Full disclaimer before I continue with this post: I'm not married and have never actually been in the position of a bride or groom on wedding day. I understand that it's hard for me to look in from the outside and give advice to wedding couples without having actually lived the experience of a stressful wedding day myself. So while I can't speak on the specific nerves and stress of planning and executing a wedding, I can speak to best practices for wedding portraits, as I do have a decent amount of experience there. So in today's post I wanted to share my best advice for couples to conquer their wedding portraits.
My biggest and most important piece of advice to couples who are nervous about being in front of a camera is simply to have fun. Yes, that is much easier said than done, however, it's important to take a step back and realize how fun wedding portraits can be. This is your chance to create beautiful moments with the love of your life that are going to last a lifetime. So have fun! Laugh, sing, dance, make funny faces, make elegant gestures, be spontaneous. The more genuine fun you're having, the better the photos are going to come out.
If you're nervous about how you look, or the actions you're doing and you think that you look strange on camera, express that to your photographer. And then be ready for your photographer to laugh and tell you that you look incredible. Because you do. And I can honestly say that, without any idea of what you might look like on your wedding day, or how awkward you may feel in front of a camera, you're going to look amazing. And you're going to look amazing because you're standing next to the love of your life. I'll explain what I mean by that.
As photographers, we're trained to make photos look as perfect as can be through posing, lighting, composition etc. But nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, is as important to a good wedding portrait as the love shared between you and your spouse. If you and your spouse fully immerse yourselves in each other's love, regardless of any outside factors or stresses during your wedding day, you're going to look amazing and come out with some really incredible photos.
Lastly, I need to give credit where credit is due. A whole lot of what I've learned about wedding portraits has come from watching Joshua Rainey work during the weddings I've shot with him (like the one all of these images came from). He's a true master when it comes to working with couples and has been instrumental in teaching me the best way to approach wedding portraits.