Why he (she) doesn't like being photographed?
It is pretty common, that one member of the wedding couple doesn't like the camera. More often it is the groom (that's why she is in the brackets) but some brides are no different. What are the reasons? How to overcome it?
People are very creative when they want to avoid something that makes them feel uncomfortable. Reasons to try to sneak out from a bridal shoot, however, sounds usually very similar.
Most common reasons to run away from a photoshoot
- I don't look good in the photos
This is the general, probably most often used excuse. Other alternatives of the same reasons are - I am not photogenic, I don't like my photos, I am unattractive...
- I don't feel comfortable being photographed
If the appearance cant be blamed, then the feeling during the photo shoot is to blame.
- I don't know what to do when the camera is focused on me
This puts the fear of the photographer back on him. This is saying - I am feeling lost during my shoot, I need help, I need guidance.
- I am shy
Self-explanatory reason. Not everybody is an outgoing extrovert - and doesn't have to be.
- I don't want to ruin the album for her (him)
A "smart" move is trying to prevent the risk of "damaging" quality product.
- I don't want other people to see my photos
Privacy is important, especially in today's world of the internet. Many people, however, use this card so they don't have to face their fears.
- I don't need any photographs
This point is questionable - Yes, you may not need your wedding photos today, however, you may want to see them, when you get older.
- Don't waste your time taking my photo
Some people sound very caring in an attempt to get what they (don't) want.
- I am worried because I have...
...because I have a scar on my cheek, because I have a big nose, because I have a tattoo because I have big ears because I am bald...
There is a never-ending list of those possibilities of "I have..."
Some of those worries maybe only another way of how to ask for reinsurance from me as your photographer, that I will make you look beautiful in your wedding photos, or that I will make you feel relaxed and comfortable during your wedding day.
How to feel relaxed and comfortable during the photoshoot?
There is no reason for any photographer to make any client look intentionally bad. I'm saying this: If you have chosen us based on the photography we have made in the past, there is a big chance, that we could produce similar photographs for you. If you are however expecting something very different than is our usual style, then you should probably find a photographer, who will fit your expectations better.
When it comes to making you feel relaxed and comfortable during the bridal shoot I believe that here comes the advantage of having 2 photographers with 2 different personalities on the shoot. From my experience, I can say that I often feel how beneficial it is for you, to have one introvert and one extrovert as your photographers.
A wedding day is a gathering of many different people with different personalities. Everyone needs a different approach and we are one solution for the needs of both major groups.
Introverts, who don"t like as much attention appreciate my fly on the wall photography approach, those who need direction and guidance are looked after by my entertaining and bubbly partner.
If you don't want other people to see your photographs, do not forget that it is only about communicating that with your photographer. Every photographer likes to show off the work he is proud of, so do we. At the same time, if you ask us on your pre-wedding consultation for respecting your privacy, we do not have a problem respecting that.
The psychology behind the fear of being photographed
I get it - to a certain degree, I am not a social media-friendly person myself. I handpick the few images there are of me online - and all the ones where I don't look as good as I should have been published behind my back or with a high level of my resistance :).
I believe that my level of disliking the social exposing of photographs of myself is still healthy.
There is a scientific explanation behind the discomfort of being photographed.
Psychologists Theodore H. Mita, Marshall Dermer and Jeffrey Knight made a study in 1977 which explains a lot behind the fear of being photographed. People are used to seeing themself every morning in the mirror. This creates in the human mind a "mirror image", which people get used to seeing and in some case also expect to see in the photos from their photographer. Apart from the mirror image however also exists the "true image" of the person...and here is the issue. A photographer will capture the true image of the person and here is the disproportion of what the client has been expecting and what has been captured.
The problem with the mirror images is that what you see in the mirror is controlled by you and you will naturally show to the mirror only the best part of you and hide little imperfections. When you hire a photographer, you may expect to see, what you see every morning in the mirror, however, your gut feeling is probably telling to you, that you might see something more closer to a true image of yourself.
For those reasons, you may feel very uncomfortable to give up the control over what part of your body is captured by another person (photographer).
That's also the reason why is so important to get to know your photographer and build trust between you and him. Especially if you are one of those, who are worried about their appearance in the photos, building trust is not just an empty expression.
When the fear goes too far
Firstly I have to note that I am not a medical expert at all, however, I have researched that there are unfortunately between us people with a morbid fear of being seen by others or being stared at by others. This anxiety disorder is called scopophobia or also ophthalmophobia.
Scopophobia can be treated for example by hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming or by anti-anxiety medication.
I do not want you to freak out. Not every fear you have before your wedding photographs are taken means that you should contact your doctor.
False fear is common - you will be fine
This article is primarily about photography and I as a photographer can say that the vast majority of the people, who worry before a photo shoot will end up enjoying the experience in the end.