My top tips for amazing wedding photos for introverts and camera-shy couples.
Let me guess... you are always the one behind the camera, the first to offer to take the photo rather than be in it and the thought of someone else taking a photograph of you fills you with mild dread. I get it, I've been there, and am still more often than not the one behind the lens rather than in front of it.
But, do you ever feel the regret when, looking back on photos of past events, that you aren't in them? The invisible documenter of memories. And if there is ever going to be a day when you want to be in photos for future memories, then surely it's your wedding day?
So, I've pulled together my thoughts and tips, both from personal experience and from working with introverts and camera-shy couples, to help you make sure that you're ready and prepared to get the most amazing wedding photographs on your day, full of your smiling happy faces - honestly, it's not as scary as you think!
What is an introvert anyway? And how do I know if I am one?
First, let's tackle the big question - what is an introvert anyway?!
When I talk about introverts and extroverts, I mean something a little different than people who are shy and those who are outgoing, though that can be a part of it. It is more about where we get our energy - extroverts may be invigorated by large parties or gatherings, introverts feel more energised and relaxed after spending time on their own.
Introverts are not always shy or socially awkward as many people think. We can be just as warm and friendly as extroverts but, generally speaking, prefer spending time with others in small groups or one-on-one. We may also need alone time to recharge after big social interactions. You can see why then, a large wedding with all eyes on you can feel daunting if you identify as an introvert.
Did you know that over 1/3 of the population is introverted? It's not at all a negative thing! If you're not sure where you fall on the introvert/extrovert scale and want to learn more, go to 16personalities.com where you can answer a series of questions and it will tell you which of the 16 Meyers-Briggs personality types fit you best. I find it all fascinating!
Obviously everyone is different, but quite often introverts value creativity and authenticity - and as an introvert myself, these are two of my core values which I bring to my wedding photography. I always aim to capture genuine emotion - there’s nothing staged about my photography. I will also be on the lookout for a creative composition or interesting lighting to give your photos an artistic quality.
If you want your wedding photographs to have real meaning to you, think about what your values are as a couple. Do you value fun and enjoy being silly together, or the connection and intimacy you have in your relationship? Not only will this help you build your perfect wedding day, you can find a photographer with aligned values who you can trust to perfectly capture your day.
Choosing the right photographer.
This is a big one. Choosing the right photographer for you can make a huge difference to your wedding photos.
As well as finding a photographer whose style you love, it is also so important for you to feel comfortable in their company. Your wedding photographer (and videographer) will be one of the few people who is with you all day. I start the day with morning preparations, so I'm there when you are feeling all the nerves and excitement building. I'm there for your first look or as you see each other at the end of the aisle. I'm mingling among your guests during your reception and whisking you away for some couple portraits during golden hour. I'm right up close during all the evening antics on the dancefloor.
You want to make sure your photographer is someone who gets you as a couple, understands what you want your wedding day to feel like and someone you are happy spending 12 hours of the best day of your life with! I'll give you an example. When planning our wedding we spoke to a couple of different videographers whose work we loved. One was calm and collected, the other was full of energy and super chatty. In the end, we opted for the first one, not because we loved their work a huge amount more, but because I knew that I would find the second videographer's bounciness and vivacity exhausting on my wedding day. As an introvert I needed a much more chill vibe. That's absolutely nothing against them or their work - they will be a perfect match for another couple, but I needed something different.
Make sure you meet your photographer and have a proper chat before booking. If you get on, they match the energy and feel you want for your day and you feel like you will trust them to capture photos you will love, then you'll know they're the one for you.
Your day, your way.
This is definitely a motto I urge every couple planning their wedding to take on board, whether you are an introvert, extrovert or anywhere in between!
A big part of getting photos on your wedding day that you love is feeling comfortable and enjoying yourself. The best way to do that is to build a wedding day around you - thinking about what you want your wedding day to look and feel like and how you want to remember it - not what your family/friends/tradition dictates you should do.
Take the time to chat with your future spouse about what the two of you want for your wedding. If a big wedding with 150+ guests is going to make you anxious, think about planning a more intimate celebration. If the thought of a first dance with all of your guests watching you fills you with dread, don't do one! You don't need to do it to please other people and you don't want that hanging over you all day and stopping you being able to enjoy yourself.
