I hate photos. All photos.
I’ve discussed this previously on a podcast with Fat Chat, my dislike for being photographed has had me actively avoid getting in front of the camera for years. No mean feat, when I have spent large swathes of my adult life on photoshoots.
Even as a child, I took photos of things and places, very rarely people and I’m fairly sure there is a large gap of archived images of me between the ages of 10 and 16 (if you have one, feel free to keep it to yourself). Even if I look back at my relationship with Dan, we actually have surprisingly few photos together. So much so, that when he presented me with a photo album on our first anniversary, I think there were a large and almost unreasonable amount of pictures of things and food, as opposed to an album packed with sweet selfies, or date night pics. In fact, prior to our wedding, we could probably count our pictures together on one pair of hands.
I want to tell you it’s because I’m always in the moment, which I do try to be. But equally, I also hate ruining a moment with a bad photo. I am a firm believer if I can’t get the shot in the first few frames, we should definitely give up and I don’t want to take something I’ve enjoyed and turn it into a self conscious moment.
Now if you follow me on Instagram, you will note some very stage-managed snaps taken ‘for the ‘gram’ and I blame Antonia entirely for these outfit posts. I did quite enjoy them at the time, but not being one for posing too much, these too came with dozens of iterations, the right amount of distance and camera tilt and often ended with me saying, ‘if we haven’t got it now, let’s just leave it’.
But you know when you can’t avoid photos… your wedding day.
For all my fellow anti-posers out there, you’ll understand how stressful the idea of spending an entire day being snapped is. While I don’t mind being centre of attention for 24hours, I did worry about the photos in the run up to the day and of course, post big day, I’ve been panicking if there will be any photographs that I like of myself. We had a great photographic duo (Leivi Saltman and Amanda Ward) on the day but the self consciousness of having your photo taken isn’t down to how skilled your photographer is, it’s about getting out of your own head.
I’m lucky that on the day I definitely felt like I eased into it. I forgot to feel self conscious, because I was having a brilliant time and our photographers were great at being both discreet when they needed to be and very much wrangling our unruly friends and family for snaps when it was needed too. But my self conscious streak certainly sneaks back in as photos start to trickle in.
While I’m certain there will be a handful of pictures I ban outright from ever seeing the light of day (a bride’s prerogative surely), there are also photos where I think, ‘Wow, is that us’.
But in those moments when I’m judging myself, it is Dan who reminds… ‘But look how happy we are’. And so if you too are awaiting photos back, have got a wedding album you’ve banished or are worried about pics of your big day, be more Dan. Remember the moment, the elation and the joy. Banish the photos you truly don’t like but do embrace the memories over the meltdown. Look at photos not how you wish they’d been but the fact you were there in the moment and celebrating your togetherness.
I don’t need a million amazing pictures and I don’t need to love all of them. We’ve already had some beautiful shots that I can’t wait to get hung on our wall and I have of course already spammed my WhatsApp groups with a series of pictures but if for any reason a pic rears its head that I don’t love. I’m just going to slide it to one side and carry on.
You can’t cure feeling photographically self-conscious with one click but you can forgive yourself and just cherish the captured moments.
Here’s some wedding spam because I really love these pics and I’ve run out of people to show them to.
Flowers: Philipa Day
Venue: The Barns at Lodge Farm
Venue Styling: Fleur De Lace