Natural vs Posed Wedding Photography
I see a lot of very good wedding photographers' work where the couple and even their guests have been posed by the photographer. Some of it is incredibly heavily photoshopped stuff that wins awards in various competitions (like the SWPP ones) which my photos could never win because it looks like a photo, not a painting. I also see a lot of very poor stuff, but the less said about that the better. Generally in the good stuff, the couple look immaculate, and the photo itself looks like a photoshopped, airbrushed, high dynamic-range masterpiece suitable for any wedding magazine. There's always something missing though.
What's missing is the emotion. What's missing is the sheer, radiant joy of a couple in love who have just dedicated themselves to each other in front of their nearest & dearest, in a fantastic, beautiful, extravagant day they threw their hearts & souls into planning.
What's needed to capture that is a wedding photographer who understands that emotion is what it's all about, and feels that emotion in total empathy with his happy (joyful) couple. Someone who simply loves the fun, the tears, the laughter, the intimacy, the specialness. A photographer who appreciates having the amazing opportunity to document a unique piece of social history, and the single greatest day in the life of two unique human beings who found in each other something nobody else could provide. A wedding photographer who doesn't get in the way, or try to control things. Someone who's confident enough in his abilities to take great photos, capturing all the wonderful, brilliant, touching moments of a wedding day withough interrupting or feeling the need to upstage the bride & groom or stage manage the action.
I get regular emails from companies (generally run by wedding photographers with lots of business acumen but not that much actual photographic ability) trying to sell me wedding photography courses conducted with models in a studio. They also sell "posing guides" for wedding photographers. A posing guide for a live event?! No thanks! The day I need a posing guide for wedding photography is the day I'll give up being a wedding photographer and go and do something totally noncreative and formulaic instead.
Jon Silver is a wedding photographer in Brighton & Sussex, Kent & Surrey
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