Getting that one stunning portrait of the bride where she looks her absolute best is probably the hardest thing to achieve for a wedding photographer. A typical wedding unfurls at break-neck speed, and that leaves very little room to maneuver and get the bride (or the groom for that matter) for an individual portrait session. Finding that one magical window of opportunity where the light, the pose, and the smile all come together takes a bit of work and luck. Wedding photographer Jasmine Star has a few words of advice:
1. Use Your Time Wisely
Wedding photographers have to be masters of time management. Even with the shortest window of time they are expected to make beautiful images. You simply cannot succeed as a wedding photographer without good time management skills. As Star suggests, “Use the time, however little it may seem, to maximize light, location and pose.”
When you have everything going for you Try to get three variations of the same pose: full body, waist up, and chest up. For each frame, incorporate small changes in the pose. These small changes give you a bunch of images to choose from for that perfect portrait. You could change the location, the light, or try shooting at a different time, but the key is the same—work smarter, not harder.
2. Help the Bride Relax
This is easier said than done. But Star explains,
“By the time the bride stands in front of the camera, she has so much on her mind. It’s easy to appear distracted or even distressed. Take time to explain what you need from the bride, give her permission to think about nothing else besides the present moment, and remind her to relax her shoulders.”
3. Give Feedback
Small corrections are key. Initially Star suggests that you let the bride be herself. As you shoot a few frames give some feedback from behind the camera. Silence can be unnerving, and you don’t want that to happen to the bride. Take a cue from how Star manages to bring out a beautiful smile from the bride in the later part of the video. This is the image that it resulted:
A smart use of time, a relaxed bride, and clear instruction will almost always help you get that perfect shot of the bride.
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