Are you camera shy?
Just about everyone is. It’s something I have to help almost every client, mother of the bride and new dad deal with. Recently I heard a statistic about every day things that make us feel nervous. Going to the dentist was number one, with getting our portraits taken was a close second. So what can we do to overcome camera shyness?
When you’re looking for new clothes do you just go into any old shop and buy the first thing you see, regardless of whether you actually like it? I’m guessing you don’t. You probably spend some time looking online or visit a few shops you like the over all style of. You try things on first, or think over whole outfits before you put some key pieces together in your own style. Photographers deserve the same amount of vetting. We all own cameras and get paid to take photographs, but the similarities end there. So find one who takes photographs you love. Don’t go only on price, but choose them for their aesthetic.
Use your consultation.
I cannot stress this enough. The number one tip I would give to anyone searching for a photographer is communicate! It’s not enough to just browse their website and stalk them on social media. You must get that dialogue going in the first place, and talk to them in depth about what you want to get out of your photography investment. If you don’t have a clear idea, that’s fine – they will help you understand what they can do. Through a consultation you can work through everything, including strategies for dealing with being camera shy. It’s also a good idea to meet them in person and see if you click with them.
I am so camera shy. If someone points a camera at me and tells me to smile, my entire body stiffens, my posture goes awry and any hint of a smile I might’ve had becomes a scowl. Sound familiar? Then how about instead of staring down the lens you throw your kids in the air and listen to them giggle? Cuddle your partner? Play a game with your children? Run around in a field at sunset? These things make us feel good, and that makes us look good. This kind of photography capture the natural moments of joy that actually happen in normal life. It captures your real life in a natural, happy way. Not having to stare into a lens enables you to take control of your nerves and relax. And everyone looks good at sunset.
Wear your favourite clothes.
This is such a personal thing, but honestly. I photograph weddings as well as families, so this is something I often see. People uncomfortable in suits or fancy dresses, with elaborate head gear. They look great when standing in a certain position, but can sometimes look as though the clothes are the ones in charge. You know that feeling when you’re wearing new shoes, and maybe they’re a bit funkier than you’d normally wear, and you can’t stop feeling aware of them? Now imagine someone’s also taking your photograph. Not fun, is it? So wear what you feel best in.
Talk to your photographer.
A good photographer listens to their client, and will do anything in their power to ease the tension in a situation. We often don’t need to be told when someone’s uncomfortable, because we can see it through the lens. So if you’re not feeling a particular situation, tell the tog and they can work with you to figure out something new.
Have an engagement shoot.
As a wedding photographer I think there’s a huge advantage to having an engagement session – you get to not only meet them and chat, but actually work with them before your wedding day. It’s one less thing to feel nervy about on a very busy day. It’s a way to ensure that you’ve picked the right person for the job and see how well they work too, because you’ll have seen what they’re capable of producing when you’re the subject.