Most of my couples say they really do not like having their photographs taken & usually ask for unposed photographs at their weddings but I think we all secretly want a cracking couples portarit shot of ourselves on our wedding day to display or to show our grandchildren how cool we looked back in the day!
Unposed Relaxed Wedding Portraits
Couple portraits – The majority of Wedding Photographers, me included, tend to advertise that we are focusing on unposed, natural or relaxed wedding photographs nowadays! Don’t get me wrong this is what I’m all about, I really love capturing all the emotions of your wedding day in an informal way. However I still like to potter around the venue for maybe 15 minutes or so with my newly weds to get some great posed/unposed photographs of them together. It gives my couple a chance to have a breather from being the centre of attention. I really enjoy this time spent with them too. I don’t take ages on these shots as after all I have been hired so they can spend as much time as possible with their family & friends having a good old catch up & a few beers so I really do not want to drag them off for ages for this part of their day.
Generally I take the portraits after the meal, during the ‘golden hour’. This is as the sun goes down to create the best light & the background looks pretty amazing at this time of the day too! Having said that I’m also equally as happy to take some images in an urban setting or in front of a neutral background as I am really aiming to get the best expressions & emotions of people I photograph rather than the pretty settings. I find most people are really relaxed with a few drinks drank & all the legal bits are far behind them. They are happy to have a little walk about with the Photographer snapping away at this time of the day.
If I haven’t got a handful of beautiful wedding portraits I feel as though I haven’t done my job to the best of my ability be honest, I love the combination of loads of natural/candid shots with a few portraits to finish off the story of the day!
Good Poses without Looking stiff & Awkward
There is a bit of an art to this one really, trying to make people look relaxed when they really are very self conscious about having their pix taken. As most of my couples do not want loads of cheesy shots of themselves gazing into each others eyes or acting all slushy I usually start off with a little walking photograph to get a feel for how they are in font of the camera. I find this image tends to break the ice a bit as people are just being themselves walking along having a chat or in hysterics as they do feel a bit silly after all but it makes for a good photograph with their expressions so it’s all good for me & them. I often get a bit excited finding some cool backgrounds to photograph my couples in front of especially if it is a bit different & not to distracting from the people as they I actually want to focus on!
Relaxed Photographer for Couples Shots
Don’t worry about me! I’m not a bossy Photographer at all, I’ll be thinking about the best backgrounds & flattering lighting but I will generally let you guys be yourselves. I’m not really into placing hands here & there or getting your head tilted to the ‘right’ angle I am all for expressions really & if I’ve got that look in your eye I am one happy Photographer & I think this will show through when you look back at your images too.
1. Chill Out, don’t be too self conscious, you want to have fun & enjoy every minute of your day. it really does go by in a flash. Most of us are comparing ourselves to unreal images we see in the media all the time. This is your day you are the stars, just be yourselves, go with the flow & trust your Photographer to have your back on this one. When you look back at your photographs when you are older you really will be wondering what you was so worried about, you will see the happiness & fun of the day not that your chin looked slightly larger than a model on the cover of a magazine.
2. Tell your Photographer if you have any particular hang ups about the way you think you look. I’m with you on this one, my husband took my portrait photographs for my website & out of 20 photographs or so I only liked about two haha! I was so hard on myself & my husband for that matter.
3. Try an engagement shoot before your big day, this way you will get an idea for how you might feel in front of the camera. It’s a great way of getting to know your Photographer without the added stress of the day. When you look at your pix you might think that particular pose didn’t work for you & you can mention this to your Photographer before your wedding. Take a look at my post on engagement sessions for ideas & reasons why it’s worth a go: