Many men avoid having their picture taken for various reasons. My husband is an expert at dodging my camera. But, most acknowledge and accept that having engagement photos done is necessary, so they begrudgingly agree. There are some things that you can do to help them prepare for your portrait session, though.
In a world where so much focus is placed upon the body issues that women face, it is easy to forget that men also have their own body image issues. One reason that your man may hate having his portrait taken is that he dislikes something about his personal appearance. Instead of becoming frustrated with him because ‘he just doesn’t like it’, ask him the specific reasons why he hates having his portrait taken. He may surprise you with his answer. And, when I- as your photographer- know this, I can work with him to make him feel more comfortable.
It is tempting to ask your guy to dress very formally and fashion forward. But, if your guy is more comfortable in his jeans and t-shirts, asking him to wear clothes he doesn’t like is only going to make him uncomfortable and more grouchy than normal. Now, I’m not saying he should get to wear his oldest jeans and rattiest shirt, but do consider his style and comfort when you help select his outfit. If he’s mostly comfortable, he’ll be more amenable to having his portraits taken.
Generally everyone is in a better mood when your tummy is full- or at least has something in it. Make sure to eat before or bring a snack t your portrait session.
As crazy as it may sound, thank your man for participating in your engagement session. To us women, portraits are something we care about, and want to have. Most men don’t care about them. Just like us, though, they don’t want to do something they don’t like or care about. A ‘thank-you’ at the end of your session will go a long way with him.
Please keep in mind that your man is doing this for you, and becoming overly picky or argumentative with him will not only put you in a bad mood, but may make his worse. And bad moods definitely show through in portraits. I do my best to keep things light and fun and comfortable during my sessions, but there’s only so much I can do. Make a conscious choice to be in a good mood, and your man will probably follow suit.
Thanks to my dad and my husband for your input in helping to write this post. If you have anything to add, please comment below!