It is completely natural to stiffen up and stare down the lens when a camera is pointed in your direction. Unfortunately, the results will make for repetitive, flat photos. My best advice to counter this is to move. These can be big movements or simply to talk, reach out and touch, be silly and wobbly, or dance. I take a lot of photos but don’t worry, I will pick the best of the bunch. Moving around will break a bad posture, will definitely make you laugh, and you will naturally find the rhythm to looking far more natural and candid.
The Foolproof Pose
The best photos will ultimately be the candid ones showing those authentic moments. Every wedding, however, deserves some posed portraits of you looking so good – and there will be moments with friends and family where posing will happen. I can, of course, help you on the day by getting you to relax and by providing direction, but the best way to calm your nerves and body with a focused camera and a time limit is to practice some foolproof poses before the day itself.
Looking at old photos and considering what you wished you did differently or what you liked is a good first move. Then pose in front of the mirror by yourself and with your other half to find your sweet, comfortable spots. This is the time to tell your partner what you do and don’t want them to do, and what you want to highlight or hide. There are tons and tons of photos to be found on Instagram and wedding blogs to show the sweetest portrait poses too, so practice those in front of the mirror to see if they feel like you.
Natural Light + Texture
I like to leave you alone for most of the day to get those most natural moments and uncover the narrative of your day. If you are okay with it, there will be times when I may have to move you around to better natural light and spaces, closer to a window, or ask you to come outside at golden hour and be in front of certain doors and walls and buildings (I’m sorry it’s the architect in me!). All the good lighting and texture I find will bring character and a hint of editorial to the photos you will want to frame. A bonus is that you don’t have to have a knack for strong posing in these moments. You can literally stand and stare down at the camera this time, and the light and background will do all the work.
Your Fantasy Self
You have those clothes in the wardrobe you chose just waiting for when you can become that dream person, daydreaming situations you are excelling in. This is the time to explore and create your fantasy self for the best photos. It is now about making it a reality, how you want yourself and your day to be seen from the other side. Look at what is a priority to you and actively go around creating this. Look at Pinterest, look at blogs, look at what you are drawn to and then settle on what fits your vibe and budget. Be as selfish and indulgent in the fantasy to make the most impact!
What is your vibe?
In likeness to the fantasy self, what is the overall vibe you want your day to have? And then let me know! If you want it to be like a Solange Knowles wedding production, then I know you want strong editorial moments. If you want it like a Weeknd music video with a cool party vibe, then I know to use a lot of flash and candid moments. If you like Wes Anderson films, I’ll find the symmetry. If you want it to look like your mum and dad from the 90s wedding day, then I’ll make sure to bring my film camera and documentary style.
The vibe not only informs me what to prioritise when shooting but also helps inform your style for you.
If you are drawn to a countryside barn location but want the vibe to be a Vogue after-party, or you are in a city pub and want to bring a little Italian to it, my flash or film or editorial posing can only go so far if you haven’t styled it to what you would love to see. If I’m able to photograph the elements that bring the vibe to life, you will be far more satisfied!
An Old Friend
The last thing I would like to say is, see me and talk to me as an old friend. Don’t hold back on what you want to tell me before or on the wedding day. I’m here to give you a service and I want you to be comfortable and happy. Sadly, I can’t read minds, so if you need me to know what you do and don’t want me to shoot, please come to me at any time. I want your album to be everything you want to keep and show off.