I Hate having my photo taken.

I Hate Having my Photo Taken.

“Smile please”

Are those the words that instantly fill you with dread? Do you, if an opportunity exists, bolt for the nearest exit? Or, if all else fails, do you grimace at the cameraman, determined to prove you were right – you hate having your photograph taken. What if it’s your Wedding Day or you’re a principal guest at a friend’s wedding? You don’t want to spoil it, but…oh my heavens…what unbearable tortures will you have to suffer?

Does that sound familiar? Fear not. Firstly, it’s not uncommon and, secondly, any Wedding Photographer in South Wales worth their salt will have planned for such an eventuality and be carrying, amongst the tripods and lenses, a whole host of strategies to help the shy, the paranoid and those who just know they’ll never appear on the cover of Vogue, to overcome their worst nightmare. Thinking principally of The Bride & Groom, as they are the people the Wedding Photographer has the most to do with and definitely the two people it matters to most; let’s look at some remedies for this malady.

Before the Wedding Day:

No 1. Feeling reassured – Choose an experienced Wedding Photographer.

I guess that seems really obvious, but I’m not only referring to how many years they’ve been in the profession. Think too about whether they’ve photographed a wedding at your venue previously, or if not, are they planning a reconnaissance visit – or two? How do they propose to cope with inclement weather? What are their contingency plans, if they are, for whatever reason suddenly unavailable before the Wedding? If the photographer you’re talking to has at least thought about these things, that’s a good sign. Feeling reassured is a key ingredient with which to combat your distaste for the limelight. Feeling reassured gives us confidence and reduces anxiety in all of us for any situation.

No 2. Familiarity,

In previous posts, I’ve touched on the immeasurable value there is in getting to know your photographer. When I say this I’m not suggesting you raid their dustbin at night to sift through throw- away items that may give a vital clue to their eating habits or personal peccadillos. No- that’s not necessary! I’m simply suggesting that by spending some time with the Wedding photographer, talking things over and, of course, being quite specific about the sort of images you would like to see from your Wedding, you’re slowly but surely going to feel more at ease. If you hate having your photo taken, this is really important.

No 3. Pre Wedding Shoot.

Booking your Wedding Photographer for a Pre Wedding Shoot in advance of the Wedding can be a massive bonus. By taking part in a shoot, you’ll start to gain an impression and an understanding of how the photographer likes to work and, crucially, the sort of style of photography he prefers and might encourage you to embrace. I enjoy working with couples who favour an Observational style, also sometimes known as a Documentary Style. This approach can be a big comfort to those of a lens-nervous disposition, because it focuses on capturing unexpected moments throughout the day. You can still have a series of posed images, but the emphasis shifts away from that: a blessing in disguise for many camera shy individuals.

No 4. Plan Ahead.

Whether or not you choose a Pre Wedding Shoot, I always make a point of booking time with you for a Pre Wedding Day Planning Meeting. This might include a short amount of time testing out a pose or two or examining small details, such as how you stand together. Addressing simple things like that can be a big boost to your confidence on the day. However, the Planning Meeting is more usually an in depth discussion about three things: how I like to work, what you want to happen and how we combine those two things into a carefully timetabled and structured plan that means the photography fits in with your plans and not how your plans will fit in with the photography. With that in place you can rest assured that everything has been prepared well and your day will go just the way you desire it to.

On the Big Day:

No 5. Place yourself completely in the hands of your photographer.

Yes – make a commitment to yourself to not worry about a thing. If you’ve taken part in some or all of Steps 1-4, before the Wedding day, this will be easier, but no matter. If you are reluctant to be photographed the principle means of overcoming this, once we’re on the spot, so to speak, is to stop worrying about it. Easier said than done? Well, the remaining tips should help.

No 6. I won’t always be “in your face”

Thinking back to what I introduced to you earlier as an Observational or Documentary style of photography, it’s often part and parcel of having photos taken that way that, well, you won’t so much be having them taken – as in the sense of gathering for the purpose – as there being taken, throughout the day, as and when I see an opportunity for a great shot. Even when I am taking those special photos of just the two of you, I’d much rather offer you an activity – such as walking down a short flight of steps or cuddling on a bench, than stand you in front of me like tailors dummies. Essentially, if you have a simple activity to perform you’ll feel far less self-conscious while I’m taking your photo.

No 7. This is your Day

Don’t forget, just because it’s time for a photo, that this is a fantastically happy day. Allow the natural joy of the occasion to temper your mood and lighten your concerns. Think like this- the photos will be wonderful because the day is wonderful – very possibly, the most wonderful day of your life! Let it shine, let it shine.

No 8. The National Express (The Divine Comedy January 1999)

OK- let’s deal with the fact that you just hate the way you look: National Express Waitress? (as in The Divine Comedy’s song), Richard III by another name..? Balding prematurely? 8 months Pregnant (or not, but people keep asking..?) Who cares…..NOT me! Here’s a little rhyme, just for you:

You’re always lookin’ pretty good
The photos I take, as they should
Will show the world that
You’re a star
Close Up, or
Taken from afar
So put away the fear and dread
And let me take the strain instead.

No 9. Trust me. You can.

If you would like to chat to me about your wedding photography please Get In Touch for an informal chat.
If you want to see how the couples I have photographed have done with their wedding photography in my hands, then please have a look at my Portfolio.


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