As you may know I recently attended 2 incredible workshops hosted by the incredible photography duo Justin and Mary. Day one's workshop was all about using natural light and off-camera flash to create dimensional, luxurious images. Day two's workshop, "The Art of Authentic Posing", was yes, about posing but it went deeper than that. I recently blogged another part of my reflections on this workshop (my WHY) which I'd encourage you to look at here. Today's blog post covers a different "Why": When we're striving to capture the love between two people - their hearts, their essence, their passions and love for each other - WHY do we pose them the way we do? Have you ever seen (or done yourself?) one of the following poses when looking at couple's photography?
-the "we look mad at each other" pose - the "we've been doing the dip-kiss pose for 2 minutes straight and now it's getting uncomfortable" pose -the "form a heart with our hands" pose -the "make the bride sit in the middle of the highway" pose -the "let's all jump at once" pose -the "straddle each other" pose -the "bride sits on the ground and her flowers are placed on her train" pose
(for the record, I've done almost all of the above in some form or another since I started photography...).
How about photo editing?:
-the "everything is in black and white except the eyes/flowers/garter/etc." selective color edit -the "green or orange tint" edit -the "reduce clarity dramatically so the image seems dream-like" edit -the "add in clouds-that-weren't-there" edit -the "faces superimposed onto an wine glass/bubble/background" edit
No doubt you've seen a lot, if not all, of these things (I've seen each one on Pinterest with a "MUST have my photographer shoot this" caption. So here's the question: WHY?
Justin and Mary put out the "Why" question as a bit of a challenge. When creating an in image why do we pose couples the way we do? (Editing the way we do is just as relevant). Are you photographing a couple jumping because it actually sums up their personalities and the energy of the day (or better yet, because you caught them jumping around when no one was really watching)? If so, then jump on! Do you have a "dip" shot because your groom grabbed his new bride and made her knees week? If so, rock it out!! If you have a WHY that backs up what you're doing with your couples then go for it! If you don't have a WHY - well then, why are you doing it? Are you doing "selective color" editing because you it's stunning and a timeless addition to a couple's wedding album? Then color selectively!....(that's hard for me to say but if you have a legit WHY...). You get the point, right? It's not that one person's posing and editing is necessarily better than anothers but HAVE A "WHY"! The goal is to create something authentic so just promise me this and ask yourself "Why?" Yes?? Yes!
If you want to photograph (and pose) couple's authentically then seek out that authentic moment! If you're with the couple for formals and they're no longer in an "organic/photo-journalistic" scenario (eg. you're no longer photographing them candidly as they get ready in their hotel room and have moved them to, for example, a field) then do your best to create and facilitate an environment wherein you CAN capture authentic moments. A couple in love is an authentic thing - couples touch, sway, laugh, kiss - so focus on giving couples opportunities to BE IN those natural moments! Your WHY is going to show through in your images and will hopefully attract the type of couples that can identify with you. So no matter what your WHY may be you'll be able shoot more weddings with your dream clients because you've connected with them more deeply than just at a coffee meeting!
I would actually love your feedback on this blog post if you have an opinion. Do you agree/disagree? Have you thought about your WHY? Something to ponder :)
Are you connecting with and excited about what I'm talking about? Looking for your own wedding photographer and think we'd mesh? Shoot me an email and we can get together to chat and see if we're a good fit!
Here's a look at some images I took during the time we had to practice "the art of authentic posing" one on one with our workshop models.
Since you're here you should check out more of my weddings here :)