It's no secret that guys hate having their portraits taken but, most of the time it's because they feel uncomfortable. And who's to blame them?! You have to get all dressed up, go some place you probably don't want to go, get bossed around by a stranger with a camera in your face, and you're expected to happy about it!
We totally get it! And believe it or not, Stephen felt this exact same way when we did our engagement portraits 7 years ago! But your session doesn't have to feel uncomfortable and awkward! Let's talk about some ways that you can prepare your guy and how to help him feel comfortable for your session!
1. Educate and empower him!
You have to let him know how much this means to you. He probably feels like this is just a to-do on the check off list of getting married. Sit him down and explain that this is more than just taking pictures, this is documenting a time in your life that you will never experience again. Think about it. You are single for 20 or so years, engaged for 6 -12 months, and then you're married for the rest of your life! The engagement period is the shortest part of your life, and you'll never be engaged again! These portraits are some of our favorite times to get to know our couples, and a lot of times, our couples have used this time to look back and remember why they fell in love and how excited they are to be together forever. It's a time to cherish! It's also a chance to "practice" with your photographer if they are photographing your wedding also. This is a great time to learn how to pose and show real emotion, a must for preparing for portraits on wedding day! After the engagement session, he'll basically be a model now and will crush his portraits on your big day!
2. If he hasn't met your photographer yet, he should!
We always love meeting with our couples before their engagement session! This helps to break the ice and get to know each other a little bit better before they get in front of our cameras. Normally, we will meet the bride and groom at their initial consultation for booking us as their wedding photographers. For our couples who are only coming to us for an engagement session, we will also try and schedule a consult to design their session so we can meet! We've even gone to dinner with our potential couples for a more relaxed atmosphere and planned their session during dinner! We have found that meeting beforehand has significantly improved the overall experience for the groom during the engagement session!
3. Let him help plan the session!
The best thing you can do to get anyone excited about something is to let them be involved! While we women are very good at planning things, down to the last detail, it is important to remember that this is about him too. He needs to be excited about the session so let him help! Where did he take you on your first date? Was it the city park? Let's do your session there! Does he like to go fishing? Let's do the session at the lake! Does he always wear a baseball cap, but you hate it? Let him have a couple of portraits done with his cap! I promise I can get a cute photograph of the two of you with his ball cap ;)
Something to remember... If you do all of this, and your man is still not having it, talk to him. Be compassionate and understand what it is that is keeping him from wanting to do this. It could be that he had a horrible photographic experience as a child or teenager. Try to understand where he is coming from and ask how you can help. Reach out to your photographer if needed, we are always here to help!