I love documentary wedding photography and the lovely relaxed images it produces. Like many things that look effortless though, it clearly isn’t and there’s definitely an art to capturing informal, spontaneous wedding photos without them looking either too messy or too posed. So what is the art to capturing these moments in time well, without them looking staged? It is about capturing people unawares but still with a relevance to the story you are telling. Of course every wedding shoot has a number of loosely posed images, usually when I whisk the couple away to enjoy a tender quiet moment or two, but again, here I just compose the outline of the shot and just let the couple enjoy the moment, capturing the essence of the couple just being in love.
How Do I Capture a Good Spontaneous Image?
I like to ‘shoot from the hip,’ whats this I hear you ask? Basically carrying my camera as though I am not using it and getting shots of people without them realising. A telephoto lens is also a must, as it allows me to stand well away from their intended subject and hopefully snap away without them seeing me but still maintain that feeling of intimacy. A lens with a wide aperture will mean any objects in the foreground will be softly focused and will not draw the eye away from your intended subject. If possible shooting without using a flash, as this will obviously draw attention.
Telling The Story of The Day
I absolutly love telling the story of the wedding day. Not posing you and making you do things that did not really happen. Capturing your day as it happend. You know the ones; that show people interacting and enjoying themselves. The one’s that show real emotion, the bride enjoying that special time with her father as she reaches the alter, the groom’s mum shedding a tear and the inevitable embarrassment of the groom during the best man’s speech.
The Art of Blending In
This is so much more difficult than it looks and there’s a real art in blending in unobtrusively with your guests. If they look like they have spotted me then I make out like others are my intended target and they soon relax. Whilst I am doing this I am framing the shot in my head so when everything is perfect then the shot is in the bag! Once I have my picture I move on, if I have been there for a while and the guests are spread out then I will move rooms or go outside.
Feeling Comfortable With your Wedding Photographer
As your photographer will be with you for most if not all of your day, it’s so important to choose someone who’s on your wavelength and that you’re really comfortable with.
I offer a pre- wedding shoot which is brilliant, as it not only gives you a lovely set of relaxed photos to treasure, it enables you to get to know me better understand how I work, and that there really is nothing to worry about. By the time you get to your wedding day you should feel totally relaxed having me around and just enjoy your day and let them get on with what they’re doing. The more I mingles with your guests, chatting with those who want to chat, the more relaxed everyone becomes around the camera I love this part of my job couples tell me that having me there was just like having another guest.
Posed but not posed
Back to those tender moments again and I can never get enough of all those beautiful moments of the couple alone for a moment or two, just enjoying each other’s company. I love the candid shots that emerge from this special time, with a ‘posed but not posed’ image against a great backdrop. Some of my favarate images have been created simply by asking the couple to walk down the road and chat to each other. Asking the wedding party to turn to the person next to them and tell them a joke.