There are many people who, when imagining their wedding, think: “I am not photogenic. I always look bad in photos. I don’t know what I’m going to do!”
They have never set foot in front of a camera and they might even feel strange when imagining themselves in a photo shoot.
If this is your case, don’t worry. I have worked with many couples who start off with these concerns, but then, on their wedding day, they manage to relax and lose their inhibitions. They even forget that I am there!
This is how I get spontaneous shots, with authentic expressions and gestures, and a result they love. Photogenic shots come from being natural.
That’s why, in this article, I want to help you find your own way to act naturally. So that you are calm on your wedding day and, in particular, so that you enjoy every moment.
How can I get spontaneous and natural
During their wedding preparations, many couples have the same concern:
“How can we get natural photos if we’re not photogenic?”
Sometimes they arrive with this belief because they think they look bad in photos with friends or selfies. That is, in pictures taken with a mobile phone, which do not capture the personality of each person.
When talking to them, they also tell me that the camera makes them feel a little uncomfortable:
“We’ve never done a photo shoot before. We don’t know what to do!”
And you know what I tell them? Just go with the flow. Because when people manage to relax, the photos come out more natural and beautiful.
Now the person who has to help make this happen is the photographer: he or she must inspire tranquility and confidence, so that the couples can be themselves at all times.
I’ll show you some examples.
(1) Relaxed sessions with couples
I am convinced that being photogenic has nothing to do with perfection.
Or with the orthodox stance and classic pose of the ideal couple.
Looking good is looking like who you are, with a real smile of happiness.
The natural expressions on your faces say much more than a classic pose.
If you understand this, and you let yourself go, I assure you that, regardless of whether you are “photogenic,” you’ll look good.
Now, as a photographer, at the start of my couple sessions, my mission is to give ideas and suggestions that help the couple to feel calm and forget that they are in front of a camera.
I try to take them to a place where they are alone, where they do not have to be aware of other people, and I usually suggest things for them to do: talk to each other, hold hands, take a walk, etc.
Little by little they let go, and then my role as a photographer fades into the background.
Look at this example:
Here, I would say that this couple completely forgot that I was even there. And that’s ideal.
(1) Photos of spontaneous couples during the celebration
Marta and Fahad’s wedding ceremony at Masía Ribas.
Wedding photos also has a component of documentary photography, of capturing ephemeral moments, which will not be repeated.
The looks, posture and natural hand gestures express feelings. And that has nothing to do with being photogenic.
These photographs look nice, because they are real.
Look at this other example.
This photograph portrays a spontaneous moment during the bride and groom dance.
Here I fulfilled my role as the invisible photographer as well as I could, while the couple enjoyed a special moment.
The truth is that sometimes people arrive full of insecurities. But then, when they see themselves in photos taken unawares, they are surprised.
Because being photogenic also comes from photographing spontaneous moments.
How to deal with insecurities before the camera
At this point, I want to share with you a piece of advice that will change the way you think about your wedding report, and that is the following: go easy on yourself.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. They’re just photos!
The report is just another component of your wedding, a day to enjoy in its entirety, which will make you happy every time you remember it together, with your family as the years go by.
Many times, when talking with couples before the wedding, some insecurity will come up related to a defect that one of them thinks he or she has (and I say “that they think they have”, because in general, I do not see it).
For example, sometimes it is not about looking serious or having their eyes closed, but that they feel insecure about their nose, their arms, their teeth or their figure.
And let me tell you something: this is usually a filter that the person adds to themself, because I don’t usually share that feeling.
THE SECRET LIES IN BEING YOURSELF
Now, as a photographer, what do I usually recommend? To start with, think of a wardrobe, a hairstyle and makeup that makes you feel like yourself.
Continuing with the example of the arms: if you feel uncomfortable with bare arms, think about wearing sleeves that give you a sense of security.
On the other hand, you can think about accenting what you like most about yourself.
Talk to suppliers who can help you with the dress, hair and makeup: they will surely give you ideas.
And, above all: that day, come feeling secure. Naturalness flows; it’s not something we can force. It is created when the person feels as relaxed as possible.
