If I was left to my own devices at a wedding I would very happily photograph away for the whole of the day without directing anyone, setting up poses, moving anything or interfering with the wedding celebrations at all. Unobtrusive is the word and it is a matter of professional pride for me that, despite being a ridiculous 6’5″ tall, I am able to blend into the background allowing me to photograph with authenticity and faithfulness to the day.
However, almost inevitably, most couples will ask for some family group shots and some images of themselves as well. Now I am extremely happy to do these and actually really enjoy them, it`s the opposite of my purely photodocumentary approach and gives me the opportunity to natter and interact with people a bit more. But is leaves me with a bit of a stylistic quandry! How can I photograph couples in this “set up” way yet still remain faithful to my (rather prima donna – ish!) photojournalistic ideals? …………………..A couple of pictures to help explain….
…….a really nice picture of Carl and Claire, eyes to camera, clearly posed but nice all the same……….
…………and this is a moment later, and to me, an even nicer image. There is now some interaction between the couple, less eye contact to camera and a much more spontaneous and photojournalistic feel. You get some idea of how they are as a couple, you can almost “hear” the picture – also look at the warmth in Carl’s eyes compared with the previous shot!
So, taking this a step further, the way to achieve natural looking and genuine images of the bride and groom together is to take control of the background and lighting and, to a certain extent the pose, but to encourage the couple to interact! Chat, kiss and cuddle – show the love!!! Walking shots always work well also – I’ve included a small selection of bride and groom pseudo posed sort of photojournalistic shots below!!