In my experience your couple portraits are some of the most important images of the wedding day. It should be a fun, relaxed process that you enjoy but I often hear couples saying that they feel really nervous about these shots and I can pretty much guarantee every couple will say to me at some point, “Helen, I’m really sorry, but we’re not very good at all infront of the camera”. In all honesty, very few people do feel super confident in front of the camera, we’re just not used to it, pouty selfies aside! This is where choosing the right photographer is absolutely key as it is 100% our job to make you feel comfortable and relaxed and to bring out your very best. Assuming you’ve already booked that photographer, here are a few more tips to help you get those beautifully natural portraits you’ve always dreamed of.
- Get moving! There’s nothing worse than staying static and holding a pose to make you feel uncomfortable. I like to incorporate a lot of movement into my shots, especially during the first 5 minutes with a couple, so they know what to do with their bodies and loosen up. Whether it be walking, dancing, spinning the bride around or just going in for that kiss, movement is key to relaxed and natural body language.
2. Laugh, a lot! The more fun you can have during the couple portraits, you more relaxed you will appear and feel. Nervous giggles are fine too and come across beautifully in a photo. Follow your photographers instructions of course but do remember to be yourselves and enjoy the experience of just being together. Tell each other jokes, whisper silly things into each others ears, get tickling… all these things will bring out the real you in your photos and will encourage happy, natural smiles rather than anything forced.
3. Practice. It may sound silly but it really helps! Not many people have the ability to nail that sexy stare like Lucy below but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. The most flattering angle is to turn your face a little away from the camera, whilst keeping your eyes locked on the camera. Don’t have your face dead straight, a little tilt or a look back over your shoulder whilst walking away will look & feel way more unstaged or forced. Practice this in a mirror and then go practice some more at an engagement shoot, it all helps!
4. Interact. More than anything else, your couple photos are about the two of you being together and celebrating the fact that you’ve only gone and just got married! It’s exciting and you’ll be feeling totally loved up. Don’t be afraid to just focus on each other and be in the moment together. Yes, there’s a photographer lingering around you saying things like “lovely” and “oh my goodness, this light is incredible” but try as best a you can to ignore that and just be together. Look into each others’ eyes, hug, kiss, say nice things to each other and just be you.
5. Allow enough time and then relax. It sounds silly but so often couples are so focused on the timings of their day and everything running smoothly that they forget that on the actual day itself they need to let go & hand over the logistics to the wedding planner/venue/catering team. These people are there to worry about these things so you don’t have to. I would recommend allowing approximately 30 minutes for your couple shots, which should give you enough time to relax and feel confident in front of the camera. During this time please stop worrying about your guests not having fun or the chefs needing you to be seated at a certain point, just focus on each other and all the other details will be taken care of.
I hope this all helps! Please just trust your photographer and follow their directions, they are there to guide you through the whole process and all you need to do is relax and enjoy! If all else fails, use props! Grab some big balloons and have some fun! x