I am a documentary style photographer. I love to watch moments happen around me and capture them in their natural state. However, being a wedding photographer also means giving gentle direction and helping clients to feel and look their best. Most of us feel a little nervous about what to do in front of a camera, me included! That's why I am so often BEHIND the camera. Put me in front and my hands creep up and weird faces start to emerge. Today I'm going to touch on some basics of posing and how to feel comfortable in front of the camera on your wedding day.
The number one way to feel comfortable in front of a camera on your wedding day is to trust and get to know your photographer. You obviously hired them because you like their photos and they are a professional (for more on why you should hire a professional see my previous post)! Take the next step and book an additional session, whether this is an engagement, bridal, boudoir, or maybe a day in the life session. Having already worked with them before is going to make you more relaxed on a busy day like your wedding day. You will know their style, you will know the way they give direction, and hopefully you will take a little bit of time to get to know them. This is their expertise! Trust them and relax.
Create Windows. Creating little pockets of space between your limbs and your body, or "windows" can make a pose more dynamic. It also is slimming. None of us look great with our arms squeezed up against our bodies. Keep everything soft, relaxed, and open. When I have been in front of a camera I often try to pretend I am a dancer. I pull up with my torso, and keep my movements gentle and soft.
Breathe. Seriously, breathe! I will often have subjects just very gently breathe out through their lips. This relaxes the jaws and keeps a "serious pose" soft and smoldering. You will also notice that Erika's shoulders are slightly rounded. She's not slouching and she's not straight backed either. By asking her to slightly round her shoulders it continues the softness of the pose and the line of the veil.
Couples, couples, couples. Couples photos are my FAVORITE part of the entire wedding. I love doing first looks but also those moments right after the wedding when all the emotion of the ceremony is fresh. One of the easiest way to keep those moments feeling intimate is to touch each other. Sounds simple and obvious but its not always. We often naturally break away when there's a camera present. But touch is so important! So during your one on one session as a newly wed couple, hold hands, Grooms put your arms around her waist, and keep close.
It's all about the connection. How do you keep moments real while being posed? Connect with each other. I want to naturally bring out the connection between my clients. So while I am offering guidance in posing, most of the time I am also letting them be themselves. I encourage my clients to talk to each other, joke, laugh, play, dance, walk, cuddle, kiss whatever you want to do in that moment, do it! Don't feel like just because you are in a "pose" you can't move some or connect with each other. This is your big day and your love is what it's all about.
Want more ideas or tips? Don't be afraid to ask your photographer! I love when a client is wanting more information on a shoot. Ask them for different ways to help make your session beautiful.