An unphotogenic bride….

So…..after going to a wedding this weekend and being reminded of one of my least favorite aspects of the whole wedding process, I’m a little stressed out about how to deal with it.

I am, of course, talking about the wedding photography.

I HATE having my photo taken.  I’m not really that bad about having it done by professionals – many of those actually work out in my favor.  The ones I despise are the badly lit, over flashed, poorly cropped snapshots that everyone and their brother takes at weddings, family gatherings, events, etc.  They do it so it’s something to do, kidding themselves into thinking the couple needs more posed photos and they’re doing them a favor.  If you do this, keep them to yourself unless there’s a really great shot or two.  Do not send them to the couple- this is what the bride and groom have overpaid to have done by someone who knows what they’re doing!

There will be none of this!

There will be none of this!

Luckily Matt agrees that spending half the wedding and reception posing for photos is obnoxious and he’s been willing to compromise.

We have already agreed we wouldn’t have a videographer.  I just can’t see myself sitting down and watching the video of anyone’s wedding, let alone mine.  Aren’t photos enough?

We’ve also said that we want to limit the amount of posed photos on the day of the wedding, choosing instead to take photos under much calmer conditions, before the wedding day, without everyone having to be there standing around and taking shots with their disposable cameras.  We want our posed photos to be more relaxed, more atmospheric, and more whimsical than “bride alone, bride with mother, bride with father, bride and groom, bride and groom and officiant, bride with bridesmaids, etc…” awkwardly standing around in front of the altar.

That said, Matt thought that we could put something in the invite that said “No Flash Photography” or “The bride and groom love you, but will not pose for your photos.  Candid shots are ok, but under no circumstances are you to send them to the bride.”

Is it immature for me to not want people to hide behind their cameras all night and take unflattering photos?  I’d rather have fewer photos and better memories of people dancing and having fun.  Maybe I’ll change my mind over the next few months.  Hell, we’ve given ourselves plenty of time to plan TWO weddings.

My gut instinct at this moment though is that I don’t want to have to have my photo taken too much by too many people.  I don’t want it posted on Facebook.  I want control over the images of me that are out there in the world, because frankly only 1 out of 4 that I take are flattering at all.  I am not photogenic, and no amount of hair/makeup/wedding dress flounces can fix it.  It’s an attitude adjustment that I’ll have to make myself, but I don’t want or need people telling me that it’s not a valid concern.

Have you known someone who isn’t photogenic and had to deal with getting wedding or engagement shots?  How did they approach it?  Do you hate yourself in photos?  How do you cope with snap-happy relatives?

For those of you who disagree with me — until I feel okay with the whole thing, please just humor me.  I will probably get over it, but until I do, put your point-and-shoot away.   I’ll be less prone to biting.

About Ginger

Hello! My name is Ginger. I'm 27 and I live in Seattle with my fiancée Matt and his cat, Arthur. Find me in my kitchen, trying to incorporate pine nuts into more recipes, at Pacific Fabrics - drooling over prints in the home dec department, walking home through Woodland Park Zoo, or sipping aquavit in Ballard. Check out my food blog at
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2 Responses to An unphotogenic bride….

  1. Lily S. says:

    Hey Ginj! The wedding planning looks like so much fun! An awesome outlet for your creativity…

    I wanted to weigh in as someone who is extremely unphotogenic. I remember being 8 (and 10 and 12) years old and hiding behind a barn at the family reunion in Montana, hollering that I wasn’t gonna be in the stupid family photo. I regularly untag myself in Facebook posts, and there’s a good reason I change my profile pic about once a year: I don’t have any photos of myself that I like. So please consider me an expert on this matter.

    That being said, I wouldn’t get too worked up about this one. I totally agree with letting people know that being photographed, especially posed photography, is not what you want the focus of yourspecialday to be. The whole bride with groom, groom with groomsmen, groom with groom’s family thing is truly tiresome. And it looks like you’ve picked out a really amazing photographer already.

    So here’s the thing about weddings- they’re just as much for your family and friends as for you. You already know this or otherwise you’d just get a marriage certificate and be done with it. And there’s going to be some people at your wedding who think pictures are THE point of getting married, and aren’t you just so thrilled that we put together a web scrapbook of you and sent it to you? These are people you love who love you who also come from different generations where photos are the primary representation of this event in your lives. They don’t FB, blog, or Skype.

    My advice: the portraits are for you and Matt. The rest are for everyone else. Judiciously untag, and when you get the photos in the mail or online, box ’em up, put ’em in a closet, and pull them out 40 years down the road. You’ll feel very differently about yourself then, namely, you won’t give much of a hoot, and your grandkids will be thrilled.

    Love ya!

    P.S.- Unphotogenicity runs in my family. However, at my aunt’s wedding a few years ago, some of the most beautiful, flattering pics came from the disposable cameras set out for guests. Go figure…

  2. bellecoeurwedding says:

    Thanks for the comment and sentiment, sweetie. I think my outlook has changed a little since I wrote that post last year, but it’s still tough. I don’t know that I have the patience yet to just let it go. But I’m working on it.

    Good to hear from you!

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