A few years ago a couple was sitting in my studio making plans for their engagement session. The groom looked at me and said, "Kristin, I hate being photographed. I have never liked myself in photographs. Wait. There was one. I was FIVE."
I smiled and assured him that I would take good care of him, and that I can change his opinion of himself.
The day arrived for their session and you could tell that he was only there because he loved his fiance. It was evident that there were other things he wished he could have been doing that day. By the end of the day however, they were laughing and enjoying themselves and they seemed so relaxed. They said they appreciated having time to just be together and not think about wedding planning.
Two weeks later their images were delivered and I received several compliments.
Their wedding day arrived very quickly after that. While we were discussing how the day would unfold photographically the groom stopped and looked at me very intently. I was expecting to hear how I would only be given 10 minutes to create portraits. The groom said, "Kristin, I have told everyone to listen to YOU. You go wherever you want, you do whatever you need to do. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I was with the photographs you took. You are the one vendor that I have complete confidence in on the wedding day."
I was so happy to hear that. It is what I strive for, to be one less thing you need to stress over.
And I have a confession now. I dislike being photographed also. I rarely enjoy seeing myself in photographs. I do enjoy being on the other side! I like to think that it's my empathy to the situation that helps me to put others at ease in front of the camera. I have spent years paying attention to the techniques and tricks that have helped ME feel more relaxed in front of the camera. I have created my own magic formula, along with a compassionate and friendly personality to help my clients feel better and in so doing, to actually ENJOY the process.
I haven't let anyone down yet. Even better, they have all LIKED their photos too!
And here is my secret for success on your wedding day: treat EVERYONE with the same empathy and nurturing compassion. When you, your family/bridal party and your guests are comfortable and happy, it translates into meaningful images that you will all feel good about.