Nigel Barker Shares His Tips for Couples to Be Comfortable in Front of the Camera on Their Wedding Days

Nigel BarkerNigel Barker in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)

For Nigel Barker, fabulous photos stem from focus. The world-renowned photographer, a former model himself, acknowledges that it’s not an easy feat for couples to take effortlessly beautiful pictures on their wedding days.

However, he provides professional advice for couples who want to be comfortable in front of the camera while posing for their wedding portraits.

“It’s complicated for a lot of people; Actually, the majority of people,” Barker tells The Knot in an exclusive interview. “It’s not at all unusual. Don’t think, ‘I’m being a pain. It’s me.’ I hear it over and over again. People are very nervous and don’t like the attention.”

Even stars struggle with the camera. “A lot of actors hate to be photographed,” the former America’s Next Top Model judge notes. “They like performing… Sometimes, they’ll be like, ‘Am I doing it right? Am I expressing it right?’” Barker, the creative director of E! Live From The Red Carpet, of course witnessed it even during awards season.

However, he gives practical, step-by-step suggestions for couples to relax in front of the lens. “You have to clear your mind and take yourself to a happy moment,” he says. “I have to tell people, ‘Literally, imagine your favorite song. A song that perhaps is something you first danced to with your husband or boyfriend. A song that you first kissed to. Or that when you first saw him across the bar or he first saw you.’”

Nigel Barker wife

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 18: Nigel Barker and Cristen Barker attend the American Ballet Theatre’s 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Spring Gala at The Metropolitan Opera House on May 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

It helps ease the pair into a more genuine place. “Then you realize the importance of why you are there,” he says. “And then [I tell them to] think of what you hope to achieve with the union, and why it’s important to you. What could be more important to have a lifelong friend hat you can trust that you can tell anything to?”

He says it typically dissipates nervousness. “Those things make it bigger than that moment or that nervousness,” he adds. “That will sink in.”

Barker also advises some physical steps to take glowing photos. “Take a breath and breathe out,” he notes. “And the truth of that photograph will tell the story. You don’t have to do the smiling.”

About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.