In Part 1 we briefly discussed the different stages of the wedding and what photos you may consider. In the following weeks we will have an in-depth look at each stage, as I share my experience and thoughts.
Every wedding is different, and this list is by no means exhausted, you may use it as a procedures guide for your wedding.
To recap here is the list of the different stages:
This week we will have a look at the photo session before the wedding.
I know this is more about how I approach the wedding and other photographers may have a different approach, but I am sure you and other photographers can still benefit from the tips and discussions to follow.
Before the Wedding
At CRK Photography we offer a FREE couple shoot shortly before the wedding.
This usually takes place a week or two before the big day in a relaxed environment or if time and distance is a factor, we try to meet the day before the wedding. The important thing is that we plan the photos and save time on the wedding day.
This session is not to be confused with an engagement shoot, which is a completely different photo shoot. It will be an advantage if we are your engagement photographer, you can get familiar with us and our way of working. (I will elaborate on ‘the engagement shoot’ in a future blog)
We know not every bride and groom are professional models, with this session we will practice different poses, how to stand, how to look at each other, how to hold your partner, the loving touch, the best positions to place your hands and how to hold your bouquet. You may consider this pre-wedding shoot as a coaching session.
I am not just talking about the standard beauty pageant pose where you stand and look at the camera which can be very elegant. Remember, photos of you sitting, getting in the car, fixing your hair, putting on your shoes, showing the back of your dress, all can be very graceful for the bride and masculine for the groom. These poses should be rehearsed before the wedding, it will save a lot of time on the day and your wedding photos are sure to be graceful.
Good posture is essential, in this session we will rehearse walking to the camera, walking past the camera and walking away from the camera. Sitting on a chair, sitting flat on the ground or grass, sitting together and as individuals, side on to the camera or facing the camera, looking back over your shoulder in the sitting position, and even leaning on the ‘car’ or some object.
At this time, we will also discuss the wedding photos and the importance of specific shots to be taken. The list of formal must have photos and who will be in charge for ushering the right people for the photo session.
Remember your photographer may not know all the family members from both sides, it is very helpful is someone other than the bride and groom are given the responsibility to keep the ‘flock’ together and getting them in front of the camera at the formal shoot. Often the bridesmaid and best man are good candidates as they know the respective families.
Share personal likes and dislikes with your photographer, for instance; most brides have a ‘best side’ they prefer to show to the camera. Some want to appear taller and others don’t want to be taller than her husband etc.
The above can be compensated with skillful camera angles and techniques, feel free to discuss your preferences with your photographer, by making him aware, you will help him to perform at his best. It is your wedding and you want the best possible photos and video footage.
At this pre-Wedding session discuss your list of special required photos, the possible venues where you can go for the romantic and formal photos. This will give your photographer the opportunity to visit the locations before the wedding, to assess the possibilities and, to find the best lighting at different times of the day etc.
For the formal and romantic photos, discuss a plan B with your photographer. It may rain, or the location may be occupied, it is good to have an alternative, to avoid disappointment on your wedding day.
Scan the net and magazines for photos that you like, and discuss them with your photographer, but stay unique and original. You may be very disappointed if you try to exactly copy a photo, they are never the same.
Maybe needless to say but make a checklist, for your photographer. He should have his own go-to list already, but that will help you to make your wedding uniquely yours. This list is paramount for the formal family photos, and it could prove to be detrimental if you don’t have one. For instance, you may forget to take a photo with ‘Aunt Sue,’ who is now, all upset because she specially bought a new dress and now, she didn’t even feature in your wedding…
Here is a few more poses to practice in the pre-wedding session
Showing the hands and rings, the jewelry, shoes, dress detail, etc.
- Putting on the rings.
Consider your photographers when putting on the rings, give them a clear and open view.
- The First Kiss
Although the first kiss is best spontaneous, it could help the photographer to get better photos if he can anticipate the direction of head movements. A little practice before the wedding day can go a long way to good kissing photos and video footage.
- The Dance
The dancing pose is another one to consider in the pre-wedding shoot, often the bride and groom is so absorbed in their first dance that they forget they have a photographer who desperately want a dancing photo of both bride and groom with eye contact. Practice the dance with a quick look to the photographer at a pre-decided moment so he can be prepared for that perfect dance pic.
Practicing the different scenarios at the pre-wedding shoot will help you to communicate with your photographer on the wedding day. A quick look and you all know what should happen next and save time or assure the photographer is ready for that all-important photo.
When all is said and done remember, most of all, be yourself, portray your own personality and enjoy the day. The video and the photos are a recording of the day and not a staged performance.
Thank you for following this blog, sometimes I may refer to photos and photographer but the same pertain to video and videographer.
I Can’t wait for next week to discuss our next stage in wedding photography: ‘The Bride Preparation photos’