Whilst I consider myself a wedding photojournalist who predominantly employs a candid and unobtrusive storytelling approach to wedding photography, I also realise that most couples will want some traditional and posed portraits on the wedding day too…and, of course, I am more than happy to oblige!
So here are 5 of my favourite posed portraits from some of the weddings I have shot.
#1. Intimate, Tender & So Natural
Even when shooting posed portraits it’s still possible to capture some natural and candid moments, as this portrait from Emily & Phil’s wedding at Sedgebrook Hall in Northamptonshire demonstrates.
I always find, when getting portraits of the couple, it’s best to take them away from the guests for a short while. Not only do the couple appreciate a bit of quiet time they also much more comfortable having portraits shot without all the guests looking on.
I’d found a quiet little spot at Sedgebrook Hall and was setting up and shooting more formal portraits. In-between these shots Phil, naturally and completely un-coerced, lent forward and placed a tender and loving kiss on Emily’s shoulder. Thankfully, due to my wedding photojournalism instincts, I was alive to this split second moment and was able to capture it for posterity!
#2 The Wedding Portrait Destined To Be
When I first met Imogen and Seb to discuss their wedding in Worthing, East Sussex, I had a “vision” of Imogen in a field of golden corn. Cue to the morning of their wedding day, I happened to mention to my assistant for the day this vision I’d had months earlier.
Lo-and-behold and, completely unbeknown to me, there was actually a cornfield opposite the church in which they were married. So after their Mormon wedding ceremony and before we headed off for a second service at the Mormon Temple, I took the opportunity to take Imogen and Seb into the cornfield and capture a beautiful posed portrait of them.
Aside from it being a wedding portrait that was destined to be, it also screams beautiful Sussex to me and is a fantastic memory of their late summer wedding on the coast!
#3. Be Humble Enough To Be Guided
Once again a wedding in West Sussex, this time Kelly and Ryan’s wedding day at the South Lodge Hotel near Horsham. One of things I have learnt on a wedding day is never to full into the trap of being as arrogant as to think you always know best. I often hear stories from wedding couples who talk about arrogant and bossy wedding photographers who won’t listen to anyone else and simply do what they think is best.
On this occasion the Toastmaster who had been at the venue a number of times suggested to me that I take the bride and groom away to a beautiful “secret garden” within the grounds of South Lodge – and I was happy to take his advice!
And, as you can see, it really was a magical setting complete with it’s own mini waterfall. Had I not taken someone else’s advice I would have missed this opportunity altogether for a fabulous wedding portrait!
#4 Utilise Your Surroundings
This bridal party portrait from Kara and Jason’s wedding at Rowton Castle in Shropshire came about from taking in one’s surroundings and being prepared to try things out.
I had already got a number of safe and more traditional portraits in the bag, when I noticed these 4 garden tables and chairs running down one side of the gardens. As fortune would have it, there was 4 bridesmaids so I straightaway thought…why not? I feel like I had a shot from somewhere in the back of my mind that may have influenced it but after quickly bring a chair down for the bride and ensuring I shot with enough depth of field (a little unusual from my usual approach) and captured this gorgeous and well balanced portrait.
So always think about your surroundings and never be afraid to try out things you have seen elsewhere…or that you imagined as may have been the case here!
#5 Most of All Have Fun!
I love to have fun at weddings when the opportunity arises. This is yet another choice from a wedding in Sussex, this time Nicole and Eugene’s wedding reception at the Roebuck Hotel in Forest Row, East Sussex.Not all wedding portraits have to be serious and overly posed and it really helps to have a wedding couple who are equally up for fun and willing to try out anything you do suggest, no matter how silly or crazy it sounds! Nicole and Eugene were exactly that kind of couple!
So when I suggested that we stage a shot where Nicole tries to rescue Eugene from being taken off by some balloons, that didn’t bat an eyelid and just got on with. You can tell they were really having fun with the idea…and what’s a wedding if you can’t have a little fun on the day?
If you are getting married and enjoy how I mix in some more posed portraits with my normal candid and photojournalistic approach to wedding photography then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans. You can call me on +44 (0)7920 422144 0r send me a message via my contact page. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.
My 5 Favourite…series looks at some of my favourite themed photos from across the weddings I shoot. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed shooting them.