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  • Writer's picturePurple Kite Photography


Hertfordshire bride and groom in front of dark wooden door, laughing

"I hate having my picture taken and I don't want to look awkward in my wedding photos!"

You probably won't be shocked when I tell you that I hear this such a lot when I first meet a couple - you probably feel the same way. I know I do! I'm so much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it, so I totally get it! I hate posing for photos and do my best to avoid it at all costs.

Being camera shy is so common and very normal! You know how important it is to have incredible photos to look back on from your day, capturing all the little moments and emotions, so finding the right photographer will be high on your list of priorities. Don't worry, I'm here to reassure you that the RIGHT photographer will make you feel at ease and totally comfortable on your day.

Sarah Whyte, owner of Purple Kite Photography, sitting on a bridge in Hertford, Hertfordshire

Hi, I'm Sarah!
I’m based in Hertford, but I’m not just a Hertfordshire wedding photographer – I cover weddings all over the UK, and beyond!



Tip #1 Don't pose!

Bride and groom standing together, laughing, in front of ornate white and blue fireplace

You will have seen hundreds of dramatic Insta posts of glamorous couples contorted into unnatural positions on mountaintops, but your portrait session won’t be like that with me! When I take my couples off for some portraits, I like to think of it as a chance to step back from the madness of the day. A few moments to take a breather, chat, relax, and enjoy the fact that you just got married! It’s probably the first chance you get to be alone together during the whole day. The last thing you want to be doing is holding your head a certain way, or be worrying about the position of your little finger while I spend hours snapping away.

Instead, we go for a walk. You can have a laugh about the day so far. I might tell you to stop and have a little cuddle. I might get you to whisper something rude to each other to make you giggle. The aim is for your photos to look relaxed and natural and like YOU!

I won’t keep you from your guests for hours, so we’ll maybe spend 20-30 minutes getting some great and natural photos then you can get back to the party.

Henry Moore Studios and Gardens wedding - Groom carrying his bride awkwardly near a wooden gate in a field

Tip #2 Move

Fanhams Hall Wedding - Bride and Groom dancing in the ornamental gardens

If you feel uncomfortable posing for the camera there's a chance that this will come across in your wedding photos!

If you start thinking that you're pulling that weird Chandler Bing face, or stressing about how you should stand, or worrying about what you should do with your hands, we won't get those lovely relaxed photos you want.

My suggestion would be to move - dance, twirl, jump, skip, have fun and I will capture the genuine joy on your faces while you're distracted in movement.

Tip #3 Love yourself

Tewin Bury Farm wedding - Bride and groom looking happily at each other during their outdoor ceremony

Time for some honesty - there will inevitably be some photos of yourself from the wedding that you just don't like. This doesn't mean you're horrible, it just means that I captured you in the one fleeting moment that your face was doing something you don't like.

Social media has done so much damage by promoting unrealistic beauty standards, causing huge global problems around body image and self-loathing which affects us all.

You know that photo of yourself from 10 years ago that you look back on and think, “I wish I was as old/fat/ ugly looking as I thought I was in this photo!”? Well that’s a reminder that when you’re older, you’ll look back on your wedding photos and know you looked amazing! Everyone but you can see this already, so try to adopt this attitude.

Documentary photography isn't always perfect - it captures moments in all their natural glory, but this is how you also get those great reaction shots too. The big belly laughs, double chins, the tears - all the emotions. These make for some of the best photos from the day. Some of the most beautiful couples I've photographed have been so critical of their appearance, bemoaning double chins, scrunched up eyes, weird expressions in photos where I think they look the most happy, carefree and wonderful.

So next time you're tempted to obsess over those tiny 'imperfections' that you might see in yourself, try to focus instead on the memory which had you laughing away, because, in that moment, you were perfectly, radiantly happy.

Tip #4 Choose the RIGHT Photographer

If you want to enjoy having your photo taken on your wedding day, with no awkward posing, choose a documentary photographer (like me!). We are brilliant at blending into the background and capturing all the relaxed, natural, un-posed little moments without even being noticed most of the time - the laughter, the tears, the excitement… and everything in between!

Before choosing your wedding photographer, read reviews from real couples about their experiences - these are a great way to get a feel for how the photographer will fit in to your day. Every website or social media profile you look at will try to persuade you that they are right for you, but you're far more likely to trust them when you see recommendations from people who have actually hired them and had a good experience.

Finally, as I often say, you will be spending more time with your photographer on your Wedding Day than you will with some of your closest friends and family, so it is vital that you get along well. As well as looking through their website, I would urge you to try and set up a meeting, ideally in person, with your photographer, or over zoom so you can have a chat about your plans for the day and get to know each other a little before you hire someone.

Wedding photographer - Seated bride, groom and guests laughing at speeches

Bonus Tip Enjoy your day!

Remember that your gorgeous wedding gallery will come from capturing how you FEEL rather than how you look. On your wedding day you will feel incredible! You're finally marrying your soul mate, surrounded by people and things that you love, supported by a photographer you can trust - feeling so confident, relaxed and happy that you won't give a second thought to being caught on camera.

Nothing will make you look more radiant than a beautiful, natural, unguarded smile that truly captures how you feel on your Wedding day!

Having my photograph taken it my worst nightmare! But I couldn’t have wished for a nicer more reassuring photographer. Sarah made me feel comfortable and confident throughout the wedding. She managed to capture every moment of the day without being noticed! Photos I will cherish forever!
Lauren and Craig
Sarah’s ability to slip into the day and be present in all the perfect moments without overpowering any moment is a skill that is hard to master, but she did it perfectly. Her smiley, calm presence was a wonderful addition to the day. And the photos are just beautiful, we have had nothing but wonderful comments from our guests about Sarah and her photos. I cannot recommend her enough to be part of your big day!

Jojo and Alex

Wedding photography - Bride and two friends laughing at a joke together


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