that may reflect in your photos.
2. Talk to Your Photographer
If you have any form of wedding photo anxiety, tell your photographer! You might not be a pro with the camera—but they are. If you share your concerns, they can help you work around them. For example, if you’re self conscious about certain angles or styles of photos, your photographer can provide alternative poses and avoid unflattering shots, even in group photos. Or maybe your hair will be down for your wedding, and you always want some hair in front of your shoulders. Well, your wedding photographer can make sure that happens, too.
When you share your concerns with your photographer, your trust in them grows, too. This is also an important part of your relationship. If you trust that your photographer knows their stuff and knows what stuff you do or don’t want, you will feel more confident in front of the camera because they’re behind it. And that helps with anxiety, too!
3. Practice With Engagement Photos
If the last time you were professionally photographed was for school photos, it’s no wonder you’d feel uncomfortable in front of a camera! While that’s perfectly normal, you also don’t want to look uncomfortable in every wedding photo. So, give it a practice run! Take engagement photos with your photographer before your wedding day. This will give you practice in front of the camera and help you understand how to move and where to look. Plus, you’ll have awesome photos to use for your save the dates!
We recommend using the same photographer for both your engagement photos and your wedding photos. That way, you get used to each other and they can provide tips for the big day. You can practice with poses, angles, and most importantly your comfort level. This will save time at your wedding, and make it easier to get the perfect shot on your big day.
4. Hide From the Crowd
Wedding photo anxiety can get worse when other people are watching. So before you snap the shots, get away from your guests and even your wedding party (at first). Find a private area where you and your partner can take photos together, just the two of you. Then, when you’ve finished, invite the rest of your wedding party and family to take group photos with you. That way, no one is standing around watching you take your couple shots. Plus, you get some private time to practice and manage your nerves with your photographer.
Of course, to do this, your venue will need to have a private spot. So when you’re on the hunt for a venue, keep this in mind. Or, if you’ve already chosen a venue, ask if you can put up screens somewhere off to the side, or even take photos off site in a nearby scenic area, like a local park or beach.
5. Ask for Candid Photos
Yes, posed photos are important. But they’re not the only type of photo that your photographer can take! If you’re nervous about posed photos, ask your photographer to focus on candid photos during the ceremony and reception. A large part of wedding photo anxiety stems from standing in front of a camera with nothing else to distract you. But when you’re walking down the aisle, dancing with friends, and laughing with family, you’re not thinking about the camera! Instead, you’re focused on having fun. And your photographer can capture those moments for you.
Wedding Day Photo Alternatives
Of course, some jitters are just too hard to shake. And that’s OK! There are plenty of alternatives to wedding day photos. For example, you can simply take your formal photos the day after your wedding! Instead of worrying about photos at your wedding, wait for a day when you’re well rested and feeling your best. Or you and your partner can do first looks before the ceremony. That doesn’t just give you candid shots—it also gets those jitters out beforehand and gives you a chance to take couple shots all by yourself.
Wedding photo anxiety is a real concern for some couples. After all, when was the last time you were in front of a camera? (Vacation selfies don’t count!) But there are also real ways to ease that anxiety before your big day. Most importantly, foster a good relationship with your photographer. Then, give yourself all the time and privacy you need for photos. And if none of that fits your style, you can get creative with your photo timeline!
When was the last time you were in front of a camera? What helped your nerves?