Feeling Nervous About Your Portrait Session?

The number one pain point that we hear from a lot of couples is how they are nervous about having their photos taken. So if you are currently feeling this way, you are not alone! We are here to walk you through a typical session with us so that you can feel better about stepping in front of a camera, because you are one confident person!

Before we begin, know that it is 100% ok to feel nervous about having your photos taken. Having your photos taken, especially by someone who is a stranger, can be a very vulnerable experience. It is our job to make you and your partner feel at ease as much as we can! So, we figure we will walk you through a typical engagement session, to get a feel for how we interact with our couples. Let’s begin!

It starts with a conversation

We like to start off every session, no matter if we have meet you in person before or not, with a solid 5-10 minutes of us just chatting before snapping a single photo. Typically this is while we walk to where we are going to begin the photoshoot. We like to do this because it gives us all a chance to take a breather and just chat. There is no rush when it comes to having your photos taken and if the photographer is snapping a hundred photos from minute one, before even speaking with you, then it sets the session off on a rushed note and you will see that portrayed in the photos.

The set up

After our short chat we have typically warmed up to each other, maybe even cracked a few jokes. Laughter goes a long way, so we like to find ways to make the two of you smile and laugh. Now we will begin your photoshoot.

At the beginning of every photoshoot, we will have you stand close to each other, most likely hip to hip, but recently we have loved having our couples stand facing one another. You will hear Jonathan say,

“Ok, so I am going to check my settings to make sure everything is good. These are just tests, so go ahead and just talk with each other while I set up.”

We like to do this because it gives you and your partner the chance to see the camera go up, hear the shutter, but not really be too focused on what you are doing. It sets the tone for that natural candid capture.

Sometimes during these “test” shots, we actually capture some really cute moments between you and your partner. Like Lindsay and Mike, in the photo above, you can see her laughing at something that Mike said to her while we was setting up. Because they are focused on each other, we were able to capture that true moment as it was.

And now we begin

Once the test shots are settled, the photoshoot will truly begin. Depending on the level of comfort and ease y’all show in those first moments, we will start one of two ways. The first is to have those more “posed” photos of the couple holding each other close together, holding hands, maybe a few smooches. We do this because, if you are naturally less expressive with one another and need a little more posing help, we can start that from the get go so that you are comfortable. If you and your partner are naturals in front of the camera, we know that sticking you into poses is going to make you look unnatural and uncomfortable, so instead, we will coach you through movement and moments to capture those candid photos of you two in your element together.

In general we like to work you through movements because every person, every couple will have a different way of expressing themselves. Some of our favorite, more intimate moments are when we ask you two to embrace, cuddle up and hold each other close. Y’all are so adorable together, all we can do is snap away and let you two be together.

Chatting while we work

For the majority of your session, we will all be chatting back and forth. We like to keep communication flowing because the silence can be deafening and leave the two of you feeling uncomfortable. Once we have gotten into a flow of us helping you into poses, or the two of you moving in and out of them on your own, we will typically ask you two to remember back to those first couple of dates. We love to do this because it can be really humorous and lead to those genuine laughing photos. And volay! We have those candid moments.

Going along with keeping things moving, we absolutely LOVE the sneak hug photo. It is very simple and is literally the best way to capture some natural true expressions, in our opinion. The best way we have found to do this is to simply have one person stand closer to us, and the other person a couple paces back. Usually the only real instruction we give is some advice on how to wrap your arms around your spouse to be. With this pose, if your arms are too high up near the neck when you come in for your surprise, it can look a little bit like you are choking them, and that’s not what we want. Once everyone is set we like to say,

“Ok, whenever you are ready”

and then let the magic happen.

Another trick we like to use, is having one of you whisper something into the others ear that they know is going to get them to crack up. It’s gold we tell ya!

Now we play

This means we like to throw out some experiences and just capture you and your bae’s interpretation of said experiences. A couple of our favorites are,

  • Practice your first dance
  • Go on a little stroll while holding hands
  • Get in nice and close and visualize your wedding day

These are wonderful photography moments because it portrays who you are as a couple. Like we mentioned earlier, no two people are going to move in the same way as you both and it is so unique and memorable.

As we wrap up you session, we like to ask if there are any other poses that you envisioned that we didn’t capture and if so, let’s do them! If you are like us, you have several Pinterest boards full of poses that you have fallen in love with and we want to make sure they are all captured for you in the best way possible.

Having your photos taken shouldn’t cause you anxiety, so if you are feeling nervous, let’s chat! We will always be up for a phone call if you are nervous about a photo session coming up. It is oue job as your photographer to make you and your soon to be spouse, as comfortable as possible! And believe us, we work very hard to make sure every couple who works with us has an all time blast, that has them chatting about their session even after it is over! So, let’s do it!!


Gonzalez J. Wedding Photography

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