For a long time I’ve prided myself on being a wedding photographer that attracts clients that are a little bit camera shy. It’s really nice to know that I can work with people who don’t love the idea of being photographed, to create photographs that they DO love.
The way I work as a wedding photographer focusses on encouraging natural engagement between the two of you. Theoretically the way I work works on everyone from the shyest couple to the most camera confident, except there is one MAJOR factor that can mean the difference between an easy, fun shoot where we both adore the pictures and a more challenging shoot where we have to work much harder to get the shot. That factor is willingness.
Willingness to participate. If one or both of you just isn’t up for being photographed, and doesn’t want to even try, there’s only so much I can do. I have worked with a LOT of couples that aren’t that up for being photographed but they DO want the pictures, so they show up with the intention of doing their best (and by their best I mean by doing the things I’ll go on to mention). If one of you shows up unwilling to participate you won’t have the best experience and I won’t be able to do my best work. Remember why your wedding photos or engagement photos are important to you.
Willingness to trust me. Please know that I have your best interests at heart and that I want to make pictures that are honest and represent you as your best, most authentic selves. I also want to make it as easy on you as possible. If you’re very shy, let’s shoot in a quiet location away from distractions. If you’re nervous we can take things as slowly as we need to, to give you time to warm up.
Willingness to be fully present. I always ask that our shoot is dedicated, uninterrupted time, where you can just focus on being with each other. Talk of table plans and logistics is forbidden. Mobile phones are banned. You either just got married and this is your alone time or you’re having an engagement shoot to celebrate an incredibly special time in your lives. Forget about everything other than that, focus on each other and let’s make some beautiful pictures of the two of you.
Willingness to let go and be vulnerable. Just a little bit. I don’t want you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable but, actually, feeling a tiny bit uncomfortable usually means we’re creating something authentic or really interesting. As a minimum you will need to express your love for each other, what ever that means to you. I can only photograph what’s in front of me.
Willingness to set aside what you think you SHOULD do. No need to give me your best camera smile or to stand in a way that makes you think you look good. You might have practiced your selfie face in hundreds of other pictures but that’s not what I want to see. You don’t need to do anything specifically for the camera. In fact you can mostly ignore it. You just need to be there and be yourselves.
Willingness to take risks. I’ve had couples climb over fences, trek through muddy fields, chase light, scramble over rocks, brave the cold, shoot in lashing rain all to get that one shot. If you’re worried about dirty wedding clothes or unwilling to step outside of your wedding venue, then the backdrops we shoot against and the light we shoot in may not be anywhere near as interesting. You’ll also have WAY more fun if we have a mini adventure on your wedding day.
As a caveat this post relates specifically to the portrait session on your wedding day or your engagement shoot. When I’m working in a documentary wedding photography style on the wedding day my main requirement is that you just have a really awesome time. If you have fun at your wedding, you’ll look like you’re having fun in your wedding pictures.
There are a few points that apply though. Willingness to let go. Willingness to set aside what you think you should do. Willingness to be fully present. It’s really easy to carry on through the wedding day in ‘planning mode’, when it’s best for everyone (and especially the two of you!) if you just let that stuff go and get on with the business of enjoying yourself.
If you’d like to have a chat about working with me as your wedding photographer, I’d love to hear from you.