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Confidence and weddings don’t always go hand in hand. I mean, it’s not the first time I’ve covered this topic on the blog.
There is an assumption that we should all automatically be confident standing up in front of, sometimes, hundreds of people, whom we know (which oddly can make nerves worse), an assumption that we should be LEGENDS on the microphone, that we should look like supermodels, that we should know how to pose with ease in front of a camera.
These assumptions are a pain in the butt.
My own wedding planning journey made me realise the amount of pressure there are on couples and how anxiety-provoking they can be – especially for couples who are not natural performers, people with low self-confidence, or just good old-fashioned introverts.
Between my husband and I, I am the extrovert and he is the introvert – and whilst our wedding day was full of joy, it was a real challenge for my husband who likes to be behind a camera and not constantly “on show“. He didn’t like having his pictures taken before we got engaged, so it was certainly a concern for him in the run-up to the day. Even though I have a background in front of the camera as an actress – I remember being surprised at how contrived, awkward and embarrassed I first felt being intimate with my husband in front of the camera – I mean the irony of the word “intimate” and having someone watching you whilst taking photos, it is the very opposite thing! Unless that floats your boat of course! lol!
SO, if you’re worried about being the centre of attention on your wedding day, if you simply want to boost how you feel about yourself and love how you look in your photographs, or support your partner who is less confident on camera, then Read on!
It gives me great pleasure to be joined by the very wonderful wedding photographer and Nu Bride family member, Amanda of Amanda Karen Photography to share some expert tips in this guest post about how to feel confident in your wedding photos, when you’re not feeling self-confident. Let’s GO!
Wedding photography can make you feel many things. It can make you feel joyful, sentimental, happy, romantic and a hundred and one other emotions. On the flip side, wedding photography can also make you feel nervous and even a little bit apprehensive, because not all of us ooze self-confidence and not all of us love our bodies enough to relish being in front of the camera. If this sounds like you and if the prospect of spending your wedding day with a camera pointing in your direction makes you feel distinctly uncomfortable, then these 5 tips are just for you!
Speak to your photographer
The first thing to do is to speak to your photographer. Don’t leave this conversation until days before your wedding either – this is a conversation to have even before you book. Explain your feelings, tell them how you feel and see what they say. The photographer that reassures you, offer suggestions, makes you feel infinitely better and helps you relax is THE photographer that you want by your side on the big day.
You should know that your photographer will have heard it all before. They won’t judge you or try to brush away your worries. Instead, they’ll be able to offer solid, constructive advice and work with you to help you relax and look your best in front of the camera.
Book a pre-wedding shoot
One of the things that I would certainly advise would be to book yourself a pre-wedding or engagement photo shoot with your photographer.
(Nu Bride: Yup – I can’t recommend this highly enough. This was vital for Mr Nu Bride and I and helped us get ‘the awkwardness’ out of our system so we were more comfortable with each other in front of a camera and also more comfortable with the photographer on our wedding day. Also, the images from the pre-wedding shoot were so lovely we used them to punctuate our day and some of our wedding stationery and wedding website. Win-Win – AND shock horror – Mr Nu Bride loved how he looked (it took a while to get into it – but that’s ok!)
Not only will you get lots of amazing photos of you both looking totally loved-up but you’ll also get time in front of the camera to get used to that feeling and you’ll be able to try things out with your photographer.
Trialling poses does not mean that your photographer is going direct you in a full-scale magazine shoot. Instead, they’ll be able to gently direct you into poses that suit you and your partner best. And this is where it’s really important to be open – not only do you need to be able to tell your photographer your fears (and don’t be afraid to tell them of those features and body areas that you don’t completely love) but you also need to be open and trusting enough to go with what your photographer suggests. Yes, it might feel a little bit alien but, when you see the resulting photos, you’ll be given confidence for your wedding day. You’ll know that listening to your photographer and taking a bit of direction really pays off.
You’ll certainly be able to find lots of advice online that tells you how to pose for the camera to enhance certain features or hide others but I would try to steer clear of these. Let your photographer guide you on the day rather than trying to remember all the tips and points that you’ve read online whilst also trying to enjoy your day.
Your photographer really is on your side throughout this whole process so let them help you if or when you need it.
Ditch the shot list
I’d also suggest working with a photographer whose style is really natural and involves capturing lots of candid and ‘in the moment’ shots. If you don’t like the thought of being in front of the camera, don’t! (Nu Bride: Simple when you know how!) Just let your photographer capture the day as it unfolds and limit the number of formal, posed shots that you have.
Yes, it’s great to have some family photos, but not at the expense of your happiness. Rather than setting up lots of shots, one after another, it might be an option to take it bit-by-bit during your drinks reception so that you can some camera-free time in between each shot. This can help you feel more in control and less like you’ve not escaped the camera all day.
Finally, and I know that this is going to sound like a huge cliché, but it’s true that on the day, you will look and feel fabulous. You’ll feel loved in a way that you’ve never felt before and so often, this creates a radiance and joy that is just beautiful to photograph. There will be so many things going through your head on your wedding day, I can assure you that worrying about the camera won’t be one of them.
Nu Bride: Boom! Choose a photographer who “gets it”, don’t micro-manage them, trust them to do their job. AND here’s a little tip from me to you, take every opportunity to boost your self-confidence; learn something new, take a new class, journal, put yourself outside of your comfort zone – it all helps boost how we ultimately feel about ourselves – not just on on wedding day – but way beyond it. Last but not least – just be YOU – unapologetically! Your partner is marrying you because of just that, imperfections and all.
Please visit the delightful Amanda Karen Photography for more information on Amanda and to see more of her magic.
Unless otherwise stated images by Amanda Karen Photography