Do I need couples’ shots at my wedding, and how do I make the most of them?
Couples’ shots are SUCH an important part of wedding photography and absolutely shouldn’t be overlooked – and I’m not just saying that as a wedding photographer! They’re one of the most exciting parts of the day, and one of the ones you’ll remember the most in years to come. You may read that thinking that that’s all well and good, but you’re terrified by the idea. You hate having your photo taken; you can’t imagine anything more awkward; or you don’t want to be torn away from the party (insert other excuse here). If any of these sound familiar, I’m going to try and change your mind.
So why ARE they so important? Well, the main reason is that it’s the only guarantee you’ll get some photos of just you two together from your wedding day. Sure, photographers can take confetti shots as you come out of the church, and us documentary wedding photographers can take some stunning ones of you embracing during the speeches, but the portraits session gives you a chance for it to just be the two of you.
It’s also likely to be the only chance on the day that you’ll get to spend some time as just the two of you. In a day that’ll be otherwise jam-packed, it’s nice to take some time out to reflect, and bask in all of that warm, lovely happiness that being newly married brings. It’s surprising how little of each other you may see on your wedding day, and no surprise how fast the day goes, so carving out some time to just be with each other is a little slice of heaven.
And if your hesitance is because you’re worried about how awkward it may be to get the couples’ shots at your portraits session, just imagine how awkward you would feel trying to get those sentimental shots in front of all of your family and work friends! Instead, embarking on a little adventure to get those shots is so much better. I’ll take you to somewhere truly gorgeous in your venue or the grounds so we can go and have a little explore. True to my natural documentary style of photography, I won’t have you awkwardly prom posing or statically positioned – instead, we’ll move with your own personal flow as a couple, capturing you doing what you do naturally. It may be hard to imagine now, but I just blend into the background when I take these photos, capturing you at nature’s finest (and seeing first hand the beauty of what everyone is there to celebrate!). This means you get not only photos of the wedding afterwards, but photos of your relationship at its finest – arguably, more important.
So how can you make the most of the portrait session? My first tip is to have an engagement shoot before the big day, to get used to being in front of the camera. It’s a really good way of getting to know my way of working, and for me to get to know those little bits you guys do without knowing it that will make the photos even better. I’ve written a blog post about why you should have an engagement session here.
My second piece of advice would be to leave yourself enough time for the portraits session. (This is something we'll discuss timings more in depth before the day anyway, as I’ll look over your plan for the day to advise on the order and duration) . I won’t steal you away for ages as we all know the party doesn’t start 'til you walk in, but relaxed sessions are the best sessions.
I’d also recommend looking up when the sunset will be on your wedding day and planning your portraits session then. Timeanddate.com can tell you so far in advance it's unreal! This way, we can hopefully make the most of that golden hour light – I’ve explained golden hour in more depth here.
Finally, my biggest recommendation is – enjoy it. Weddings can be so full of symbolic baggage and stress that it’s easy to get a bit lost in it all. Portraits sessions are a great way of reminding yourself why you’re here, and why it was all worth it. You’ve not put in all that hard work to end up hating the day, so let’s make sure you have a ball, alongside the person you want to have a ball with for the rest of your life (and no, that’s not me…)