Last week, there was a great Offbeat Bride article by tribe member Linzmat sharing some helpful hints for the “less-than-photogenic” couple. She adresses the apprehension that can come along with the preconcieved notion of ‘having your picture taken’. We all feel unphotographable at times, and let me tell you – as a self proclaimed ‘oh.crap.its.a.camera.(andimnotholdingit)’ ducker, I whole-heartedly recognize the stress and fear that can take over at just the thought of a photo session.
Take for instance, our engagement photos – October 2007 and I was just getting started with photography. Our friend Maggie, who had some photo/posing experience come along and use my camera to help us out. I was full on anxiety going into it. Nichole is absolutely photogenic and I’m, well.. me. I even forgot to take my cell phone out of my pocket – way to help my cause!
I certainly wish I knew then what I know now (as is always the case!) And although I love Maggie for helping out and doing a great job – I really should have taken my own advice and hired a professional who would have known to make it less about the posing and more about us being us.
We had a lot of laughs, and that was really helpful. There are some nice shots, and some of them do capture us ‘for real’ (particularly the one on the left – that eyes up face is a standard of mine) But if I’d read Linzmat’s article before hand, I may have done a few things differently!
These are great tips for anyone having their photos taken – not just “less than photogenic” people. It’s truly all about being trusting and having fun and Linzmat has so succinctly complied some really good advice, I wanted to share!
- Find a photographer you love and trust, and be honest and open with them. Our photographer had a very hands-off style except for every once in a while. She put us in a beautiful location, gave us a couple of pointers, and then practically disappeared while she was taking pictures and we just did our thing.
- Don’t think of the session as a photo shoot. Think of it as a date that happens to have a photographer. Before we met up with our photographer, we went out to breakfast. We met her at a coffee shop and just basically went for a walk around a beautiful location.
- If you have some shots that are really important to you, let your photographer know! I emailed our girl some great pictures my future husband and I that I loved the style and feel of, and a couple of them that we definitely wanted of us. A good photographer will appreciate a little guidance from you. After all, she works for you, not the other way around.
- Bring props that are important to you. We brought books, our pool cues, and a photo frame of our wedding date.
- Go to your element. We went to a pool hall and a college campus. Those are both places we love and places we feel at home. If your element is inside your own home, shoots at home are great too!
- Wear something that makes you feel awesome. I changed my outfit three times the morning of because when I looked at myself in the mirror, I didn’t see me. I saw me in a top I wouldn’t normally wear, or in jewelry I’d never worn. I changed into a favorite top that I feel like a million bucks in, and brought my favorite little black (okay, blue) dress. And I was so happy I did. My future husband is most comfortable in a sweater and jeans, so he wore his favorite of both and brought a button-down and slacks (his work uniform and another favorite look).
I love all the tips and encourage everyone to take them under advisement. It is without a doubt, first and foremost, imperative that you trust and hopefully, adore your photographer. But the best advice? Don’t think of it as a photo session. Think of it as a date. It’s about enjoying each other’s company in a place (or places) you think are fun, or interesting, or beautiful, or meaningful. Laughter and conversation are essential. Be flirty, connect with each other, take the time to remember everything you love about one another. Have fun and don’t worry about me! I’m more than happy to be the third wheel!