A male twirls female around as they dance under a bridge near a river in Austin, Texas. They are both smiling. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

How to Feel Comfortable in Front of the Camera

A male twirls female around as they dance under a bridge near a river in Austin, Texas. They are both smiling. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

If you’ve hired a wedding photographer, you know the moment will come – either during your engagement session or actual wedding day – that you’ll have to get in front of the camera. And although some people are naturals when it comes to posing (or just naturally photogenic), most of us feel a bit jittery strutting our stuff for the lens.

The good news is, there are several things you can do to help you look and feel your best during your time in the spotlight. These tips will boost your confidence so that you feel comfortable in front of the camera and they’ll ensure you get the wedding photos you’ve been dreaming of.

Tips for Feeling Confident and Comfortable in Front of the Camera

  1. Get to Know Your Photographer

One of the best ways to start feeling comfortable in front of the camera is to get to know your photographer. That doesn’t mean you have to sit and chat over coffee (although that works too!).

Consider scheduling a pre-wedding/engagement session, as it’s helpful in so many ways. You and your fiancé will get a chance to warm up in front of the lens and feel what it’s like to have photos taken, so that come wedding day, you’ll already know how it works.  

During your pre-wedding photo session, you and your photographer will also get to know each other and establish a relationship, which will ease tension. If your photographer feels like an old friend, you’ll naturally feel more relaxed and open. Openness leads to communication, which leads us to the next tip.   

  1. Communicate With Your Photographer

As with many things, communication is key. People aren’t mind readers, so if you feel uncomfortable or have suggestions, you must speak up.

If you’re nervous or not sure what to do, say so. The photographer is there to provide direction, if needed, so don’t be afraid to ask. Also, if something feels unnatural or if you’re uncomfortable with a pose, let your photographer know. If you forgo communication for the sake of saving feelings, you won’t feel as relaxed and confident and it will probably show in the photos.

Remember, the photographer is there to capture your love story, so if you have ideas on what kinds of shots you’d like, let him or her know that too. There’s no need to be embarrassed or feel like your ideas are lesser than because you’re not a professional photographer. Speak up while you can so there are no regrets and you get photos you’re proud of.

Black and white image of a man with his back towards camera holding woman in his arms as they look out over a field of tall grass. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

  1. Schedule Plenty of Time

Whether it’s an engagement session or wedding day, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of time to get the shots you want. Not only because there are certain times of day when the light is best, but also so that you don’t feel rushed and stressed out.

This leads back to communication (I told you it’s key!). Talk to your photographer about the kinds of photos you want, what time of day your events take place, who will be involved, etc. It’s also important to listen to your photographer’s ideas and suggestions.

Creating a bit of structure and allowing time for both the planned and unplanned will clean out the cobwebs of worry and allow you the luxury of enjoying your time in front of the camera.

  1. Deep Breath to Relax the Body and Mind

You’ve probably heard of the benefits of deep breathing when you feel nervous or stressed. Taking a long, slow inhale through the nose and a long, slow exhale through the mouth signals the brain, and in turn, the body to relax. It says, “Hey, there’s no danger here, so you can chill.”

Take a few deep breaths before your engagement session or wedding portraits to get your mind and body in a state of relaxation. If you start to feel yourself tense up or your heart race, slowly inhale and exhale and tell yourself there’s nothing to worry about, that you’re beautiful and confident and having the time of your life. You’d be amazed at how a little positive self-talk can quiet the jitters.

Engagement photo shoot with couple embracing each other as they smile and face each other while in a field of tall grass. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

  1. Focus on Each Other

When it comes time for your engagement session or couple photos on wedding day, remember that it’s not about the perfect poses, perfect looks, or perfect anything. It’s about you and your partner sharing a joyous moment and capturing it so you can cherish it forever.

Instead of worrying about what you look like or how to stand/sit/smile/pose, focus on your partner, the emotions you’re sharing in that moment, the love that’s stronger than camera jitters. Lean into him, laugh with her, hold hands, share a kiss. Just enjoy being with each other and the nerves and photographer will fade into the background.

  1. Embrace and Enjoy the Moment

You’re getting married! Or, you just got married! Whatever the case, it’s a reason to be elated. You’ll never be in this particular moment again, so embrace it, camera, photographer, and all. Laugh, be yourself, shake off nervous energy.

Think of it as play and you won’t have to work to get good photos. Enjoy every moment of this time with your significant other and the camera will capture that love.

The great thing about hiring a professional photographer like myself, is that I will do my best to help you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. Whether it’s an engagement session or the wedding day, it’s my job to bring out the beauty of the moment, as well as your own beauty. You do you and I’ll take care of the rest.

Looking for more ways to feel comfortable in front of the camera? I’d love to share with you tips and tricks I’ve collected from brides over the years.

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