bride and groom posing at sunset

Photo: Mark Fierst Photography

Hiring a photographer for your wedding day is essential when it comes to preserving those priceless memories for generations to come. But if you’re the type of person who runs away at the slightest flash of a camera, you might be wondering how you’ll be able to tolerate the spotlight for an entire day. Worried your camera shyness will take a toll on your wedding photos? Have an honest chat with your photographer before the big day to find a solution that works best for you.

To get you started, here are some of our favorite tips from the pros:

Try an engagement session first
"The most important thing you can do for your wedding pictures is to have an engagement session with your wedding photographer,” says Nathan Desch of Nathan Desch Photography in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. “It will get the jitters (if they are in there) out before the big day. If you are unable to schedule an engagement session before your wedding, ask your photographer to start the wedding portraits with a pose where you are facing your significant other. You'll probably be the most comfortable to start if you are locking eyes with the one you love.”

Let your photographer take charge
“No one knows how to pose for wedding pictures,” says Cynthia Whiteside of Cynthia Whiteside Photography in Andover, Kansas. “It is not your job to know. It all comes down to the photographer you hire. If you hire a good photographer, you will quickly feel relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera, and you will hopefully have fun! It is completely normal to be nervous for the portrait portion of the day, but if you put your trust in your photographer, you will have nothing to worry about.”

Start out slow
“The trick I always start out with when I have camera shy clients is starting with poses that have them looking away from the camera,” says Rachel Bolen of Thirteenth Moon Photography LLC in Cary, North Carolina. “I always try to start my sessions with some laughter and interaction instead of jumping right into full-on poses. Often times, it’s looking directly at the camera that makes the subject feel so shy. So I start out with action shots and less, ‘1-2-3, cheese!’ shots.”

Relax and be yourself
“Unless you’re used to having your picture taken, most couples have varying degrees of camera shyness,” says Benjamin Clifford of Benjamin Clifford Photography in Glendale, Arizona. “It can be intimidating to have all eyes on you and multiple cameras capturing your every move. I talk to my couples. Can you imagine getting your photo taken for hours, and during that whole time, your photographer never says anything to you? I’d be wondering the whole time, ‘How do they look? Am I doing it right?’ [Encouraging comments] can be as simple as saying ‘beautiful’ or ‘that looks great.’”

Focus on your new spouse
“Talk to each other about your honeymoon plans, how good the food is going to be at the reception] or how crazy your family is!” says Kathryn Hyslop of [Kathryn Hyslop Photography in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “When you are focused on being present with your significant other and enjoying each other's company, the photos will show that connection. You forget to be anxious in front of the camera.”

Tune in to your emotions
“You just got married, so happiness is naturally shining through your eyes, and everyone around can feel it (the camera too!)” says Olga Levien of Levien & Lens Photography in Hamilton, New Zealand. “Enjoy these moments together and don’t forget to have fun!”