Top 10 tips for comfortable wedding photographs
Get the best out of your wedding photographs with these easy to follow steps.
Your wedding photographer is a key decision and will make a huge difference in how your wedding images turn out and preserving the memories of the day.
Once you have booked your amazing photographer many people then start to worry about how to pose, not look awkward or how to show their best side, so I’ve put together a few tips to get more natural comfortable wedding photographs.
Talk to your photographer.
In the run-up to your wedding day you will have plenty of opportunities to talk with your photographer, tell him/her the kind of pictures you like and what worries you about being in front of the camera.
Other than organising group shots I find I like to be very unobtrusive. One father of the bride who had been observing me all day described me as being like a “ninja sniper”, slipping in and out of the shadows picking people off with my camera.
That was a bit of an extreme example but I find this way of working during the parts of the day that people are interacting makes for very natural and honest images.
If there are any specific pictures you want capturing discuss them. This includes going through your list of formal portraits, decoration details, special broaches or heirlooms. Weddings are a one-off occasion and you don’t get a second take so make sure your photographer is clear on what images you want, it is your day, he/she is there to do their best for you.
With some couples, we share a Pinterest board. The couple can add pictures that have caught their eye or some styles they like. I’m not here to copy somebody else’s pictures but after talking with my couples we always come up with something unique to them that works well with my style.
If you have booked me to photograph your wedding get in touch and let’s start collecting ideas to make beautiful images for your wedding day.
Don’t present your body square on to the camera unless you want to look bigger and more imposing. This look can work well for men but is generally not a good look for a woman trying to look feminine and elegant.
Turning to show a more feminine shape and creating curves and triangles will result in beautifully flattering wedding photographs.
Lean towards the camera.
This sounds counter-intuitive if you are worried about having your picture taken but it works. If you’ve followed the first step and you are at a slight angle put your weight on the foot closest to the camera.
Whatever closest to the camera gets bigger and whatever is furthest from the lens will look smaller. This way your body tapers and makes you look slimmer.
This is especially true if your photographer is taking your picture from a low angle to get some background element of your wedding venue in the background.
It will also be exaggerated if your photographer is fairly close to you. (It’s a result of the cameras focal length, if you like I’ll explain the technical stuff about why but for new test me). If your photographer is further away this is less important but he or she will guide you as they pose you.
By creating a gap between your body and your arms you will look slimmer than you would with your arms to your side. Without the gap, the arms add bulk to you and make you look wider than you are. Creating even a small gap reduces your width.
Also, arms pointing straight down will make you look tense and uncomfortable, for men simply putting your hands into your trouser pockets (thumbs out). will give a much more comfortable and confident stance.
Create a v with couples.
This works well with the bride and groom as well as any couple or even groups and fits in well with the other points made earlier. You are still facing each other but at around a 45 degree so you can shift your weight forward as above and it has the added benefit.
If you place the woman fractionally behind the man so his body blocks part of her body and shaves an inch or two off her too. There is some science behind this too, the human eye quite likes to see natural triangles in photographs. We are generally not aware of it but lots of the pictures we “just like” will have some triangles and leading lines in them.
Not looking at the camera.
If you’re not looking at the camera then it’s not there…… No? ok, here’s another good reason.
This can create a nice moody image and help accentuate the eyes and jawline, a common trick is to have the bride looking off at a spot on the floor about 10-15 feet away from the direction her body is pointing and have the groom looking at his bride. this normally has them both looking slightly down.
And here’s the but…… Images where the subject is looking directly into the camera, are often my favourites because they create a sense of engagement with the person looking at the picture. It will depend very much on how comfortable you feel being photographed. I like to get a good mix of both.
Talk to each other, tell a joke, remember this is your wedding day and your photographer is there to document the day. It’s not a shoot for Vogue. Sometimes weddings do get featured in magazines and it is a huge buzz for both the couple and the photographer, but don’t worry your photographer will only submit images that show his best work and you looking your very best.
It’s more important that you are natural, comfortable, it will show in your final images and it’s another good reason to work with a photographer you feel comfortable with and have confidence that they will do their best for you on your wedding day.
Get rid of your bag and phone.
Ok, there are always exceptions, sometimes having your phone in your hand makes for some very natural-looking pictures.
Carrying bulky or awkward objects can be distracting in your photographs. A glass of bubbly might work if you want a shot of you all toasting the couple but as a rule, think minimal. The picture is about the people and not the items they are carrying most of the time.
Work with somebody you like.
I have heard stories of grumpy and even rude wedding photographers. I never understand why they choose to photograph people and especially weddings is beyond me but they do.
Your photographer will be with you most of the day especially if you have booked their coverage for the full day. Pick somebody, you will get along with and will add to your day.
This is especially important if you are having your bridal preparation photographed. For me, it is one of the best parts of the day but it is also quite a personal part too.
You need to feel relaxed and comfortable with somebody in the room taking pictures as you are getting your hair and makeup done. For some, this might mean choosing a female photographer and I always have a female assistant available for such occasions but I love spending time with the girls before the wedding day.
Don’t take it too seriously, it’s your wedding day have some fun. The images are for you to enjoy and remember your wedding day, a few dodgy expressions will make you smile in the years to come so enjoy.
A good and well-experienced wedding photographer will blend into the background when appropriate and step up to organise people when needed. They will understand the day is about you and capturing your day to the best of their ability.
Never be afraid of telling them exactly what you want from them, of course, be polite but it is your day. The more information you give your photographer the better your wedding album will look and the more you will enjoy looking back through your wedding photographs with fond and happy memories.