Getting Comfortable With The Camera | Advice From A Los Angeles Wedding Photographer
Photographing weddings in NYC and Connecticut has really made me empathetic to the average man and woman who are not professional models. Having a camera shoved in your face and being told to “pose and act natural” is awkward for anyone. I’m sure even Gigi Hadid, an international super model, would feel sheepish under these conditions.
So, how does one warm up to the camera and emote properly so the photographer can actually capture wonderful images?
Here is my perspective on things.
Posing for your wedding pictures
When it comes to posing for your engagement and wedding photos I believe it is the photographers job to make you feel comfortable, happy, emotional and ultimately to translate that in to an image.
Let’s think about your full time profession. Let’s say you’re a personal stylist. You have the eye for patterns that complement one another. The way you handle different textures leaves your clients mouths wide open. They trust your eye, your sense of cohesion, your style. This is why they hire you. Now, a very important client of yours has a gala to attend. Instead of pulling pieces you know would work with her style and personality you take your client to Saks and say “Go ahead, pick something.”
Immediately, the trust and sense of security the client had goes out of the door. She’s scrambling through racks of gorgeous dresses trying to figure out what she should wear. Every time she pulls a dress you give her an expression of disapproval. I mean, she should know how to choose a dress right? WRONG!
Let’s get back to photos and posing now. As your photographer, I’ve studied body language, hand placement, emotions, and composition. If you need me to place every bone in your body in the perfect position to make you look good, I will. If I need to tell silly jokes to help you emote, I will and I love to!
You focus on loving your hunny, while I focus on capturing magic.
Trusting your photographer
So how can you make sure your photographer is the RIGHT photographer? For starters, ask every question you need answered.
The initial consultation is a great time to see if your personalities do well together. Maybe you are more shy and need someone to help bring you out of your shell, or you are very boisterous and you need someone to match your energy, or you’re entire family is very soft spoken and low key. Personality is very important.
Finding someone that you’re are comfortable with and trust will exponentially improve your experience and the images you create together.
Another important piece to trusting your photographer is to take a look at their work. Ask your self, “Can I see myself in these images?”
For example, my portfolio is filled with happy images. The bride and groom are entangled in one another’s love and you can feel that. The colors in my photographs are lighter, brighter, true to the day. I do not add a brown or overly gold cast to my images because I want them to feel timeless and real.
With that said, if you gravitate more toward dark and moody images, you may not identify with this style of photography. Knowing you will not receive what you have your heart set on will also make you very uncomfortable during the engagement session and wedding.
So, make sure you are choosing someone that can deliver the type of product you love and has a personality you can feel at ease around.
Love how you look
This goes with out saying, but I’ll say it anyway.
The better you feel in what you’re wearing, the better you will look.
Staying true to your aesthetic and over all feel of your personality helps you feel and look more natural.
Personally I love the look (and feel) of a more casual, but dressy outfit. Since I know this about myself, I would wear jeans, knee high flat boots and a nice sweater for my engagement session. With that being said, if the photographer asked me to wear a ball gown I would be very awkward and uncomfortable the entire time.
If this happens to you, gently let the photographer know this is not how you envision yourself and you would like to choose something more fitting for your session.
This goes for hair and make up as well. Its not everyday you get professional photos taken, unless you are Gigi Hadid! Do what makes you feel best.
Do not focus to much on posing. Let your photographer guide you and help you. Trust them.
Build the trust between you and your photographer BEFORE the session and ask as many questions as you need.
Look and feel your best. Get your hair done, choose an outfit you love and wear as much or as little make up as you like.