"Just relax in front of the camera, act normal, don't be nervous"...It's easier said than done right?!
I tell each of my brides and grooms to relax in front of the camera, to try and pretend like I'm not there, and until it was my turn in front of the camera, I hadn't realised quite how difficult that actually is! So here's a little insight into my experience and a few photos from my own pre wedding shoot.
I was a mess on my pre-wedding shoot! I was so nervous, I couldn't stop giggling, I felt awkward, I felt unnatural.
And then I started to think about the advice that I give my couples...and it really did start to help!
Forget that the camera is there - not so easy, but so worth it. If you try to forget about the camera it really will help you relax. I found the easiest way was to not even look at that camera, and that's okay! Who says you need to be looking into the camera to get beautiful photos of you and your love? Have a staring contest, pull faces at each other, look lovingly into each others eyes...whatever makes you feel comfortable, however you act normally together just do that! You'll forget I'm there and you'll look back at the photos and think...'yes, that's us'.
Find something to do - I often start my pre-wedding shoots off by telling my couple to go for a walk while I start taking photos. For a lot of people this takes their mind off the camera enough and they relax into things. I knew I was going to be nervous and awkward so I didn't think going for a walk was enough to distract me, so we chose to have our pre wedding shoot at home and do something we love - baking. When your concentrating on an activity, the camera is the last thing on your mind. And that's one of the great things about pre-wedding shoots, you can have as much fun with them as you want. If you spend your time together playing with your dog - let's do that! If you love going out for coffee - let's do that. If you love splashing at the beach - go for it! Your pre wedding shoot can be whatever you want it to be.
Go somewhere you're comfortable - You'll feel more relaxed if you're in a familiar place. I chose to have our shoot at home for this exact reason. Not only was it a great way to celebrate our new home, but I knew it was where I would be most comfortable. Think about the places you love when thinking about your pre wedding shoot. You can have your shoot anywhere really - your favourite park, the place you had your first date, or where the proposal happened, your wedding venue, the fair ground...anywhere.
There only simple things that you might not think would really make a difference, but I can tell you they really do. I love the photos from our pre wedding shoot and by the end of the shoot I felt really relaxed. And it really helped with my nerves on the day. Yes when it came to the wedding I was nervous, but I was nervous about the fact it was my wedding day, not because I was having my photo taken.