Why it's important to take pictures of people and not poses?
Updated: Dec 11, 2020
I often get asked from so many couples, how do we be less awkward during a photoshoot, and my simplistic response is - "just be yourself." Some people have a natural tendency to be very comfortable with their partner in-front of a camera, whilst other's perhaps not so much. To any couple thinking of getting a pre-wedding photoshoot done, this one's dedicated to you!
Picture this, you're chilling with your partner at a beach, just talking. It's sunset. You're sitting on the warm sand, and the wind's just brushing gently against you. The soft breeze bring's you a little closer to your partner. In this close proximity, you appreciate how beautiful/handsome your significant other is so you take the opportunity to compliment them. You embrace them, they say something that makes you giggle, and so you reciprocate by doing the same. You may do or say something that no one else may feel or ever understand, but it doesn't matter because it's your 'thing'. Whatever it is, it just works.
You have a moment.
That one moment. that beautiful little part is what bring's me to appreciate the chemistry and banter that couples have. People often become confused at the concept of a pre-wedding photoshoot being a posed/forced session - which don't get me wrong, there is a level of guidance to an extent. However, a large aspect of what it is that wedding photographers do, is to capture those 'things' that couples have. Those moment's of affection that doesn't make sense to any third person, but does to you. The look that he or she give's you in the moment of awareness that comes following a surge of emotions. That inside joke he or she makes, that causes you to burst out laughing uncontrollably resulting to the point of you almost in tears. That hand he offer's you as he helps you in your dress across a field of thick grass high up on a hill or simply, a smile. A soft smile that you both exchange, expressing that split second of gratitude from what we call, being in love.
We as photographers, have the responsibility to guide, but not to control. Having a genuine organic approach is much more better than a constructed one. So one of my common photography prompts are to get couples to whisper something special into their partners ears, the reaction is priceless! More common are whispers of love and affection from one partner to another, resulting in a bashful moment. Less often are moments when a person whispers into their partners ear requesting they stop by Maccas on their way home to grab a McChicken meal, 6pk nuggets with sweet and sour sauce. Random? Most definitely, does it work? Undoubtedly (I even smiled whilst writing this). E.g. of just that!
But a more simplistic approach is when I just ask 'how did the two of you meet?'. I've gotten everything from, a friend's party, dance practice, tinder, high-school sweet hearts, work colleagues to even arranged marriages - and yet never have I failed to see even the smallest grin appear on a couples face as they tell their story. Often details become forgotten leaving the couple teasing/debating the reality of their first impressions/encounters even so, those moment's are still gold!
So to my fellow photographers, guidance should always be offered, however not at the jeopardy of a couples organic expression. Real picturesque moments come from your direction and less from your imposition, no matter how shy or outgoing your couples are.
And to all couples out there - married or not, if you're ever wondering what to do during a pre-shoot, as conscious as both of you may become with a camera near by just remember;
"photography is about capturing the humanity of a moment, in its purest of forms - even if it's the most ridiculous, or unconditionally the most beautiful thing you both do."
KS. Creative Photography
Couple: Natasha & Chinmay/ Komal & Kevin
HMUA: Gather & Stitch Beauty / Nikki Arora Official