Camera Awkwardness & How To Overcome It

Zara Davis Wedding Photography Cotswolds Photographer Camera shyness advice

Honestly, I get it...

I have those same memories of being forced in front of a camera at school, especially in that hideous teenage, acne-induced phase to times when your nan is taking aaaaaages to get that Christmas family group snapshot to that 'Oh my Gosh, do I ACTUALLY look like that?' candid snap your mate took on a night out. We've all been there. Me very much included!

So it's a completely understandable case of fear and loathing when it comes to 'posing' for your pre-wedding shoot or even photos on your big day. I'll tell you now though....


and every single one now has some awesome photos from their big day.

So how did we get from A to B? I'm not going to lie and say by the end of this you can't wait to jump in front of a camera but the aim is to make it less daunting.

So for the especially shy/awkward/down-on-ourselves type of person or couple. Here are my favourite pieces of advice on getting the most out of your experience.


This is the best tip I can give you.

No more standing still! Keep moving, even if you are shuffling your feet. It will ground you and keep your mind focused on something other than the camera and let's face it... when we are trying to stand straight, shoulders back and all that jazz, we inevitably look more awkward as that's what we feel inside!

So foot shuffle, walk, jog, dance, sway it will all help and you'll look way more comfortable.

Zara Davis Wedding Photography Cotswolds Photographer movement in photos

Don't look at the camera

You know it's there, I know it's there so we need to forget it is.

Photos (to me) aren't just what people look like but the emotion in that moment. We're primed to react to each other emotionally by reading faces and body language. My camera isn't going to give that to you, so look at your beloved and pull a silly face at them. We want those natural smiles not forced ones. Plus it will save you a huge amount of jaw ache!

Top tip: crack out those cheesy dad jokes and see who is the first to break!

Zara Davis Wedding Photography Cotswolds Photographer Camera Shyness Dont Look at the Camera

Group Photos

This is probably the most 'posed' you'll have all day and your elders in the family will most likely insist on having some family snaps together but there are ways to make posing less awkward.

  1. Staggered lines. Some are sat, some or stood, some are leaning in. Groups do NOT have to look like Police line-ups!!
  2. Never stand straight on to the camera. Turn your body slightly and the knee closed to me, bend it a little. This will give anyone a much nicer posture
  3. If anyone is sitting, NEVER point your knees to the camera. Slightly side on makes a more flattering profile.

Zara Davis Wedding Photography Cotswolds Photographer Camera Shyness Group Photos

A word on 'Beauty'

Sadly we live in a society where women and men are conditioned into only seeing the things in themselves that don’t fit with our warped cultural definition of beauty. There are only a handful of people on this planet (out of 7 billion now?) who look like models. Every single image you see online, in a magazine, in a film... they've been handpicked by editors on how they look.

Wedding/Family/Couples photography isn't about looking like a model on a photoshoot. It's about emotions, connections, the way your partner looks at you, the love on a parent's face when looking at their newborn. A candid photo of a child's absolute joy on a Christmas morning. Photos are a celebration of life and moments. In ten/twenty/thirty years when you look back over them, you'll want to recall that person's smile, hear their laugh in your mind, remember the sounds and the energy of it all.

Most of all, as you look over them and you see your loved ones' faces, you aren't critical of what they look like. You love them and that's how others will look at you.

So if you have that voice in your head telling you you don't measure up. Tell it to eff off as its lying to you. You are amazing, and so, so loved. That's the truth.

Zara Davis Wedding Photography Cotswolds Photographer Camera shyness beauty ideals