Why I prefer unposed wedding couple photos.
During my time as a wedding photographer there has been a comment from couples that pops up again and again. “We don’t really like having our photo taken”.
In my experience, truth of the matter is that most of us don’t. Fortunately, there are ways to get great portraits of you without making you feel awkward or uncomfortable.
In the early days of my career as a Cambridge wedding photographer, I played great importance on posing couples for wedding portraits, it’s what all the best wedding photographers did after all, and I wanted to create beautiful artistic imagery for my couples. Whimsical shots with stunning backdrops and lighting to make you look like the cover of a bridal or fashion magazine.
The thing is, I learned over time that these were never the shots that my couples told me they loved after their wedding day. It was becoming more evident that the shots my couples loved were the completely natural shots of them being together, having a moment but NOT being posed, directed or made to stand or look or feel uncomfortable in any way!
Here I discuss how I capture great unposed wedding photography and how great couple photos don’t have to be posed.
If you’re uncomfortable in front of the camera, you’re not alone.
When speaking to my couples in the past during the planning process, I had always sensed a feeling of nerves, discomfort or all out dread at the idea of this part of the wedding photography process. It’s easy to understand why.
Despite what we see, if we spend just a couple minutes scrolling through social media and it’s array of perfect selfies; the reality is however, that most of us are incredibly self-conscious and downright uncomfortable with being in front of the camera and of both how we look and felt when the photo was taken. We see images of our friends, colleagues and flawless looking celebrities and we feel that we fall short in some way.
We become incredibly self-conscious and start making judgements about ourselves or others based on how we look (or think we look).
I feel this discomfort too – I have been planning to update the photos of myself of my on my ‘About Me’ page for at least 3 years now, but it still sits somewhere near the bottom of my “To Do” list.
The crazy thing is, there shouldn’t be ANY part of the wedding day that you’re uncomfortable with or not looking forward to, surely it’s about having an amazing time.? Not only is this how I want all of my couples to feel but it’s also what I want to capture.
Great Wedding photography isn’t posed..
Fortunately, great Wedding photography doesn’t have to be posed. For me, wedding photography it is about 3 key elements; Emotion, Personality and Moments.
Hopefully your big day will be the happiest, most relaxed and joyous you will have ever felt, or will ever feel in your life – making it the perfect time to be photographed. When you are relaxed, full of happiness and love, you will naturally radiate all of these feelings. Combining these elements whilst looking your absolute best opens the way for awesome, natural and emotive portraits that really have both personality and soul. Fabulous unposed wedding couple photos can be be easily without the need to do doing anything that isn’t “You”.
My absolute favourite portraits are the couple images that truly capture something about the bride and groom’s personalities. It could be that the environment or surroundings are of personal significance to the newlywed couple, a moment of genuine connection, humour or tenderness or maybe it’s just something that defines the wedding day itself or tells a story in a way that a posed image never can.
Lots of my wedding couples are fun and playful so I like to reflect this in images that capture their fun side. While endeavouring to capture great unposed wedding couple photos I am always considering how I can bring through the personality of the subjects in the picture is always at the forefront of my mind.
Taking time out for unposed wedding couple photos.
Something that I always suggest to my couples about before their wedding day is the time out away from the celebrations. This can be a welcome opportunity for a bride and groom to catch their and simply spend 15 minutes chatting to catch up on everything that’s happened so far during their wedding day.
A bride and groom often spend much less time in each other’s company on the day than they imagine they will do, so this time together can be really valuable and it is during this time that I capture the connection between my couples
To capture great unposed wedding couple photos, I simply suggest to the couple that they go for a walk, maybe sit and chat for a moment, stop for a hug, but most importantly simply do whatever comes naturally to them. I aim to position myself so that I am not intruding in anyway and make best use of the light to capture stunning natural candid portrait photos.
As my couples wander gently around, I scout the area for best lighting and backgrounds I can find to capture a great moment, all whilst being ever ready with my finger poised over the shutter ready for a spontaneous shot of the couple alone together.
Using light and the surroundings.
Just because these shots are completely natural, unposed wedding couple photos, doesn’t mean that they cannot be beautifully lit and composed. It’s vital your choice of wedding photographer is experienced in this manner of photographing newlywed couples together.
Trusing your wedding photographer’s knowlege of their equipment, environment and lighting will be one of the reasons you hire them. A really good wedding photographer will be at their most creative during these couple “portraits”. This time will be the one aspect of the day they have a certain small degree of control over. I like to call on all of my expertise and experience to make the best use of the lighting available and interesting or uncluttered backgrounds, depending on the story behind the shot.
An image you’ll want to hang on your wall.
After my couples receive their final set of images many of them go on to order prints (I offer a £50 print voucher as part of my package).
It’s always really interesting to see which photos are ordered and are most popular not only with the couples themselves, but with their friends and family members.
Whenever large prints are ordered they are invariably chosen from one of the unposed wedding couple photos from the day
Even just taking out a 10 minute slot during the day’s celebrations is important at any wedding (regardless of size or location). In my 6 years of experience as a Cambridge wedding photographer, one of the key things I have learned is this.
When asked if they could pick out just a handful of photographs from their wedding day to keep forever, couples always chose at least one of their bride and groom portrait images.
As standalone photos, the portraits are still the show-stoppers that hang on the living room walls of many of the happy newlywed couples I’ve had the pleasure to work with.
As they say a picture paints a thousand words.
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I am Damien Vickers a Cambridge wedding photographer. My work has been a regular feature on The English Wedding Blog during 2021. I love weddings and capturing personality, emotion and working with easy going and non traditional couples all over the UK. Please have a look around the rest of my site for a feel of my photography style.