No matter how comfortable and relaxed my couples are with me there is always a point when they get a bit stressed about being in front of the camera and centre of attention. And unsurprisingly, boys are worse in front of camera than girls. When you are uncomfortable in front of camera it results in “wooden” or “stiff” poses. And when one of the couple is “stiff” the other can also appear stiff as well as they feed off the emotion of the other person.
So I work really hard from when I first meet my couples to earn their trust, understand their own personal worries around having their picture taken, and as quickly as possible make them feel relaxed around me and the camera. You would have heard me talk about keeping people inside of their own personal comfort zones, this is vital when trying to produce relaxed and natural looking portraits. What I will not have talked about is how this comfort zone gets bigger the longer I can work with a couple. Which is why the portraits get better the further into a portrait session we get and also the length of time allocated to the session on the wedding day.
This is a really good example of how the couple both relax through sessions on a wedding. We have got away from all of the guests, and they are now spending time with each other for potentially the first time that day. I start with some very traditional basic shots, getting them used to the process. I then gradually build my movement around them up and then I get them to move around. Once they are really comfortable I can start adding to the process by bringing out extra equipment and putting them in “what is he trying to do here” locations. This collection was shot in early September on a day that started quite miserably weather wise, but were able to use an extended brighter period. This couple did allocate a suitable amount of time to their portraits across the day. This was 2 sessions in total, a mid afternoon one and an evening and night session as well. (click the first image to open into full display).