Wedding couple photos are one of the most important shots to schedule during a wedding day.
They are also one of the parts of the wedding that has traditionally been seen as rather cheesy. The biggest danger is that the shots are rushed and the bride and groom look uncomfortable or awkward. Instead of a romantic memento of your wedding day, you end up with a photo that looks like the two people in it had never met! Here are some hints and tips to help your wedding couple photos be the best they can be.
Practice before the big day
If you are nervous about having your picture taken you are not alone. Well over half the clients I deal with express a dislike of having their picture taken in day to day circumstances. The good news is that having your picture taken by a professional photographer is nothing like being photographed by your mum with her mobile phone! If you are a reluctant sitter, the best thing you can do is to have an engagement shoot before the wedding. It gets you a bit more comfortable with the whole process. I have worked with many couples who found that an engagement shoot really helped boost their confidence. I would always recommend one.
Pick your locations before the wedding.
The vast majority of couples want want a laid back wedding day. The idea of being frog marched all over a wedding venue in search of that elusive perfect picture goes completely against this. I am a firm believer in planning prior to the wedding day. As I suppler it is my job to be organised and professional. I want to make my parts of the day as easy as possible. A quick meeting at the venue and a walk around the grounds can make things so much easier on the day.
Have a Dress Wrangler
Large wedding dresses need to be placed properly to look their best. Having a friend or bridesmaid with you to help style the dress will help immensely so make sure you have someone with you to do this.
Think about shooting them later in the day
The time between the wedding ceremony and the wedding breakfast is on of the busiest for the bride and groom. It is a time for the happy couple to welcome and chat with their guests. Group photos traditionally happen now too. Often if things are running a little late from the ceremony this time can be quite hectic. So it can make sense to lighten the load by shooting the couple photos later in the day.
I often shoot couple photos after the wedding breakfast, in the more relaxed time between the speeches and the first dance. This has the added advantage of the light generally being better later in the day. There is very little time pressure at this point in the day for the wedding couple. Most of their more nerve-wracking commitments are over. So it makes sense that this can be a very productive time to produce wonderful images.
Consider shooting them on another day altogether
If you have ever been on instagram and browsed through the wedding photos, you will see some amazing shots. They’ll have high production values, beautiful scenery and perfect light. Trouble is, if they were shot in the US they were probably shot the day after the wedding. Although wedding photography in the UK is a one day affair. In the US and other countries higher end photographers have begun to shoot over two or even three days. That is because their is simply not enough time on a wedding day to produce some of the more elaborate shots you might see on social media. If you want to push the envelope of what is possible with couple photos it makes sense to schedule them for another day when you can prioritise photography over everything else.