Photoshoots for the Photo-Shy
If you’re anything like me, then despite living in the social media age, you’re probably inexperienced when it comes to photoshoots. I’m talking genuine, no filter photos that are not taken on your iPhone... It can be a little bit scary. So, how do you capture engagement and wedding photos that you will be able to cherish for years to come when you aren’t exactly comfortable having your picture taken in the first place?
I was lucky enough to chat with photographer Marie Roy about exactly that, and even had the opportunity to do a photoshoot with her! This is something that is typically outside of my comfort zone, but ended up being sooo much fun! I’m honestly probably annoying people with how many pictures I’ve shown them from the shoot. So, together with Marie, I’ve laid out a few pointers to help you enjoy what may be a nerve-racking part of your wedding planning experience!
1. Do your research. We are so lucky to have so many talented photographers in Nova Scotia, but they won’t all be right for you. Take the time to go through websites or social media pages for photographers you’re interested in. Some photographers capture photos that are light, airy, and romantic, while other photographers are dark, and passionate. Seeing which style speaks most to you and your partner will allow you to connect with your photographer and may make you feel a lot more comfortable knowing you have the same vision. Chat with your photographer a bit before your shoot to get to know them so you don’t feel like a stranger is taking your engagement or wedding photos. It will put you at ease and feel more intimate knowing the person behind the camera!
2. Communicate that fear. Being self-conscious about being professionally photographed (especially if it’s your first time!) is totally normal. Share that with your photographer, because I promise they will understand. Tell them your concerns going in but also don’t be afraid to continue that communication throughout the shoot. Letting your photographer know you’re feeling a bit insecure or uncomfortable puts them in a position to help you out of that feeling and get you to a more confident place.
3. Ask for what you want. If you feel most comfortable in certain poses, or feel like you have a best side, then totally let that be featured! Oftentimes your photographer will show you some pictures on their camera. If you see something you love, ask to take more that are similar to that! If you see something you like but you’d prefer your hair a different way, or your hand in a different position, tell them that too! Your photographer will likely be experienced enough to direct you, especially if you’re a bit unsure as to what to do, but don’t forget that they are there for you!
4. Focus on each other. Although we love to see smiling faces and poses that show off the outfits, bouquets, and other elements of your beautiful wedding, we mostly just love to see love! Your photographer is there to capture you and tell your love story, so the best way to let them do that is to honestly be yourselves. It may seem cheesy, but look at each other, touch each other, dance with each other, tell each other jokes. Be your natural selves and let the photographer be a witness to it.
5. Make it an adventure. If there is a place that is special to you (maybe a trail you two walk every week or a dock you spend your summers on) or an activity that brought you closer together, include that in your photoshoot. Being in a space that has meaning to you will also bring an added level of comfort. That’s *your* spot! It’s a safe spot that holds memories, and your engagement shoot will definitely be another one to add to the list.
I know it can be easier said than done, but my biggest piece of advice is just to embrace the opportunity! How often do you get to stand next to the person you love and have a professional capture that? It’s okay to be nervous but don’t forget to let yourselves have fun. The anxiety I was feeling before my shoot presented itself in the form of nervous laughter, but with the guidance of Marie (and a particularly twirly skirt) the photos that resulted from our session radiate the happiness I was actually feeling underneath all that fear. I fully credit Marie for being able to see that and bring it out in me and if you let them, I know your photographer will be able to do that for you too.
(PS – If you’d like a few more tips about engagement shoots from Marie herself, follow the link here: https://www.marieroyphotography.com/post/planning-an-engagement-session)
Photos by: Marie Roy Photography