In this photo, you can see the top part of a dress by Laure de Sagazan.
Seven keys to get natural photos of your wedding
Instead of worrying too much about whether or not you are photogenic, I will tell you that, if you are looking for a natural wedding report, you should both try to be very much in the present moment. And enjoy it.
If you are anxious, thinking about how everything has to go perfectly, it will be very difficult for you to look good in the photos, because you will look tense.
My recommendation is for you to arrive as relaxed as possible. I know it’s a challenge (I’ve gotten married too!), and that’s why I want to share with you seven keys that will help you achieve it:
1 – Choose a photographer who gives you peace of minD
Find someone who will accompany you, make you feel comfortable and help you relax. A photographer who will guide you and let you do your thing, because the calm and spontaneity will be seen later in the photographs.
You will notice this from the beginning. For example, the preparations are usually one of the most difficult times to take pictures. Therefore, you’ll need a photographer to give you ideas: take the bouquet, the dress, put on the earrings, etc.
Wedding preparations wearing a Broken Basics dressing gown.
In short, wedding photography consists of capturing moments and emotions. And, to experience and enjoy these moments, it’s important for you to feel comfortable with your photographer, and forget about the camera.
2 – Do a pre-wedding session
If you are concerned about the topic of photography, the best thing to do is have a pre-wedding session, because it will help you feel more at ease and be comfortable from the very beginning of your wedding.
You will have already established a relationship of trust with the photographer, and both of you will be calmer, without any fear before the camera.
If it is not possible for you to have a pre-wedding session, it will be important for you to still have a meeting with the photographer. You need to meet face to face, get to know each other and start to build a personal bond.
3 – Delegate part of the preparations.
Choose a very reliable person to help you, especially the week before the celebration.
This person might be in charge of the place where you are having the banquet, a wedding planner, a family member or a close friend. Whomever you prefer!
The important thing is to help you minimize your stress, and to be as calm as possible when your day arrives.
4 – Spend quality time with yourself before the wedding
Choose an activity that relaxes you and include it on your agenda for the days before the celebration. For example, you can get a massage, or attend a yoga class, if you practice it regularly.
There are also couples who schedule a getaway for the weekend before, to have their moments of serenity together before the big day.
5 – On your wedding day, start the preparations early
When working out the timing, add at least 50% more time than you think it will take to do something. In other words, if you need an hour to put on makeup, calculate an hour and a half, or two.
Give yourself an extra margin of time for everything, because if there is a delay or any unforeseen event arises, you’ll have time to correct it without having to rush.
Looking good in the photos is a real challenge when time is running out you’re stressed about not arriving on time. Allow yourself this margin of error. And then if you don’t need it, so much the better! But you know that you have it, in case you need it.
6 – Trust that everything will be fine
And, even if it seems like a paradox, accept the unpredictable. In other words, the possibility that there are things that do not go exactly as you planned.
This can be a very big emotional challenge, because you have been preparing your wedding for a long time.
But, believe me, more than ever, it’s important to be flexible, to enjoy the present moment.
Not everything has to be perfect and exact, but it must be authentic. Because authenticity is what we value the most, and it is what touches us and moves us.
Cocktail party at Masia La Garriga de Castelladral
7 – Spend your time experiencing and enjoying every momenT
When you’re certain that you have a photographer who will be able to capture all those fleeting moments, discreetly, behind the camera, you only have to worry about experiencing that special day, which you’ve been preparing for so long.
Think about it: what do you want to remember about your wedding?
The real, spontaneous moments, full of emotion are the ones that give meaning to your memories:
- The hug from a friend who came from afar,
- having gathered together so many people you love,
- the happiness of your grandmother (who reflected all the joy of the party in her eyes…)
Your wedding report is not about you being photogenic, but rather capturing both of you and everything you will experience on that day, one of the happiest (and shortest) of your life.
You may feel that you don’t come out perfect, but it doesn’t matter!
I am convinced that, when capturing authentic moments, everyone is photogenic.
And this is how you get pictures that speak for themselves. That will allow you to remember, forever, your day – just like it was.