Very often after the ‘formal’ photographs I will take the bride and groom off to take some ‘special’ shots – the sort of shots that you will see in wedding magazines. These can be beautiful images but you need to be well prepared to make the most of this small window of opportunity. First of all you need to establish with your couple well before the wedding if they would like to have these photographs taken. If they are happy with your suggestion then you need to make sure that you have sorted out what, how and where you are going to take these shots well before the day of the wedding.
It is worth reminding you at this stage of the no.1 criticism of wedding photographers - that too much of the wedding day is taken up with wedding photographs. So we need and want these stunning images but we have to be quick about it – we don’t want to take the bride and groom away from their guests and family for too long therefore, I would suggest that this session should take no longer than about 15 to 20 minutes.
However, having stressed the need to be quick – this session can be a wonderful moment between photographer and the bride and groom and you should not give the impression of being rushed.
This is an opportunity to create a series of tender and romantic images that will form the centre-piece of a very special photographic tribute to the bride and groom on this, their special day – it is important to create an atmosphere to suit the occasion.
I will normally try and find 3 or 4 locations in and around the venue where this ‘photoshoot’ can take place. Most of the images taken during this session will be ‘posed’ or set up by you – make sure you are prepared. I like to mix the obviously posed pictures with those that, although set up, look natural and as if they occurred spontaneously and you just happened to have been there and captured a tender moment with your camera. To get this right takes practice – don’t leave it until the day of the wedding before you try this for the first time.
As wedding photographer you have to be all things to all people – often many of the people you will photograph on the day of a wedding are not used to having a camera pointed at them and they may behave in a way that does not necessarily capture them looking their best – it is part of your role to change that. The best case in point is the bride – brides can be very nervous on the day and a nervous bride does not take a good picture – you need to put the bride at their ease – you need to be cheery – good humoured and most of all in control. Tell your bride how beautiful she looks and how knocked out her groom is going to be when he sees her.
Other members of the bridal party also need to be encouraged to relax in front of the camera and you will need to use your sparkling personality to bring this about.
However, for this session you are trying to create a romantic atmosphere and this may require that you lower the decibels – when posing and positioning the couple try to speak quieter than you normally would.
You still need to tell the bride how fabulous she looks and how well she is doing – you may also want to tell the groom the same but don’t be surprised if you get a thick ear.