Why I Specialize in Unposed-ish Wedding Photography
Your marriage is more important than your wedding. Yes, your wedding is a huge event, but it is fundamentally just a public and/or spiritual recognition of your profound decision to commit to your partner for life. And so, my approach to wedding photography is not to take generic photographs of an event, but rather to tell the story of your day, the story of your relationship.
As a result, most of the work you'll see in my portfolio is more candid than posed. When I'm not taking completely candid photographs, I tend to "direct" people rather than pose them. Very rarely will you hear me say "Ok, smile!" Rather, I might ask you to look at each other and think about something in your partner that makes you proud, or to do something that makes the other laugh. The goal is produce genuine emotion and images that make you say, "Oh, my gosh, this is us!"
Wait what is the difference between directing and posing?
Posing for me is telling you to "stand like a book and smile at the camera" or "put a hand in this position" or "put your bodies in this particular way." Directing is telling you "to dance, to hold hands, stare in each other's eyes, and not to kiss until I tell you to." Directing is about creating movement, producing laughter, allowing for tears, creating space for you to settle into the ease you have with one another.
My work is not completely documentary (i.e. completely unposed) – if the light is better in one way or another, I'll tell you to move or that whatever you are doing is giving you a double chin, but it does focus on storytelling rather than formal shots.
So what does that mean for your wedding day?
To begin with, we'll meet or Skype before you book. That lets me hear your story and make sure we're a good fit for one another. I'm not the right fit for everyone, but I'm the perfect fit for some. For traditional weddings, my minimum packages start at six hours. Any less than that and you're really just hiring someone to take formal photos. True storytelling takes time. For some people, formal photographs are all they want and that's totally ok, but there are other photographers who are a better fit for that need.
I'll come at the end of you getting ready and take pictures of you and your mom or friends or a first look with your dad. These are some of my favorite photos of the day – emotions are high and moments can be incredibly tender and special.
If you do a first look, most of your couples portraits will come from this time of the day, although we almost always pull you out for sunset photos too. I love when couples write each other letters or sing to one another or bring pets – whatever it is that is unique to you.
At your ceremony I go into ninja mode and move around the space to take photographs of expressions, laughter, tears, as they come.
Then we do formals – these are mostly posed shots and, frankly, the ones mom and dad will frame and stick on the wall. This will probably be the only time of the day I tell everyone to look at the camera and smile.
For the rest of the evening, I'm just documenting the day. I'm taking photos of grandma dancing or of the kiss you sneak with your new spouse when no one (but your ninja photographer) is looking.
At the end of the night we'll have the material to tell your wedding day story – not just a documenting of an event, but the first chapter in the rest of your life.