You do you. Build your day around what brings you joy and that will show in your photos!
Stepping out of your comfort zone - it takes practice.
I know this isn't what you are going to want to hear but, as with most things, practice makes perfect! The more you make the effort to be in front of a camera, the less you will come to fear it and the more comfortable you will feel. Now, I'm not saying that you have to take photos all the time or book yourselves loads of photoshoots, let's take baby steps!
Next time you are with friends or family and want to record a memory, make the effort to be in more of the photos. If you are out and about with your partner, take snaps of each other on country walks or doing something you both love.
This is also a reason why a pre-wedding photoshoot is a great idea for you introverts and camera-shy couples. It might not seem to make sense, but having your photograph taken by a professional is very different to a selfie or phone snap. One of the biggest skills of my job is making sure you feel relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera and enjoy the experience of your photoshoot. A pre-wedding photoshoot will take away your fear of the unknown when it comes to having your photo taken. We will both learn how to work together to get the best photos, you get an idea of how it all works and how not scary it is, and you come away with a gallery of lovely photos of the two of you together! Choose to have your shoot somewhere you feel comfortable, where it is quiet and you won’t be ‘on show’ - it will make the photos on your wedding day seem much less daunting.
Tips for your couple portraits.
Here are a few tips I give to all my couples which will hopefully help you relax if you are camera-shy...
- Don't worry about looking at the camera - focus all your love and attention on your new husband or wife. You will find that you start to forget the camera is even there and your photos will be full of connection!
- Breathe! If you feel a bit nervous you can tend to hold your breath without realising which makes you tense up. Take a couple of deep breaths and relax - it will make you feel a lot calmer.
- Keep moving - you don't have to stand still for me to get a great photo of you. In fact movement usually makes a photo more dynamic and full of life! It can be taking a little walk together, swaying slightly wrapped up in a hug, doing a big jump for joy or even little movements like tucking hair behind an ear. I can give you prompts to help but don't feel you have to stand like a statue!
- Touch each other - this one isn't as rude as it sounds! One of the first things people usually say when we start taking photos is 'What do I do with my hands?!' To save them just hanging down limply by your sides, just keep touching your lovely partner. Hold hands, cuddle up, stroke a cheek or an arm - you should nearly always be in physical contact with your partner in some form, it helps to capture your emotional connection in the photos.
Why I might be the perfect photographer for you.
So, you've got the the end of my Introvert's Guide to Amazing Wedding Photography, and I hope it's given you some reassurance and tips for your wedding day. If any of this post has resonated with you, here are some reasons that I might be the perfect photographer for you...
- I am an introvert (an INFP if you've done your Myers-Briggs test) and I know exactly what it is like to feel nervous in front of the camera. I won't ask you to do anything you don't want to do, and will do everything I can to make the experience relaxed and enjoyable!
- I am all about creativity and finding beauty in the small moments.
- I am curious - about you, your wedding plans, your traits as a couple. The more I know about you, the better your photos will be, as they will come from a place of empathy and understanding.
- My couples always say they find they are really relaxed around me, and being relaxed makes for better, more authentic photos of the two of you in love!
- I am a brilliant listener and observer, and I use those skills to find all the little candid moments of you and your guests throughout your wedding day. I often love those moments the best.
- I build in a couple of shorter portrait sessions for the two of you during your day - not only will it mean more variety in your album, it also makes it seem less full-on and intimidating.
- I give just the right amount of direction. It’s not ‘posing’, I won’t tell you exactly how to stand or make you feel like you’re being put in positions which don’t feel like ‘you’. What I will do is place you in some beautiful light, give you some tips, chat away at you, ask you questions, and then give you space to just be together.
- I am your biggest champion throughout your wedding planning journey - I'm here to help, support, encourage and get excited with you along the way. I love hearing your plans, all the little things which make your wedding unique to you and I will be there cheering you both on on your wedding day. You've got this!
So there you have it, my Guide to Wedding Photography for Introverts.
What do you think? Did this help with your wedding photography planning?
If you think we might be a good wedding photography match, click the button below and tell me more - I'd love to hear your plans!