Try to relax! Pretend we’re not here! I find myself telling my clients this cliche sentence when I notice that they’re feeling awkward standing in front of the camera. I don’t know why I say it because on days when I’m not shooting, I fully realize just how silly that actually sounds. As if we can actually make people relax by telling them to relax! It never happened for me.
As a wedding photographer, I realize that my clients aren’t models. They don’t spend hours and hours practicing to be natural in front of the camera. To not feel natural is the most natural thing to them and that is okay. That is completely okay! I also realize that to help them relax has everything to do with me. It is not their job to look comfortable, but it’s my job to help them be comfortable. With that in mind, I usually try my hardest (when I remember) to refrain from telling my clients to try to relax! and to pretend that I’m not here! In fact, I actually want them to realize that I am there and that my presence is not intimidating but comforting instead.
If you feel like you’re one of those couples who tightens up when you know the camera is on you, here’s a few tips to help you out:
Don’t focus on the camera. Instead focus on the person behind it. Remember that its the photographers job to make you feel comfortable being in front of the camera.
Put more focus on each other. See things in his eyes or his smile or his hair. Find something in each others faces and let it trigger some happy memories. Soon enough, you’ll have that dreamy look in your eyes, and your photographer would have captured something memorable.
You’re always doing it right when you’re being yourself. There’s really no right or wrong in pre-wedding portraits; there’s only being yourself and being yourself is always the right thing to do.
I believe that every photographer wants you to feel comfortable and that they won’t judge whoever you are (well, the good ones won’t anyway!) How to relax in front of the camera has nothing to do with you, but it has everything to do with your photographer. When you find yourself feeling awkward, remember to tell your photographer exactly that.
I remember the session I had with Richard and Melissa in Melbourne. At first, it felt unnatural, but I gave them some time to find their own groove. A few moments later, Richard and Melissa were enjoying their time together and when their chemistry surfaced, thats when all the good shots happened.
Let me share with you their pre-wedding album.