If you’re like most people, being a photographer’s muse for an entire day isn’t something that’s in your usual wheelhouse. It can be hard to feel comfortable in your wedding photos when you aren’t used to all the attention.
But we’ve got good news for you: You don’t have to be a professional to get wedding photos you’ll absolutely love. You just have to be yourself, and the right photographer will guide you through exactly how to do that on your special day.
Let’s walk through 7 pro tips for how to feel comfortable in your wedding photos so you can stay present in every moment.
Your significant other isn’t the only perfect match you want to be at your wedding—your photographer should be someone that feels absolutely right for you, too. More specifically, they should feel like someone you can totally be yourself around.
The right photographer will make you feel at ease. They’ll know how to communicate with you to help you relax, tell you what to do to get the right shot, and—most importantly—they’ll know how to capture you authentically as you are.
But the thing is, the photographer that’s right for someone else may not be the same for you, and vice versa. Every couple has their own unique personality, style, and vision for how their wedding photos will turn out. You need someone behind the lens who can align with all three.
As you research potential wedding photographers, take time to get to know them not just as professionals, but as people, too. They should feel easy to talk to. They should be willing to answer your questions and aim to make a genuine connection with you as a potential client.
In the end, go with your gut to choose the one you feel most comfortable with from the start. We promise, that feeling will translate later to your wedding day photos.
When photographers are good at making their subjects look comfortable in their photos, it’s usually because they’re good at making them feel comfortable in the moment.
Be sure to check out photographer portfolios as you consider your options, and look for these key indicators that their subjects are feeling at ease:
Here are a few Perennial examples. You know exactly how these brides and grooms are feeling just by looking at the photos.
Consider looking for documentary-style photographers and portfolios that capture subjects and events in their realest, most authentic form. Documentary-style wedding photography lends itself to making couples feel comfortable because it doesn’t interrupt natural moments as they happen—it just documents them to remember.
If you’re feeling unsure about engagement photos, here’s our advice: Go for it!
Engagement photos are like a practice run for you and your photographer. You can get to know what it’s like being the main subject of a photo shoot, learn how your photographer operates, ask questions, and generally get more comfortable in front of the camera. As a couple, you can look through your photos to learn what you love most.
The bonus? You get to celebrate the excitement of being engaged and record this special time in your life.
Speaking of practice—you’ll feel more comfortable if you do it before the big day. As you look through portfolios and find photos you love, practice the same movements and positions. You may be surprised that it takes some intention to get it right and look natural!
Be sure to practice your smile, too. Making your smile natural and genuine when you know the camera is on you can be tough. By practicing beforehand, you won’t have to think so much about getting it right on the day.
The goal should be to spend the least amount of time possible taking portraits and posed photos. That said, you never want to be in a rush. Getting the balance right requires some thinking ahead.
Map out the itinerary of your day (at Perennial, we can help you with this!) and identify the best times for photos. Schedule them into your day so you know exactly when they’ll happen, and that they never interfere with important moments you want to be fully present for.
You’ll feel more comfortable in your wedding photos if you think less about the camera and more about the moment. Concentrate on how special this day is, how much you love your new husband or wife, and all of the loved ones that surround you.
A great photographer will guide you throughout the day. They’ll help you relax in the moment and enjoy them as they happen.
Last but perhaps most importantly, remember that you’re marrying someone who loves you exactly how you are. Capturing the perfect wedding photos does not require looking or acting like someone you’re not.
In fact, the opposite is true. Being yourself is the only way to get photos that reflect what’s so uniquely amazing about your love.
At Perennial, making you feel comfortable in your wedding photos is our number one priority— and the steps to making that happen begin the moment you book us for your big day.
First, I’ll get to know you. I’ll send you a 20-question questionnaire at the time of booking so I can skip the small talk and make a connection from the start. I’ll learn about things like the first time you met, your proposal story, and the things you love most about each other.
Then, I can go into your engagement session and wedding with a strong understanding of your dynamic and how you naturally express love for each other.
Next, I’ll set the tone with you as soon as we meet. I know you might be nervous, and I always show up prepared with helpful tips and fun prompts to make you laugh. The prompts will help you relax and make you feel natural as you reminisce on the best parts of your relationship.
I’ll also capture the in-between moments at every session, which often make for the best photos of all.
I’m talking about that special moment after your first kiss as husband and wife, when you look into each other’s eyes and smile big with joy. Or when you’re both cracking up as you execute that spin and dip you wanted to do for your photos. Or that special look between you and your best friend as they give their speech at your reception.
In other words: You won’t just leave with “photo-op” pictures—I’ll also document all the best moments that happen in between.
How? By being a professional anticipator. I’m not just looking at what’s happening right now, I’m thinking about what’s coming next and how I can capture it. That way, you’re never pressured to pose or “do that again” so you can get it on camera.
Finally, I trust every client to lead the way too. I want you to have exactly what you want from your wedding photos, and I’m willing to follow your lead. Feeling done with portraits sooner than you anticipated? No problem, we’ll focus on candids the rest of the day. Feeling like you want to sneak out of the party for some extra photos of just you and your honey? I’m game.
At every step, we’ll be in it together, and I’ll be fully in tune with what you want and need.
Want to talk more about booking Perennial to photograph your special day? Schedule time for a discovery call!