I had a wedding this past weekend. Not the usual photography gig. Nope, this time, I was on bridesmaid duty.
While I was honoured to stand up for a cherished friend as she wed the love of her life, I confess I was also excited to do a little behind-the-scenes research. I believe we never stop learning and the chance to observe another photographer in action while being in the action doesn’t happen very often.
While we smiled for the camera, I was busy taking mental notes. It was a combination of, “Okay, that’s a great tip, I’ll try that next time” and a reassuring “Cool, that’s just what I do!” Here’s what stood out for me:
Effective posing. “It may feel awkward, but it won’t look awkward.” This is so true. Even if you’re against ‘posed’ photos you still want to look good in your photos. Leaning-toward-the-camera-with-your-chin-raised-slightly-while-putting-your-weight-on-your-back-foot-and-your-front-foot-pointed-slightly-forward may feel acrobatic, but when you see the end result you’ll thank your photographer for your elongated neck and more relaxed stance.
(Case in point: I’ve been griping about my double chin lately and in the photo above, Voilà! No double chin.)
Give direction. Being in the wedding, you’re so wrapped up in the emotion of the day, that your photographer should be specific when setting up group shots (assuming you’ve asked for them). Is it time for a formal shot or a fun shot? Some members will be more than willing to improvise and let their personalities shine through, but I’ve found that most people like at least some direction. At this point in the wedding day the bridal party is thinking about just one thing: how quickly they can get to the reception.
Communication. It goes without saying that the lines of communication had better be wide open throughout the day. Even the best laid plans can go awry due to any number of factors. You and your photographer should have already discussed how you’re going to handle Plan B.
The verdict. Give me my camera any day – I prefer you in front of my lens. Hurray for wedding season!