The number one thing that clients frequently tell me is “I feel awkward in front of the camera”. As a wedding photographer its my job to make people feel more comfortable. I have a few different tricks I use to help people feel more comfortable.
First is I respect physical proximity. Often I will take photos with long lenses to give the appearance that I am very close but actually I am quite far away. The farther away from a subject I am the more comfortable they will feel.
Second is that I don’t point the camera at people for too long. Generally people feel comfortable knowing a camera is pointed at them for only a second or two. I first visualize the photo and get my settings in order and then I will ask someone to smile or capture a candid shot. From when they smile until I take the photo is ideally under a couple seconds. After that people start to get a “fake smile” feeling.
Finally I make sure not to take too many consecutive photos of someone. I will shoot in short bursts to ensure we get a shot without a blink but generally I don’t like to take a burst that is longer than a couple seconds. People start to feel awkward when tons of photos are being taken of them in a consecutive sequence.
When I cover weddings it is one of my highest priorities to blend in with the flow of the day. Every wedding is different and I am always trying to ensure that I adapt to each wedding both socially and physically. I try to be social throughout the day. I find when I have introduced myself to people and have a bit of conversation they feel more comfortable with me taking their photo.