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The No. 1 concern of my brides and grooms when I first discuss their wedding photography with them:
“We’re not photogenic”
It’s not a thing. If it were a thing, I would tell you my husband is the King of “not photogenic.”
God has a sense of humor.
Not photogenic = Not comfortable with the camera.
That’s it! That’s the reason people hate themselves in photos. I have great news for these people. We can fix that!
I can teach anyone how to use their camera, but that’s not the problem. Photography is a technical skill. Portraiture is a people skill.
I spent four years in art school learning the mechanics of photography. But that’s not where I learned how to be a portrait photographer. I learned how to be a photographer of people by watching and observing my mentor, Pryde Brown. Pryde was a portrait photographer in Princeton, NJ for 40 years. She was brilliant with people. She could soothe a 3 year old toddler in a throw down tantrum to all smiles in a matter of minutes. Pryde had the ability to calm people and to remove all anxiety from any photo shoot.
I learned something very valuable. It’s not my camera’s job to make you look photogenic. It’s my job.
I know the feeling and anxiety, first hand, of going into a photo shoot. The preparations, the wardrobe choices, the weather not cooperating, the hair and makeup planning. It’s a wonder my couples don’t show up at their session or wedding looking absolutely manic.
Here are some tips on how you can make this work for you and your fiance on your wedding day:
You may be dreading this option. That’s okay! Think of this as an opportunity to get some practice! You’ll learn valuable tips on how to pose and also learn a lot about what angles you like best.
2. CHOOSE ATTIRE/HAIR STYLES YOU DON’T HAVE TO FUSS OVER
It’s the worst feeling to be worrying about your hair being out of place, or adjusting your attire because it doesn’t fit well. I’ve been there! Choose something that you feel comfortable moving around in without having to adjust much. Whatever you’re thinking about tends to show in your facial expressions so worry is something you want to avoid!
3. STOP TAKING YOURSELF SO SERIOUSLY
The reason people love candids so much is because they’re authentic! You can recreate those candid looking images of yourself when you relax! It’s why my 5 minutes of sunset portraits after cocktail hour usually amount to more portraits than the 30 minutes of portraits prior to the ceremony! As a photographer, it is my job to make you forget about posing for the camera, and just be yourself. Keep it simple. If posing for the camera feels painful, then move around a little! It’ll loosen you up a bit!
4. FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT
I’m not kidding! Sometimes I’ll tell my grooms to “giggle” and the absurdity of it all makes them actually laugh. Many people don’t like to be in the spotlight and that’s why photos make them feel uncomfortable. Whatever pose or direction your photographer is giving you that feels “weird,” just go with it. In all likelihood you’ll either laugh at how ridiculous you feel – win. Or you’ll start to get into it – win.
5. TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Choosing a wedding photographer you trust is so important. Rest assure that beyond the pretty backdrop, we’re choosing the most flattering light and angles to make sure you love the way you look. Beyond that, we are probably giving you a prompt that sounds weird, but trust the process. Every single couple we work with has been in your shoes. They have never done this before. They don’t know what to expect and they also think they won’t look like the couples that I have on my website. And then they are on my website, inspiring other couples like you!
Lauren Kearns is Luxury Wedding Photographer serving
Newport, RI to Naples, FL & beyond.