There are various styles of wedding photography, Im not referring to different image styles such as flash, natural light etc.
Im talking about posing people, setting it up VS the photo journalistic style.
Here’s a brief outline of the two…keep in mind, there is no wrong or right, our way may not be right but its more suited to US, and the couples we photograph.
Approach 1 - The Photojournalist Style
This is possibly one of the biggest selling tools of wedding photography, capturing moments as they happen. This is a style where a photographer stands back and somewhat ‘watches’ the joy, love and moments of a day unfold in front of them.
These photographers are used to this method and they capture superb moments…completely irreplaceable and what some may call untouchable moments. It has that feel of, no one knew the camera was there.
Approach 1 isn’t our style of photography, but before you decide to stop reading, first understand Approach 2, this is the approach that we found works best for us…and like I said, there is no wrong or right!
Firstly lets get into the problems that may happen with Approach 1…
The method is based on joyful, tearful and loving moments…and this is where the problem steps in. Any wedding photographer will tell you that no 2 weddings are the same. And that means as a photographer we need to adapt. Sometimes couples are not the “moment” kind of couple, they need to be posed into a moment. (more on that later)
Lets take 2 weddings as an example:
A close family, perhaps the bride and groom have been dating for years, both parents and families know each other. Everyone gets a long and the family is filled with a bunch of uncles and grandpas that have a sense of humour and make jokes during the speeches, the shoot…no matter what happens theres going to be smiles. The wedding everyone dreams of.
This is the wedding we all don’t want, but unfortunately this is reality, not everyone gets along. We live in a world where divorce is something we have all learnt to live with, and although a lot of parents or family don’t let divorce or unhappy family issues step in the way of the wedding, theres always that one…
Im sure by now you have already started seeing the moments in this wedding are not that of Wedding 1.
So with a solid photojournalistic approach, the portfolio you may have seen from a photographer with approach 1 may not be the way your wedding may look…or…it may. And this is where other photographers adapt to Approach 2 (this is the approach we use).
Approach 2 - The Posed Style
This is the style that no bride wants to hear…the first thing they say is, I prefer natural moments. Now…do you honestly think that a single photographer can stage/pose an entire wedding. Its not going to happen.
So this is a style we have tried and hopefully perfected. Any photographer got into photography because of moments, so its definitely something they know how to capture. But posed and staged images are generally more thought out.
So lets take a look at Wedding 2, that wedding that we all wish we not gonna have…but in reality…anything can happen.
Immediately a photographer can pick up tension, generally your photographer meets you before, we find out the family history, and where problems may be. Then its our job to try and figure out ways to make it work.
So lets do this step by step…Gran is in the room with the bride, putting her veil on…dad walks in, unfortunately dad and Grans daughter are no longer married and perhaps Gran still has a grudge on dad and they don’t really talk. No matter how anyone sucks it up on the day…there is still that air of awkwardness.
Thats when as a photographer we need to separate the 2. Whether we ask mom to take gran outside, or perhaps ask Gran to fetch the brides bracelet in the room next door the moment will immediately be defused and dad and his baby girl bride have a moment of probably 2 minutes where true emotions will come out.
Thats when the click click starts happening, was this style photojournalistic…no…it was staged…but it was posed into a moment!
Moments like this don’t have to be linked to family politics, in actual fact, a lot of family politics are resolved on the wedding day anyway…with couples getting married closer to 30 nowadays, it means parents and grandparents are at the age of forgiveness where life has already shown them whats important…and thats where us as a couple that do photography come in, what we like to call:
Posed into a Moment
This is THEE most important part of your day, the bride and groom photo shoot! These are the photos you going to look back on, the memories of your day. Yes, you had the most beautiful dress you ever laid eyes on, but without your groom, there was no wedding.
We all know we camera shy…young, old, model…it makes no difference, on your wedding day with your groom you not too sure how to pose.
With myself and Michelle being a couple we work with couples much easier than if it were just one of us. If we stood back and said, right, hold each other, arms around the neck, look into each others eyes…10 to 1…the moment will be flat, and thats why we pose couples into the moment.
Michelle and I will stand in front of the couple, I always side with the groom, Michelle sides with the bride, and we have our own jobs to make them look good. We literally step into a pose, we show them how to hold each other, it may not be an exact pose, but the key is to demonstrate intimacy in front of them…now you may ask, but who says you are the most intimate couple…and you right, we probably not the most intimate couple in the world. But if we get intimate in front of a couple, they immediately feel relaxed, and they not scared to show their intimacy in front of their photographer. 5 minutes later the couple is relaxed, they not scared to kiss, hold each other and before we know it...we see that momemnt, that one where she holds him for longer than usual and whispers something in his ear. We dont know what she says...but if she whispered it, it wasnt for us, all we know is to capture it!
So, regardless of a wedding filled with moments, as a photographer with Approach 2…we will always try and make moments, and this is why they may look somewhat ‘random captured moments’.
But technically, we just made a couple, a mom or a dad relaxed enough that they let their true emotions out.
I hope this gives you some insight into our approach…perhaps its our passion for photography that lead us into the couple approach, regardless, we love working this way with couples and we truly hope to work with you one day!
Heres a few moments we love!