Being "Natural" in Your Wedding Photos

Written by Curator, MIchelle of Michelle Cox Photography:

So often I talk to couples before their wedding day and they tell me what is most important to them in their wedding photography. In my experience, the most resounding answer I hear is “We want to look natural” or “Just capture ‘us’ as we really are”.

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As your photographer I honestly couldn’t be more happy to hear that. In my photography business, I specialize is capturing true, natural moments. I want to do as much as I can to allow my clients, along with their family and friends to be themselves and feel themselves so that I can capture those true selves through my lens.

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Let me clear the air though, before I start giving out advice - being in front of the camera is NOT NATURAL. As a society we are hardwired to act a certain way, look a certain way and unfortunately when a camera comes out, the majority of people can not ignore it. They will change their behavior for that camera without even realizing it. So if the majority of people act unnatural when the camera comes out, and you have a photographer booked for 8-10 hours on your wedding day but you really want to look and feel like your most natural and normal self, how can we do this?

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I best advice that I give to all of my clients is this - rather than posing in photos, smiling for the camera, you need to give yourselves, your friends and your family time to experience the day together, while also in front of the camera.

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If you want real and natural moments with your parents on the wedding day, invite them to the “getting ready” portion of the day. Bring your mom in when you are getting dressed and share a few tears with her as you are slipping into your gown. Have your dad help you with the (sometimes frustrating) task of tying your bow tie or getting your cufflinks on. Bring a bottle of champagne to the portrait session and have someone in your bridal party make a toast or share their favorite memories of you all together. Do a first look with your 90 year old grandma and let her see you in your gown before you walk down the aisle.

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By strategically planning your photography schedule and having your intention fixed on “experiencing your day”, creating moments to laugh, smile, or even cry tears of joy, will give everyone the opportunity to lower their barriers and truly be themselves.

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In the end, you will not only realize that you captured your “truest” selves but you will also have so many more precious memories from a day that usually seems to fly by. By living in the moment and capturing those moments with intention, you will allow yourselves to absorb this joyous day fully and completely.