I hate having my photo taken

I used to hate having my photo taken – there are probably only about three photos in total of me as a teenager – so I totally sympathise when people tell me they don’t like having their picture taken either.

In fact, it’s probably one of the most common things I hear.

Some people are naturally confident and relaxed, some people get very nervous, but most of us are somewhere inbetween.

Why are we not all super-confident and relaxed in front of the camera? I think there are two main reasons:

1) Shyness

2) Not liking how we look in photos – or the ‘Chandler effect’

I see it as part of my job to overcome these things, so that whomever I’m taking a photo of gets past their initial nerves, shyness or whatever, and maybe even enjoys the experience.

And everybody looks better from certain angles. For example, I’m not the tallest guy in the world and my hair’s a bit thin on top, so I’m not really going to appreciate photos of me from above!

This photo of me wearing the bowler hat was taken as part of a project I did with Storiel gallery in Bangor recreating photos from Victorian times. I found that being in front of the camera helped me appreciate what it’s like for people I’m taking a picture of. And, truth be told, I ended up having a good laugh!

You probably have your own thing/s you like about yourself, and other things you’re not so keen on.

It is for these reasons that I always try and do a pre-wedding shoot with couples that book me for their wedding.

In North Wales, there’s an amazing choice of places to do location shoots and my fave thing to is go to the beach. The shoot is totally informal and gives me a chance to get to know people a bit before their wedding, and for them to practice having their photo taken.

One of the things that helps me as a wedding and people photographer is I like a good moider (Welsh for talking twaddle), which I hope helps put people at their ease.

By the time it gets to the wedding itself, having pictures taken is no longer something to worry about. In fact, it’s something to look forward to!

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