What I need from you as your wedding photographer – some tips for getting the best from your shoot

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 wedding photography portraits that they DO love. My couples feel comfortable when I’m photographing them and they trust me to create images that are real but sympathetic.

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.

How I approach photographing you

Before I talk about what I need from you, I thought it’d be good to tell you a little bit about my approach. For the majority of your day, I work in a relaxed documentary style, which means I’ll be hanging out with you and capturing events as they unfold, in the least obtrusive way possible. At every wedding, I photograph guests ask if I’m one of your friends, which I take as a huge compliment!

When I’m shooting wedding photography portraits of the two of you, I still want things to feel as relaxed as possible. I tend to look for the light and backdrop I want to work with, and then I focus on getting you to interact and engage with each other naturally. To help get the best results, here are a few things I need from you!

Show up and get involved

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.

couple in front of light installation wedding photography portraits

Making the shoot work for you

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.

I always ask that our wedding photography portraits time is dedicated and uninterrupted.  It’s wonderful if you can just focus on being with each other.  Talk of table plans and logistics or the day you had at work 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.

couple on london estate wedding photography portraits

Be prepared to feel a tinnnnny bit vulnerable

Just a little bit.  I don’t want you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you do, though, it usually means we’re creating something authentic or interesting.  As a minimum, you will need to express your love for each other, whatever that means to you. Trust me, I know it’s a bit weird being affectionate with each other while I photograph you, but I promise it will feel way easier and more natural than you think it will.

Let go of your expectations and what you think you should be doing

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 practised 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 present and be yourselves.

black and white couple wedding photography portraits

Taking a few risks

Taking a few risks is totally worth it! My couples climb over fences, trek through fields, chase light, scramble over rocks, brave the cold and shoot in rain. All to get that one shot!

If you’re worried about dirty wedding clothes or you’re unwilling to leave your venue, the backdrops we shoot against will be more limited.  You’ll also have WAY more fun if we have a mini adventure on your wedding day.

The parts of the day when I’m documenting things as they unfold

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 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, even when I’m photographing you candidly.  Willingness to let go.  Your willingness to set aside what you think you should do.  Your willingness to be fully present.  Instead of carrying on through the wedding day in ‘planning mode’, let that stuff go and get on with the business of enjoying yourself!

The parts of the day when I’m documenting things as they unfold

If you’d like to have a chat about working with me as your wedding photographer, I’d love to hear from you.  


wedding photography portraits

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