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My photography often attracts low-key couples who want their wedding photos to show the beautiful moments, people and details of their entire wedding day, not just a spotlight on themselves. Typically these couples don’t enjoy having their photos taken and some even tell me that they actually hate it. The thought of posing for a portrait makes them shudder. Sound familiar?

Here are five tips that will make you feel more at ease in front of the lens.Whether it’s your wedding photographs, an engagement session or something more professional to hang on your walls, these ideas will stop the shudder of the shutter:

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5. Take control of the situation.

Some couples feel helpless when having their photograph taken. It can feel awkward and unnatural not knowing how to stand or where to put your hands. Take control by bringing some ideas to the table: Where would you feel comfortable staging the shoot? What locations have meaning to you and your partner? Think of your favourite spots within your chosen reception venue–or important places to you and your partner–and have your photographs taken there. The familiarity will bring a sense of comfort and relaxation which will help you both feel at ease. If you’re not used to the spotlight, bring thoughtful or fun props that can be incorporated into the shoot to make you feel less awkward. Discuss your ideas with your photographer beforehand, they will love your sense of involvement and creativity.

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4. Wear something that makes you feel a million dollars.

This is another useful method of taking control. Perhaps it’s obvious, but choose your Wedding outfits with care and spend time in your dress or suit before the big day so you can get comfortable wearing it. If you’re having an Engagement session, which outfit in your wardrobe makes you feel at your very best? Wear it! Choosing your attire carefully before the shoot will help you look great and ooze confidence on the day. Have a sneaky closet-moment with your partner and choose your outfits together. Wear complimentary colours and make sure you don those killer shoes! The right clothing will make you feel more self-assured, attractive and your photos will look amazing.

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3. Make yourself comfortable.

On the shoot, relax your body into positions where you feel comfortable. Feel free to lean up against that wall, place your hands firmly in your pockets or nuzzle into your partner’s neck. Perhaps have a play with one of the props you brought along. Doing these things will make you feel less self-concious and more connected with your partner and your environment. I like to place couples in what I call “Positions of Power”, which help them feel more courageous and carefree. That’s where I find the magical moments happen in front of the lens.

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2. Be the best version of yourself.

Confidence helps when it comes to having your photograph taken, but it’s more important to be yourself and comfortable with who you are. Perhaps you’re a little shy or awkward, but what’s wrong with that? Nothing at all. Beam it out and let your photographer capture the real you. Your partner, friends and family accept you for who you are—So should you. Relax and let your guard down. It really works.

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1. Trust your photographer.

You’ve spent a lot of time searching and paid a lot of money for the right photographer. Put yourself in their hands and let them guide you. Ask them questions on the shoot about what you should do to feel more comfortable. Connect with them and allow them to invest emotionally in your shoot. Your photographer doesn’t expect you and your partner to be models, so don’t worry, they think all people are beautiful! Expect that you will be uncomfortable when the session begins, but your photographer will gradually bring out your personalities and document it with beautiful photographs.

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