1. Make sure you have the sun behind you!
I know, everyone has told you to have the sun in front of you.
Well do me a quick favour. Look at someone’s face when they are trying to look into bright sunlight. What happens?
They squint. Not a cool look for your wedding photographs, you would agree.
Make sure the sun is behind you and then you won’t squint. Better still take your photographer to any shaded area in the gardens or hotel or church.
Just make sure the sun in on your back, then if you loose a bit of the background it doesn’t matter because you are perfectly exposed.
Sometimes it may be your photographer has to have your face in direct sun for a specific shot. Then close your eyes and get him or her to count you in…
1,2,3, open eyes, get the shot. No squint.
2. Bride Sandwich
Family portraits can get very boring. Worst still they can take ‘forever’ to capture. Here’s how we do them in just 15 minutes. Yeah, 15 minutes.
a. Bride and Groom face each other and never mover. Just stand there no matter what for 15 minutes.
b. Bring everyone to the couple. Start with Bride’s Parents one either side. Then build with bothers and sisters. Next add grandparents. Now just repeat for Groom’s side. O’h and don’t forget to get both parents in a photo. Then it’s the Bridesmaids, add the Groomsmen, finally loose the bridesmaids. 15 minutes, that’s it.
c. Make sure everyone is tight up, sort of cuddling into one another. Turn head over shoulders towards the photographer. Lean towards the photographer five degrees and chins up. You look beautiful.
That’s our bride sandwich. You can infinitely vary this but keep to the principles and you won’t spend all day with your photographer but with your guests. Isn’t that why you’re having this celebration after all?
3. Chemistry on Camera!
If like us you look at lots of wedding photographs you could easily end up with two piles.
One pile where you feel the couple are really very close and intimate.
The other pile where they just happen to be in the same photograph.
The photographer’s camera cannot create ‘chemistry’ between a couple. It can only record and capture that chemistry. As I so often tell couples at our Pre-Wedding Photography Sessions, “a camera has one eye and no brain.”
You have to make the chemistry. I’ve spoken to lots of brides who complain that the wedding photographs their photographers provided were lacking something. The images where correctly exposed, the lighting was beautiful, the location amazing, but the end result disappointing. Why?
Proximity. The gap between the Bride & Groom is critical for creating on camera chemistry. Big gap says we just kind of friends, may be a little more than acquaintances. Virtually no gap, especially in close ups or tight head shots speaks about passion and sexual tension.
Strange as it seems in day to day life we seldom come this close to one another, however on camera, proximity is paramount.
Tip : If the Bride puts her bum into the front of the Groom then slight leans her head back and he leans his forward, hay presto a lovely close image. If you are having problems going cross eyed at this stage, look at each others lips.
4. Only over the shoulder!
Now we are starting to separate the professional photographers from the weekend warriors, that is the folks who sit on cash tills all week then miraculously become “Professional” wedding photographers on Saturday! Yeah, right.
Anyway, here’s a great tip. Never let your photographer take a picture of the Bride front on, that is square on to the camera.
Have you ever wondered why some many people worry about having their photographs taken or say they are “just not photogenic”. Well its all because Mom and Dad have consistently taken photographs of us front on, square to the camera and…, well we look like blobs. This is the worst possible way to photograph a Bride or a Groom or come to that any human being.
Angles are really important because they create shape to the subject. The light is usually to one side of the subject creating what we call ‘fall off’ or simply shadows. Shadows can hide all kinds of stuff. Slim a bride, we’re talking 20lbs here girls. Create shape and intrigue. Make a Groom look strong. Draw the viewer into the photograph and so much more. You need to get this right!
5. How to shorten a tall groom
Check out the height difference between this Bide & Groom.
She was around five foot five and he was six foot seven. You can see the difference in height. Not only was there a difficulty photographing them together, but the Groom towered above me and I’m six foot and as for my daughter, we photograph together, well she is just five foot two.
But we brought him down to earth. This is a really simple technique, but first.
Here’s what not to do on camera. Do Not…. Do NOT… I’ll say it again DO NOT STOOP or crouch or lean over or anything like that. Getting the Bride to stand on a bunch of Yellow Pages would be better than that, and we never carry those with us.
Now look at them – virtually the same height
Stand the taller person upright, lets assume it’s the Groom. Feet together. Now open his legs sideways. Watch… amazingly right before your eyes he shrinks.
Now if you are taking three quarter length photos no problem because his legs aren’t in the shot. For close ups it works a treat, they’re the same height.
What if you want to shoot fall length. Well because you now know not to shoot a Bride, Groom or Couple square on to the camera. Simply bring the Bride in front of the Groom either face to face or bum in and slightly forward towards the camera and now he looks fine and the right height.
Well I hope you liked these tips and no matter who your wedding photographer is on your wedding day now you are empowered to control the destiny of your wedding photography and make sure that the simple things which can so easily be rectified are put right.