The couple shots are one of the bits of the day people are most nervous about. I get it, you’ve never hired a pro photographer to take your photograph before, you’re not a professional model, it’s all just a bit weird right?
Please don’t worry, I’ve become something of an expert in working with people who hate having their photo taken and I promise to keep the whole experience relaxed and pain free with no yucky, cheesy posing.
But, I hear ya, being prepared helps you feel more relaxed? Well here’s my top three tips for getting awesome photos of you and your loved one on your wedding day.
1: GET AWAY
The more relaxed you are the better the results will be, and so getting you away from your guests prying eyes is priority number one. There’s nothing worse than snuggling up to the one you love, and then having your aunty Joan in your face with her i-Pad. Don’t worry, I’m a pro at finding a friendly but firm way to tell hangers on to bog off!
Usually we’ll have a chat before the day about the best time to do your couples’ shoot. If your ceremony and reception is in the same location I’ll usually leave it until the last bit of the reception so you’ve had a chance to say hello to everyone and enjoy the drinks before I whisk you away for some time alone. This means you’ve had a chance to have a glass of something, come down from the massive adrenaline rush of the ceremony and know that everyone is happy. All these things will just help you relax a little more.
If your ceremony is at a church or seperate location to the drinks, depending on the circumstances it can make sense to do the shots between travelling from one location to the other, or as soon as you arrive so that I don’t have to drag you away from the party. I hate being the photographer tapping on your shoulder and interrupting the fun so doing them before you join the guests and settle can be preferable. And again, just keeps you away from the prying eyes of guests!
2: GET INTO THE GOLDEN HOUR
If you’re lucky enough to have clear weather on your wedding day, or even a break in the clouds you might be lucky enough to witness what we photographers call…’The Golden Hour’. The last hour or so of day light before sunset creates the most incredible, low golden light which is basically the my version of crack. I flippin’ love it, and you can see why from this photo. I mean, HOW DREAMY?
Usually in the summer months somewhere between the end of dinner and maybe after your after your first dance I’ll aim to sneak you guys off for a some fun in the golden sun. By this point you’ll have had more than a couple of drinks, all the official jobs are over and you’ll have already had a few photos with me earlier in the day so you’ll be feeling like proper pros at this point.
I mean seriously, drink in that golden delicious light.
3: Don’t Stress about the dress
It’s going to sound silly to say, but you’ve bought your dress to wear on your wedding day. You bought it to wear to look shit hot in your photos. You don’t have to wear it tomorrow. Every one is different but I’d really try and let go of worrying too much about getting it dirty. Now is it’s time to shine. If I ask you to stand on a lawn that’s a little damp, venture up a country lane, sit down on a hay bail, or climb into a field at the afore mentioned golden hour it’s because I want to get you the most cracking photographs I can. Trust me, I don’t want to turn your photos into a trash the dress shoot on the day of your wedding, but if you’re up for a bit of an adventure and can go with it, I promise the results will be worth it. It might get a bit grubby round the edges but I’d never do anything to ruin your outfit, and check out the results from a bit of adventuring below. Well worth it.
I LOVE the shot of Laura above. At their request we spent about half an hour after the dinner venturing around the farm land at their venue, The Barn at Avington. She had her heart set on photos at this secluded ‘bridge to nowhere’ on the site. Getting there involved climbing through brambles and thick overgrowth as you can see. This shot was taken after some photos on the bridge (which you can see below) as we made our way back through and she was over the moon with the resulting images. Now, you don’t have to be as bold as Laura. I’m not sure I’d have waded through quite such an overgrown footpath, but I love her to the moon and back for that spirit.
I hope this has helped to demystify the couple’s shoot a little. If you’re nervous or unsure what to expect I’d also recommend booking an engagement shoot so you can have a practice run before the day, which will help put your mind at rest that it won’t be as bad as you expect. You can read more about engagement shoots here.
But ultimately, relax, you’re in the hands of an expert. I have spent almost a decade working with camera shy people, getting them to open up in front of the camera. None of the people in these photos are models, they’re all normal people like you. So, go with the flow, be open to suggestions and up for a bit of an adventure and we’ll capture some special photographs of the two of you that you’ll treasure for a life time.