A reader sent me this question…
I'm one of those people who FREEZE around a camera. Deer. In. Headlights. I want to be able to enjoy my wedding and for once not hide whenever I see a lens. I was wondering if perhaps you had any advice for relaxing and enjoying the wedding documentation.
Hey Halle, and all my other shy brides. I'll fess up right now and say that I can't identify with this at all — I'm a total ham and LOVE to have my picture taken — so I can't really give you tips AS a shy bride. BUT I can try and give you a little kick in the pants as a photog!
ONE: Spend some time getting to know your photographer before the wedding.
There are several ways to this…
- Have the initial meeting in person.
- Keep in contact via email.
- Find them on Twitter and Facebook. I know I enjoy getting to know my clients through these methods and getting to follow their wedding planning process and even chime in on a few things. So when I showed up on the day of their wedding, I already felt like we knew each other.
TWO: Practice having your pics taken with an engagement session!
This will accomplish two things…
- You can let them know flat-out that you are not comfortable in front of the lens.
- It gives you a chance to get comfortable with your "personal paparazzo." My favorite brides are the ones that I've become friends with (no shit, huh?) And that's happened over drinks as she's getting her hair done, or over coffee while we're having the initial meeting, or even during silly engagement photo sessions followed by margaritas.
THREE: Have a shot of tequila!
I don't know about you, but this is like instant-comfort-zone-juice for me. Of course, everyone's different… wine, whiskey, your semi-legal imbibement of choice… And then watch all your relatives tell you how "blissed out" you looked in all your wedding photos. Way better than "dear in headlights" amahright?
FOUR: Ask your friends and family to chill out on the snap shots, or assign someone to do this for you.
Two photographers (a main photog and a second shooter) on or around the dance floor can already be a bit much when you're having your first dance moment, but when your Uncle Bob and your wedding-photog-in-training friend gather around, flashbulbs a'flashing, it can turn your intimate moment into a fake smile and squint-fest. If your photog has any skillz, you won't even know they're there during the intimate moments.
Speaking of intimate moments…
FIVE: Schedule some alone time for you and your newly betrothed.
Get your yichud on. It will probably be the only time during the day someone WON'T be trying to take your pic — enjoy it and use that time to re-energize.
Honest time? Even my most SUPER shy brides have gotten over their lens fright on the day of their wedding. They're just so damn excited to be getting married that they find themselves, either in awesome moods, or just WANTING to have as many pics taken as possible because, really?, when is this going to happen again? So embrace the lens! It's gonna let you re-live this day over and over again. Love the lens, the lens is your friend, goosfraba!