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Ask the Pros: Feeling Comfortable in Front of the Camera

February 11th, 2015 by Jeannine

Ask the Pros: Feeling Comfortable in Front of the Camera

As if brides and grooms-to-be aren’t stressed about the wedding enough, the thought of being the centre of attention and getting hundreds of photos taken of them can definitely add to the pressure. Of course you want to look great in photos, but if you’re uncomfortable, it shows. Wedding photographers deal with these jitters all the time, usually at the engagement session first. That’s one of the reasons why engagement sessions are important to have… it will be a preview of what’s to come on the wedding day. I decided to ask a well-respected photographer and friend, Chris Chong of Butter Studios, for his advice on this matter. He and his wife Gina Chong have been two of Vancouver’s highly sought after wedding and corporate photographers since 2004. They have a lot of experience with bringing out the best in their clients… as you can see from the photos in this post :)

Butter Studios

It all starts with the search of the perfect photographer. You can hire the best photographer in the business but if you don’t get along with them personally, you’ll end up not enjoying your shoot, which might reflect on the photos. Chris says developing a great rapport with your photographer is key.

If there is no rapport/relationship with your photographer, you should be hiring someone else! The rapport leads into trust and when you trust your photographer, you would trust their judgement when they suggest certain ways of posing to achieve the desired final outcome of the photos. I could see that if there was no rapport, the couple might be less willing to do certain poses and at the end of the day, just look forward to the end of the shoot as soon as possible! In most cases, the engagement photographer later becomes the couple’s wedding photographer. Being such an important day where the photographer will be working with the couples’ families and so closely with them all day, it’s safe to say a strong and trusting relationship is 100% required!”

Butter Studios

So now that you’ve found your chosen photographer whom you get along with, you’re still nervous about the upcoming photoshoot because well, how often do you have a personal photographer following you around? The repetitive sounds of a camera shutter can be nerve wracking on its own and with each click you’re wondering… did I look good in that shot? Aside from your beautiful smile, one thing you need to prepare before the shoot is wardrobe. Don’t overlook this step and make an effort to find something that looks flattering on you. Try on a few outfits before making a decision and see what your partner is wearing too to make sure nothing clashes. Chris says that solid or neutral colours usually work the best; however, he encourages couples to allow their personalities or theme to shine through what they’re wearing. Most of all, wear something you’re comfortable in. If you know you’re gonna be walking around for a few hours, maybe leave the super high heels at home or at least bring an extra pair of flip flops to get from one location to another. Trusting your photographer’s skills should help ease your fears as well.

“That’s the benefit of hiring an experienced photographer who is familiar with proper posing, lighting and technique. With that trust in mind, they really do not need to prepare much. Professional makeup/hair service should not be underestimated. One other thing they can do is also look up their photographer’s previous work and to get a better idea of what to expect.”

Butter Studios

It’s finally photoshoot day. We all know that forcing a smile always looks awkward on camera… but how do you look natural when you’re just so nervous?

“I think most clients start off with a bit of nervousness. However, I simply guide them right from the beginning of the photo shoot and that nervousness quickly disappears. I love making it fun for my couples, just as I love having fun photographing them. Sometimes a bit of reassurance throughout the shoot helps. I’m more than happy to show them a couple of frames after taking them so that they get a sneak peek of the great photos they will receive.”

Butter Studios

Your photographer should be well versed in drawing out natural reactions and real emotions. Chris says that in addition to serious poses, he adds the element of fun to his shoots so his couples will be able to loosen up a bit. A few ways to look relaxed is by releasing the tension in your shoulders and softening your eyes. Again, the more you trust your photographer, the more you’re willing to follow their directions.

I hope this article has helped ease your camera shyness a bit. Thanks so much Chris for all your help. If you are interested in finding out more about Chris, Gina and everything Butter Studios has to offer, visit their social media links below:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

And did you know they offer Photo Booth, Boudoir, Videography and Slow-Mo Booth as well?

Butter Studios

All photos provided by and courtesy Butter Studios

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  • March 5th, 2015 at 8:08 am
    Linda says:

    I agree that you need to have a rapport with your photographer so that you will feel comfortable with them, which will show in the photos. I also can’t stress enough how you should make a real effort in how you look for your photos, including wardrobe and hiring a professional to do your hair and makeup. Sometimes my brides will book their engagement photo session on the same day as their hair and/or makeup trial appointment is so that they look their absolute best.

  • March 7th, 2015 at 12:13 am
    Sandy says:

    Well said! Photography is so different from, say, choosing a dress where its up to you to decide what you want to wear. In photography, however, you need to listen to the pros who know better!


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