How to feel confident in front of the camera…

September 24, 2020

…And love the experience of being photographed as much as you love the actual photos.

Mother of bride taking photo of bride

How do you feel when someone pulls out a camera?

Elegant and at ease like Meghan & Harry on the steps of St George’s Chapel?

Or more like Chandler Bing grimacing for his engagement photo?

Channeling Chandler? 

Grab a t-shirt and join the team…

…Because you’re not alone. 

I’ve heard it all … “we’re photo-phobes”, “we’re just not photogenic”, “don’t get my bad side”, “I always pull a camera face”…

“It’s fair to say we’re not ‘naturals’ in front of the camera…so when it came to our pre-wedding photoshoot, we were extremely excited but also quite apprehensive at the same time.” Brett & Katie

I get it. 

The natural photos are all well and good. But you want some nice pictures of the two of you together too. Yet posed photos can feel… well… posed.  And giving up the control you have with selfies and trusting me with how you look in the photos you’ll look at forever is hard.

And that’s ok. 

Because I’m not here just to press the shutter. My job – creating photos you love – starts with helping you channel camera confidence. That way you’ll love the experience of being photographed as much as you love the actual photos.

Which is important because:

  • You need to be relaxed in order to look relaxed in your photos
  • Your photos will bring back memories of how you felt when they were taken (so we want that to be a good feeling)

Let’s get you there.

Bride and groom walking together at Dodford Manor

Let’s make your posed photos a positive experience

How can we make you cool with being in front of the camera? 

Well, just telling you to relax won’t work. If it did, we’d all be jumping up and down about having root canal.

Neither does telling you to “act natural”. Because, what even is “natural”?! For most of us, natural = grabbing your phone and holding it at just the right height to prevent anyone seeing your face.

Fudge! What are you gonna doooo?!

I’ve got good news…

Couples I work with tell me how relaxed they feel in front of my camera. And that they actually end up enjoying being photographed. I’ve even had couples show me their honeymoon photos filled with poses they learnt during their wedding portraits.

“With Sarah, we found someone we could chat and laugh with like we’d known her for years, which in turn made us feel so at ease in front of the camera and made a not normal situation feel actually quite fun!” Zack & Ruba 

That’s the best feedback a girl can ask for ☝️

In fact, I love nothing more (fur babies excluded) than taking a couple from “GET.THAT.CAMERA.OUTTA.MY.FACE” to “Actually, that was way more fun than I thought”. 

A couple laughing while having their photos taken by Sarah Vivienne

So how do I actually help people relax?

It’s no good. I’ve racked my brains and I can’t put my shutter finger on it.

It’s just the way I am. I haven’t learned a specific skill or whipped up a secret sauce. It’s not about what I’m doing. It’s about who I’m being.

“Sarah’s calm presence is the perfect tonic for a nervous bride and groom!” Hugo & Laura

Here’s what I think helps me put people at ease…

  • Accepting everyone for who they are – no Judgy McJudgeson
  • Tuning into my spidey senses – I’ll spot if you need something and step in to help
  • Handing out gin & tonic
  • Saying the nice things – because a kick of kindness goes a longgggg way
  • Honouring my introvert – I love to listen, which helps me understand your needs and tailor my approach

All this helps with the posed photos as well as the natural photos. But there’s something else that helps with the posed photos…

Cute bride and groom at Dodford Manor

Posing without being posey

When it comes to posed portraits, we chat. We chat and chat and chat. 

I’ll give you a running commentary on what I’m doing so you’re never left wondering what to do. Got a friend who posts their every move on Insta Stories? That’s me during your posed photos. “Hang on while I change my memory card”, “It’ll take a min to format this”, “Just changing camera settings”… 

And I love to ask questions too. So be ready for a grilling about how you met, how the proposal happened and your wedding plans so far. 

It’s something I’ve always done. But I didn’t realise it until I was trying to answer my physio’s question about funny wedding stories while she massaged my shoulder with her elbow to relieve my ulnar nerve entrapment after a busy wedding season. It’s official: The Distraction Technique works a treat.

Once the conversation is flowing, you’ll forget about being photographed and engage with me – and each other – instead. Which means I’ll be able to capture your genuine expressions and real moments, whilst still guiding you to ensure you look your best. 

“I hate photos of myself and become so self-conscious, so doing a pre-wedding shoot gave me an idea of how to not “act” when the camera came out. Some of the best photos were the ones where you caught us being “us”. You left us to be our goofy loved-up selves and captured that perfectly. Not over directing – that’s what makes the difference.” Darren & Natasha

Sometimes, a bit of distraction is all you need to feel at ease in front of the camera. But if you need more of a nudge, I’m on it. 

Here’s what we’ll do:

  1. I’ll demonstrate
  2. We’ll all laugh at my posing attempts (oh the things I do for my couples)
  3. You’ll copy me (with or without the laughter)

…This ‘mirroring’ approach will put you at ease. Promise. It’s science.

***

So, it’s a case of saying “Trust me” after all. Because I’m here to help you feel like royalty on your wedding day – not Chandler Bing. 

Portrait of a bride and groom in front of Woburn Abbey at sunset

Still feel like you’re about to have root canal?

Let’s show that pain who’s in control.

Book a painkilling pre-wedding shoot and you’ll walk away with:

  • A bucket load of camera confidence 
  • Some gorgeous photos 
  • Posing skills for life

[TAKE A PAINKILLER]