Wedding Photographs: Formal poses or Candid ?

Nov 25, 2011 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Blog

Wedding Photography, like wedding dresses and venues has a cycle of styles and traditions all its own. Before digital photography, it was hard to imagine any wedding album not containing a series of formal poses, with many subtly varying combinations of family members, close and distant, usually taken on the steps of the church or in its grounds, under direct instruction from the photographer.

More recent years have seen a move away from the traditional and towards a more candid or Photojournalistic style, where the photographer mingles with the guests and tries to avoid direct poses or directing the formation of the images.

So which style should you choose ? The only thing guaranteed about style is that if you wait it’ll change, and if you wait long enough the old will become new again…

What you should choose is what you feel fits best with your personalities, the style of your wedding and also the location of your ceremony: for example whilst practical and easily accessible, not every Register Office has the best surroundings for photographs you want to keep for a lifetime.

Photojournalistic shooting offers more flexibility for making the most of the surroundings no matter what they may look like, and provides a record of the day that you, as bride or groom, may not have been able to appreciate at the time, letting you view your day from a different perspective.

Formal pictures are a good way to gather group shots of family members who are rarely in the same place at the same time, and dressed up too ! In a good location, these shots will be something that you and your families will enjoy long after the day itself, but don’t under-estimate the time it takes to call the various combinations of people together, and how long is required for each photograph (eg: waiting for passing traffic to clear the background, dogs to be collected by owners, everyone looking in the same direction, not blinking, etc.) As a rough guide, if you have 20 different formal portraits on your list, you should allow a minimum of 1½, preferably 2 hours, assuming no travel is required.

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