Happy Friday, gang!
Grab a glass of wine (or a coffee, if it’s not drinks o’clock where you are right now). Let’s chat. I thought we could chat about why we don’t pose our couples for their portraits, because it’s something a lot of our couples are worried about.
When someone is posed for a photograph you can just tell, I think. It whiffs of the awkies. I know why though: It’s because their eyes glaze over. They look dead in the eyes because they are no longer immersed in the moment, their mind has gone off to some other place where they are concentrating so damn hard on this pose they’ve been told they have to hold. There’s emotion held in the eyes that you can not fake unless maybe you’re a really talented professional model. When you’ve lost that connection, you’re in what we call ‘catalogue model’ territory.
As a bridesmaid a couple of times and as an ex-wedding videographer, I’ve seen some heinous crimes against the art of creating an awesome experience for the people you’re photographing (I made daaaaaamn sure my own wedding didn’t fall into the heinous crimes category but that’s a story for another day).
For me, becoming a photographer, I never wanted the experience of being photographed to feel tedious, or drawn-out, or boring, or uncomfortable. I never want to sacrifice the positive and joyful experience of being photographed for anything. It’s a wedding day, not a photoshoot. People might not think the next step forward though: if you’re not posed for photos, then what do you do in front of the camera? Nobody ever knows what to do with their arms on camera.
Nobody ever knows what to do with their arms on camera. It’s okay.
How we approach your portrait shoot depends a lot on how you two are together. We get to know you well and truly before this portrait moment so we kind of know how we’ll approach the shoot. We have all sorts of magical ways to make you feel totally at home in front of our cameras. It’s not the most natural thing on the planet, yet we can make it feel like so much fun.
Here’s a few examples from the past few months to show you what I mean:
Chantal and Matt. Not posing.
Chantal told me after the wedding that she and Matt were actually quietly dreading having their portraits taken, but they were surprised to find that the process was not only painless but also a beautiful part of their wedding day. Lara and I could sense that they needed a little bit more space and quiet to just ‘be’ after their wedding ceremony. So, we gave them a place to do that, we shot with longer lenses so we weren’t all up in their grillz.
Goofing off in Fortitude Valley
Kat and Josh and their bridal party had their photos scheduled a few hours earlier than that typical ‘golden hour’ so they could get to the cocktails pre-reception. It was a super hot day, so we needed to be quick in the sun so everyone could find shade and not sweat into oblivion. So, Colette and I trotted everyone over to this wall. We really dislike the 80’s style bridal party portraits and much prefer our bridal party shots to showcase the unique personalities of everyone. So we play little games that get everyone laughing and gives them a chance to show off their unique senses of humour. Kat said making these portraits are some of her most favourite memories of her wedding day. #nailedit
One pretty portrait of Hayley, then we let Alex jump in for their photos together.
We LOVE getting a beautiful portrait of the bride on her own. Being photographed alone can be super intimidating but we’ve got yo’ back! We finished full bridal party shots and sent the gang back to the reception so Hayley and Alex could have some quiet time together. In this shot, I got Alex to stand off camera and say nice things to his gorgeous wife. We shot these portraits from a long way back, because I didn’t need to hear what Alex was saying to Hayley – it was between them! Then we got Alex to jump in to the shot.
Basically, think about your portraits this way: It’s a team effort. We’re not here to bark orders at you and put you into uncomfortable positions. Once we know all about you two, how you relate to each other, how you show affection, your senses of humour, we can create images that we know you will love. Images that show all of your personality and are full of connection and emotion.So, I hope that lifts the veil a little on this whole ‘natural photography’ thingy that we do. Annnnd we’re done!
If you have any suggestions for future Wine Chats, let us know in the comments below. I have a bunch of ideas to share with all-a-y’all this summer.
If you’re keen as beans to be part of this non-posed wedding photography movement: get on board here!
If you’re just creepin’ here’s a preview of the dance moves I’m going to be doing on wedding dancefloors in 2017.