Recently, I was talking on the phone with Kristy, a bride who’s wedding I will be photographing in March, and we were scheduling her engagement session. She told me she was nervous about the photos because her fiance Kevin gets a little camera shy. Kristy said she loves the laughter and the fun I capture in other couples photos and really wanted that photojournalistic “unforced” look for her session as well. I assured her that I shoot a TON of pictures and we laugh a lot while we shoot. My goal is to capture the moments in between “poses”. Sure, you might not want a photo of you laughing hysterically, mouth wide open at something I’ve said (although I must admit those photos are awesome) but it’s that moment right after the big laugh where you squeeze each others hands a little tighter, pull each other in a little closer and smile genuinely.
It got me thinking about my boyfriend, Kosta and me. We don’t have many pictures of us together. He always feels uncomfortable. He smiles kind of hard and opens his eyes a little wide. I don’t know why.. he’s super handsome. I think he’s just trying too hard. When I shoot I really try to eliminate the trying aspect. We walk around, talk, laugh and just kind of make the moments flow together. There’s no: “Stand there. Ready, One Two Three SMILE!” But if I were about to have a photo session with Kosta I might feel a little bit like Kristy. I’d want Kosta to feel really comfortable so we’d have great photos. It got me thinking of a few things that always crack Kosta and me up – on cue – everytime and I would so pull those things out of my hat at our session.
My advice for those of you nervous about looking awkward in photos: Choose a photographer who not only captures a style you love, but who you feel like you can be yourself in front of. Then, think of a few things you know will make your fiance laugh or smile and keep them as reserves in case you feel that moment during your session where you’re both tensing up.Kosta does a hysterical impression of Apu, the convenience store owner in the Simpsons. You should see the joy that crosses his face when he starts his impression. He knows he’s going to make me laugh. And then we do laugh.. hard. We also crack up every time we watch Little Britain, the comedy series. I would definitely ask him to do his impressions. One day. 🙂
And here is one frame from Kristy & Kevin’s session we shot last weekend:
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