Posed Versus Unposed Wedding Photographs

November 25, 2018

Geoff I don’t want to be possed during my wedding day, I just want natural fun-in the moment photos. Obviously, I want WOW photos, but I don’t feel that I’m good in front of the camera, I really don’t like kissing photos, I feel awkward by standing still… Ahh, I don’t really know what I want but I do want great photos. One thing that is for sure, I love your photography style as it captures the moment and it looks so natural. It looks genuine and unposed yet I know it’s posed photography.

This kind of questions, conversation or statement materializes pretty much all the time during consultations be it in person or on Skype. One of my first responses is that I thank them for their kind words. If there was a way that I could explain a style it would be like this. My style is like a coffee brand, you either hate my style or love my style of photography. I’ve heard people say they hate Starbucks coffee yet they LOVE Tim Hortons coffee. Is it not wrong? No, it’s not wrong. We’re all individuals and are attracted to certain things. We’re different, we’re human so we’re allowed to enjoy or love different things. Thanks, goodness for freedom of thought.

Okay, back to the point. I’ve met with my client and I now know want they want, this is great. My aim is always to end with the unposed photo approach. I love natural feeling photos but the day needs help in getting photos otherwise what happens is you end with the fly on the wall photos with no big moment photos. I’m not talking about the first kiss, ring going on, first dance, cake cutting. These to me are must have photos and are not even something that should be spoken about. I’m talking about time taking out with the bride and groom. Natural photos materialize when people are comfortable and relaxed but how do we arrive in this moment in time?  One approach is the engagement session. During the engagement shoot, it’s a fabulous time with no rushing around. You just enjoy being photographed and learn all the tricks. As a Calgary wedding photographer and even if I’m not commissioned to photograph an engagement shoot I have many sensational techniques that will make my clients feel relaxed on their wedding day.

A fun experience
is key to natural photos

Laughter, happiness brings out fantastic expressions. Touching, moving, walking down a street hand-in-hand with the bride with the casual look back to the camera or at her man with a smile. Looking at each other with certain ideas in their mind or playing small games with each other are all things that will bring something unique out during a shoot.

I work really hard to get unposed photos in a posed environment.  So, I often set the scene and let my couple have fun with it. I frequently make small adjustments if needed however if real laughter and teeth are showing this will always override moments where the hand is perfectly placed. Btw, if photographers aren’t careful that hand can often look like a spider crawling over the groom head… Lol. Of course, I’ll make those modifications when needed as I want stunning photos.

Calgary wedding photographers. A posed photograph with a natural unposed feel to it. Located at The Banff Spring Hotel wedding photo.

Movement is a huge key to success. Going for a walk, dance in the street, cross the street fast. There are so many sensational things that can be done so that you can end in a controlled posed portion of the day yet it’s totally natural to feel and unposed.

The groomsman is always fun to photograph. What often happens without my guidance is this, they stand with their hands held together covering their private parts, or linked across their chest or hands in pockets dragging down their pants. I love getting the men to open up and bond a connection with me. Ultimately I aim for a natural often well-balanced smile from them be it a small genuine or big smile. In short, I’m not wanting a smirk or lob sided half smile. You might have heard the smile in the eyes. Try it, and be aware of what goes on in your mouth. If you’re not smiling for real with your eyes nothing will happen with your mouth. Simply being aware of these things is huge (these are things I cover during my connection, portrait or engagement session).

Remember natural moments are present all day but during the creative session moments generally have to be helped along with posed shots. The key take away in this post is that it comes down to the photographer as to how he/she works with the couple during these times. You’ll never have me place a couple saying “okay, now just laugh, or kiss”… Yuck. Seriously. Strike me in the head with even the thought of doing this. Chemistry, emotion can be photographed but a photographer needs to know how to make thing happening.

So there we have it, until next time, have a fabulous day. Please don’t forget to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks so much for reading!