This is one of my favourite couple shots of recent years. The reason being that like most if not all of my couples Alex and Keith do not particularly like having their photograph taken. Yet this photograph says so much about them. Like most of us I guess they have their insecurities. I personally hate having my photograph taken and much prefer being behind the camera than in front of it.
I would say that about 80% of my clients dread booking a wedding photographer because most of them just hate the thought of having to pose for endless boring wedding portraits and smiling cheesily through huge lists of formal photographs.
I have photographed in excess of 600 weddings and so when 80% of those wedding clients have the same fears you quickly learn to adapt the way you work, the length of time required for family formals and couple shots.
So why do I like this image so much ?
Because its just them. An extremely fun loving couple who were a complete joy to work with. It’s like all their fears and insecurities vanished for a split second when this image was captured. It’s not particularly well composed or well lit, but sometimes the rules just need to be thrown out the window. This picture describes them to a tee and that’s why I love it so much.
So how did I manage to get this ?
We had spoken a lot on the phone and Alex had talked about the fact she didn’t like having her photograph taken and Keith while a bit more easy going felt pretty much the same. She asked if an engagement session would help and actually I thought it would. So we met for the shoot and had about 1-2 hours walking around taking some relaxed portraits, taking in a coffee and generally just chatting. By the end of the session we all got on really well, they were still a little uncomfortable, but it was my belief that this session would definitely help us on the day, and it did.
On the day Alex and Keith were so happy to be married and surrounded by wonderful family and friends suddenly the thought of having to take some couple shots just didn’t feel all that bad.
How long do your couple shoots last ?
My couple sessions last for as long as my clients want them to. Most do not last longer than 20 minutes, some a lot less. The record is 37 seconds, set by James Corden. Yes that’s correct, our shoot lasted 37 seconds, but I still managed to get 3 outstanding portraits of the two of them which we were all happy with. So why continue searching for more when you have what you want.
Back to Alex and Keith. We started the session and the difference between the e-shoot and the wedding shoot was huge. The session lasted maybe 10 minutes and this was the last shot.
I talk to my couples through most of the shoot, getting them as relaxed as possible and I’m not 100% sure what the discussion was about and if I had been funny or rude, but their expressions are priceless.
This picture, to me anyway, is an image that;
- Stands the test of time.
- Shows how happy they are on their wedding day
- Shows how in love they are
- How young they are
- how utterly compatible they are
Would I have got this if I had overly posed them for an hour beforehand? Quite possible not, unless they were so happy it was all over…
Would I have got this if we had not even spoken or met before their wedding? Definately not.
I firmly believe that you can get a meaningful portrait of a wedding couple in no time at all, even 37 seconds. However the planning and hard work needs to go in before the wedding. Talking to or meeting with clients is essential as you get to know who they are. If you are searching for that during the wedding you won’t find it and your couple shots will either take an hour or be lifeless and emotionless. That’s when all their fears and insecurities start to rear their ugly heads again.
So from a photographic perspective this wins no awards. However from a “this is us” perspective this wins hands down.
Devon wedding photographer David Pullum has recently been voted one of the best wedding photographers in UK