How to look natural in Photos | Preparing for you Engagement Shoot

If you're anything like me you're probably a bit camera shy and somewhat anxious about your upcoming photoshoot. So to help you calm your nerves before our shoot I've written a few tips that I hope will help. Read on if you want to know the secret sauce behind how to look natural in photos.

1. Relax, breathe, and be present.

Trust me, There is no right or wrong way when it comes to being in front of my camera. I'm an overthinker myself so I know it's hard, but try not to self-analyze your every movement. Negative thoughts like ‘am I doing this right?’ ‘I don’t think this is my best angle’ "is this what she meant' etc will only make it harder for you to relax. The best thing you can do to achieve natural photos is allowing yourself to be natural. So block off your insecurities and trust that I have your best interest at heart - because I definitely do.

2. Being yourself is more than enough.

The first thing my couples tell me once we start the session is 'just tell us what to do'. And of course, I will provide guidance on what to actually do throughout the shoot. But please know that my directions will always be somewhat vague. This is to allow your own interpretations, personalities and beings shine through. As a documentary-style photographer, your uniqueness and how you connect as a couple is the real magic I'm looking to capture. I'm not interested in posing you 50 different ways, I rather just go with the flow and let the location, light and your authentic connection guide me. So just be yourself and I'll make sure to capture natural couples' portrait that'll make you go  ‘Wow this is so us!’ and ‘We look amazing!!”

3. Move lots and have fun with it.

If you stop moving for just 2 seconds you'll instantly look stiff and unnatural. This is why I won't put you into poses, and rather encourage you to move freely throughout the shoot. Moving does not only allow you to look natural and alive, it also opens up the possibilities of capturing real in-between moments impossible to achieve through traditional posing. Your movements can be super subtle and gentle like stroking your partner's arms or hands, rubbing their back, or simply swaying back and forth together. It can also be more dramatic like twirling,  piggyback riding, or bumping hips while walking.

I always encourage lots of movement during my shoots and I will always help with suggestions should you need it. As most documentary-style photographers, however, I love it when you start to move more freely without me giving you directions. This usually happens in the second half of the shoot once you've become fully comfortable in front of my camera. And this my friends is where the real magic happens. You, enjoying each other's company, doing whatever feels right in your moment is the secret behind nailing natural couples photos.



So there you have it. I hope these tips will help you feel less anxious about your upcoming photoshoot because It's actually a lot of fun!

If  you're not scheduled in for a couple's shoot with me but want to after reading this article? Let's make it happen:

Schedule your own Perth or Down South Engagement photo shoot. 


Couple piggybacking and laughing at the beach

4 reasons why you should consider doing an engagement shoot before your wedding

Not keen on the idea of doing an engagement shoot before your wedding? Let me try to convince you why you should.

Maybe you feel awkward in front of a camera, or maybe you just don’t see any benefit of doing an engagement shoot. Whatever your reason for not wanting to do an engagement shoot is, I always recommend that my couples do one. Why? Whether you believe it or not, it’s by far the best way to 'level up' your wedding photography experience.  Let me explain!

1. If you hate being in front of the camera, an engagement shoot is your opportunity to become comfortable with it.

The last thing any wedding photographer would want is for you to be anxious or uncomfortable in front of their camera. Especially during your wedding day!

Doing an engagement session before the wedding will help calm your photography-related nerves. Trust me. It will also rid you of any in-front-of camera awkwardness and anxiety.

Chances are you've been overthinking the whole photography thing as well. An engagement shoot will show you what to actually expect from your photographer. I bet you'll soon realise that having couples photos done is nothing but fun and enjoyable. Even more so if you've booked someone like me. A documentary-style wedding photographer with a relaxed way of shooting.

And if you cringe by the thought of being all lovey-dovey in front of a 'stranger', why not do it your way? Go on an adventure or do a fun activity with your photographer. Because who says an engagement shoot has to be a boring hour of posing for the camera? Not me! 


2. You get to know your photographer and vice versa.

This one is a win-win situation come your wedding day. Because let's be honest. It's must be pretty weird having a stranger following your every step for a whole day.

By doing an engagement session you’ll learn how your photographer works, and what is expected from you in order to nail those beautiful candid portraits. It’s also a great way for your photographer to learn more about you, your personalities, how you connect as a couple and what really matters to you when it comes to documenting your wedding celebration.

In short, the better you know your wedding photographer the more comfortable you’ll feel having them around on the wedding day.

And the better your wedding photography understands you, the better equipped they’ll be to capture more personal and meaningful wedding photos you’ll truly treasure.


3. You get to see professional photos of yourself before the wedding.

Being able to see professional photos of your self before the wedding day will allow you to communicate more effectively with your photographer when it comes to your preferences. It’s a lot easier to understand what you like or don’t like when you’re looking at images of yourself, as opposed to a random couple you’ve found photos of on Pinterest.

And if you’re extra smart you can even combine the shoot with your hair and makeup trial. This will allow you to suss out if you like how your makeup looks in photos.


4. You get amazing non-wedding portraits of yourselves. Perfect for save the dates, Instagram, wedding guest signing books - you name it.

Last but not least, doing an engagement session will give you lots of beautiful, authentic portraits of the everyday you. 



couple walking hand in hand at Edith Valley



The H Family | Relaxed At Home Session with 4 month old

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Subiaco Family Photography Session | The G Family

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T + M | Surprise Backyard Wedding in Bunbury

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M+ T | Pre-wedding Sunset Shoot in Wonnerup, Busselton

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E+ A | Pre-wedding shoot at Edith Valley

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G + S | Pullman Resort Bunker Bay

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S + P| Pre-wedding shoot in Margaret River

I don't think I've ever laughed as much as I did while hanging out with Sarah and Pat for their valentines day couples shoot in Margaret River. A Valentine's day well spent on my behalf! As you can see from the photos we had a LOT of fun despite being attacked by march flies throughout the whole thing.


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J + J | Aravina Estate Wedding

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