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Ask the Experts – How Can I Help my Shy Fiancé Relax for Wedding Photos?

Image by Aileen Kennedy Photography

“My husband-to-be is very shy, and I know he’s already stressing about having his picture taken on the day, is there anything myself or my photographer can do to calm him down?” – Angela

From the Experts

Liam Kidney Photography – View Profile

Angela, this is something I hear all the time in the wedding photography business. One of the things your photographer should do is do an engagement shoot with you both. This will help you relax in front of the camera and show you how easy it is to look good in pictures. The more relaxed and at ease you are with your photographer and each other, the better the pictures will turn out. I always visit the locations in advance with the couple and we work out a plan for the day together. If we are all singing from the same hymn sheet, the day runs very smoothly and we create beautiful images.

Deirdre Langan Photography – View Profile

Hi Angela – explain the situation to your photographer so that they can take his shyness into account. It may help if your photographer gently introduced your husband-to-be to the camera by perhaps taking images of other people and groups around him first rather than starting with the groom. And for the bridal shots, your photographer could start with the girls or group shots – getting some fun shots and proving that it’s not all serious. Then, when he’s comfortable with the camera, you could move on to the bridal portraiture of just the two of you, all the while keeping the tone light and enjoyable.

Rory O’ Toole Photography – View Profile

A brandy on the morning always helps! Seriously, I always try and tell my couples that their day is not about the photographs – it’s about the couple! On the morning of a wedding I always visit the bride for the preparations,  and as long as the groom is reasonably nearby, I try and visit him too. I feel that the morning preparations, while being part of the story of the day, are also a good time to break the ice, and get to know each other a bit. They’re a relatively slow part of the day (the day gets faster and faster as it goes on!), and it’s time for a bit of tea and a chat as well as getting ready. It gives the bride and groom, and their families, a chance to get to know the photographer and get a little bit used to the camera, before the day really starts going.

Kevin Morris Photography – View Profile

Hi Angela, the first thing to do is to mention this to your photographer. Any good experienced photographer will have dealt with nervous grooms (and brides!) before. Any shots of the two of you can be taken at a distance rather than in your face and all your fiancé has to do is concentrate on looking at you. Take a stroll (weather permitting!) hand in hand and the photos can be stunning, ask the photographer to use a telephoto lens and he can get close up shots while still being a good distance away. If your photographer has experience of reportage/documentary photography he/she should be able to capture the craic and the laughs for you, your fiancé and your friends without being in your face.

Paul Duane Photography – View Profile

I recommend, if at all possible, that you should meet up with the photographer a few times before the wedding, so you’re familiar with each other. Your photographer should be able to assure your husband-to-be that the majority of the photos taken on the day (I would guess around 95%) will just be purely natural and organic. Your husband-to-be won’t have to pose, and there is no way that any photographer should make or try to make a bride or groom do anything they feel uncomfortable with. This can all be conveyed between the photographer and your husband-to-be in the meetings before your wedding. I would suggest heading up to the church with the photographer, and the venue if possible, just for little chats about what you guys would like for the big day.

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Rachel Green

Rachel Green

If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.

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