I’m delighted to take a back seat this week and hand over to my guest blogger, Neli Prahova, for a professional’s view from behind the camera lens.
I’d like to share advice about wedding photography that can really make a difference to your big day. I’m going to split it into two parts, so don’t forget to return at the end of the week for more!
The Professional’s View
I believe clients should allow some time for more formal group and family wedding photos (despite the trend for reportage wedding photos). These are the photos you will want to look at in years to come.
During a wedding I take a lot of natural portraits to capture the wedding day in a more fun and casual way. Whereas my style is quite modern and creative, I feel that classical wedding portraits still provide an iconic feel to the couple’s official wedding shots. And equally important, these are the wedding photographs that the parents of the bride and the groom also prefer printed and framed.
If you choose a professional wedding photographer they should be aware of the following and guide you during the photography session. However, I can share some of these professional secrets – of course, you can use them for any photos.
The Body and legs
When being photographed standing, I advise you to stand at an angle of about 45° to the camera. This is the classic model’s pose as it makes the width of the shoulders less visible and therefore makes any person look slimmer. The second tip I give to the couple when we start the photo session is to put the weight on the back leg (the one furthest from the camera) so the back hip is hidden and away from the camera. The back foot should be pointed away from the camera about 90 degrees, and the front foot should be pointed at the camera. (That’s feet in 4th position for the ballet dancers among you!) This gives a slimmer, more pleasing stance for any photo, not just a wedding photo.
Similarly, if I photograph the bride and the groom seated, I recommend that they sit slightly sideways to me and turn the upper body back to the camera. This posture makes legs look longer while crossing the legs also reduces the width of the body.
I also remind the bride to roll out the shoulder for a more erect posture which gives more elegance and style.
People clenching their fists or curling their fingers look awkward. Bent arms look more relaxed than straight ones, so I recommend to brides to hold the bouquet loosely in the hand nearest the camera and then to bend the elbow so that the bouquet is at waist height. A further tip to brides especially when being photographed alone is to hold the bouquet in one hand and to put the other hand on the hip as this accentuates the waist.
The groom should put one hand in his trouser pocket. It’s important to keep the thumbs out of the pockets so the whole hand is not hidden. Again, this gives a much more elegant and finished pose for any man in any group photo.
If there is no bridal bouquet, I always position the bride and groom in what I call the Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Stephanie wedding pose. This brings out elegance, and avoids the awkward hand-holding that often happens between couples when the bridal bouquet is missing. The idea is for the groom to bend his arm at the elbow and turn it upwards and offer it as a support to the bride who gently places her arm into his. The trick is for both the bride and the groom to avoid gripping strongly, which makes fingers look unappealing and the wedding photo look tense.
I hope this has whetted your appetite for the second part of this blog at the end of the week. We’ll be looking at the head, the all-important kiss and gain some valuable concluding advice.
For further information on wedding photography in London or destination wedding photography please contact Neli on firstname.lastname@example.org. To view Neli’s portfolio of wedding photography in London, France, Monaco, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, California and Russia please visit www.NeliPrahova.com.
Neli is guest blogger for Michael.
Michael Gordon is a civil celebrant based in London.