how to kick those in-front-of-the camera nerves


seattle wedding photographer

Hi! I'm Natasha! Your intimate wedding and elopement photographer, dog petter and donut eater. While photography is my first love, connecting with people is my love language. You'll find me lovin' on the big moments, the quiet moments, the silly moments – but especially the in between moments. The moments that are unadulterated and unfiltered. The ones where you are the real you. Here on the blog you'll find all of my favorite tips, tricks and resources for planning a wedding that's all about those moments.




I get it, being in front of the camera is HARD. If you’ve never worked with a photographer before, or even worse, if you’ve worked with a photographer and had a bad experience, you might be thinking that it’s impossible to get good photos of you. For most people, the thought of having your photos taken is enough to make you a little sweaty, and probably a little nervous. 

But that’s okay! As a Washington intimate wedding and elopement photographer I specialize in working with couples to bring out the real you in photos. The parts of you that have probably never been photographed before. There’s a magic to creating photos of such intimate moments, but I won’t keep any secrets from you. 

In this blog we’re going to be covering all of the reasons why should wipe those bad experiences from your expectations, and my favorite tips, tricks and reminders. By the end you’ll know exactly what to expect to make the whole photography experience so much more fun and easy than you ever knew it could be!

Let's get right into it!

1. First things first, let's talk building trust and having open lines of communication. 

Before our session, I send over a Get-To-Know-You questionnaire that helps me understand your love language, how you show affection for each other, what your idea of a perfect date night is, what your favorite things are about each other, things you might be feeling nervous about, anything and everything. This helps me understand the vibe of what our session is going to be like and how I can make it the most comfortable experience for you!

For example if you noted on the questionnaire that you love quiet romantic evenings together and your love languages are words of affirmation, we might plan for a sweet sunset session at the park you had your first date at and write each other a note to read as the sun goes down. If you noted that you’re an adventurous couple that loves and adrenaline rush together, we might plan to go ride dirt bikes on the forestry roads or find a cool alpine lake to dip in! Everything is catered to your personalities and your comfort levels. 

(Before our session, it's also important to communicate to each other how you want your session to feel. Have a conversation about things you might be nervous about, things you want to highlight about your relationship and yourselves. This way you can help each other work through those jitters to get the photos you want!)

2. Know that your photographer (that’s me!) is there to guide you through your session. 

My whole approach is based on getting to know you and your relationship so I can facilitate that in your photos. And how I do that is by guiding you rather than posing you throughout your whole session. I give you open ended directions that are purposefully chosen to let you fall into them easily in your own way. I move WITH you capturing the angles that I know are your best! All you need to focus on is keeping yourselves moving with my prompts. Easy peasy. 

I’ll never micro manage your movement because it’s your natural movements that I want to capture! And your creative interpretation is always welcome.

I want to help you feel the most you, whether that’s goofy or romantic or sultry, however you’re feeling in the moment. I’m here for it all. The focus is on how you move naturally, not precise stiff positions. 

You can expect prompts like:

“Do your best drunken walk towards me!”

“Sit down and scoot your butts as close together as possible, tangle your legs together, and on the count of 3 make a weird noise at each other. 1, 2, 3 GO!”

“Pretend you’re in a three legged race together.”

3. If you know that you’ll have a hard time getting out of your own head and letting go, music can be a great way to help you feel a bit more relaxed!

Make a playlist of your favorite feel good songs and we’ll play them while we shoot! Music has such a powerful way of attaching itself to special memories. So making a playlist specifically for your session is a great opportunity to make some new nostalgia for yourself or reminding your brain that you’re okay with some familiar tunes. 

4. Use our session as a way connect
with your partner even deeper.

I often recommend this to couples on their wedding day, but writing each other a letter to read during our session is such a sweet way to do something special for each other and bring the feels. Plus can you imagine how romantic it’ll be watching the sun go down together and whispering your secret promises that no one but the two of you will hear? C’mon, I’m crying already.

5. Let’s brainstorm an activity to do!

Using your session as a date night is a fantastic way to give you something to focus on other than the camera. We can plan anything from a snack filled board game night at home, to bowling and beers, swimming in your fave alpine lake, to tide pooling! There’s no limit to activities we can plan so if there’s something specific you have in mind, let’s go for it!

6. Make a conscious effort to focus on your partner.

During our session if you find you’re having intrusive negative thoughts and can't seem to shake your nerves, it can help to turn your focus to your favorite things about your partner. How many different colors can you find their eyes? Which freckle is your favorite? Are their dimples are super prominent when they smile today? Trace the edges of each hand. Feel the weight of their hand in yours. Nuzzle into their neck and take a deep breath. What do they smell like? How slow or fast is their heart beat? When was the last time you felt it? When was the last time you looked this hard at them? Remember all the reasons why you fell in love in the first place, and let it help remind you that you are safe with this person.

Most importantly, know that it's totally normal to feel a little silly and awkward during your session. 99.99999% of the couple I work with struggle with the same feelings and they're always so surprised by how easy and fun photos end up feeling, and how beautiful they feel after. Lastly, know that I'm here for you! Dm me on Instagram, send me an email, you can always reach out with any worries and we'll work through them together.

Thank you for reading! Talk soon love you, bye!

xx, Natasha

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