Like we've talked about before here on the blog, sometimes stuff just happens on a wedding day. There's traffic, somebody's running late, the limo driver gets lost. The timeline gets crunched, and suddenly you find yourself with something like 7 minutes total to shoot the entirety of the couple portraits. It can be stressful to say the least. And not if, but when that happens you're going to want to have a plan.
We talked a good bit in this post about a go to strategy for maximizing the portraits when you only have a very small window of time to work in. But today we wanted to expand on that by talking more about maximizing the different looks you can get from just a single pose, without having to move your couple around or ask too much of them on the wedding day.
Because here's the thing. The timeline getting crunched is just one of many reasons that you might find yourself in the position of needing to get a lot of different looks without directing your clients into a lot of different complex poses. Maybe because of the light or the location that you're at, there's really only one good spot to shoot in. Maybe it was raining that day and the grass is wet, and your bride doesn't want to move around too much and get her dressed soaked. Maybe your couple is just really overwhelmed with all that's going on, and they're experiencing a little bit of temporary ADD. :) Now is not the time to have a drastically different pose for every shot you want to get. Instead, you want to have a strategy that allows you to move you own feet or just change lenses to get the different looks you're going for.
Also, it probably bears mentioning that even if we did have more time or space to move around in, just from a personal point of view in keeping with our ownWhy....we actually prefer to keep the posing very simple because we want it to feel like the kind of stances we might have actually found our couple in on the wedding day anyway, had we not been there putting our stamp on the day. Otherwise we feel like we're become too much a part of the story. For that reason, and like we touched on in this post, we're actually getting away from the idea of "posing" our clients into stiff, static poses and getting more into the practice of just putting our couples in good positions with the kinds of prompts that lead to a natural gesture.
I think all this will make more sense if I show, not tell. :) So let's take a look at 4 different looks we can get from starting with just one simple base pose, and the prompts we're using to get more organic gesture from each.
First, our base pose. We call this one the forehead to forehead pose, for obvious reasons. :) The forehead to forehead is actually one of our favorite go to poses, because body language experts tell us that the forehead to forehead embrace is actually more intimate and creates a stronger bond than even a kiss. And only the best couples do it. So when I tell them this, our couples are more than happy to rock out this pose! :) I think it's such a great starting point because its such a sweet, simple pose, and it really allows our couples to just take a few minutes to soak each other in. We always make sure to have them also either hold hands low, or hold on to each other at the waist so that they stay connected and the arms don't just look like they're hanging there. And then we also tell them to bring their bellybuttons together so that we don't have any butts-sticking-out situations. Finally, a great way to keep this pose from getting static, is to just have them rock back and forth while they're standing there. Which is also a great way to have them connect even more.
Once we have that main wide, full-length shot of the forehead to forehead, now rather than asking our couple to move....we can move our own feet to get four more different looks from this pose. Let's go through them in turn.
*The Three-Quarter Crop Moving in a little closer, but still shooting straight on I can now get the three-quarter crop of this same pose. But a great way to shake it up, is to have one of them (in this case our groom) kiss her on the forehead or on the cheek that's facing away from me. And then if we want to bump this up even one more level to create more organic moments, a great way to do that is to have them both close their eyes before he kisses her. Because he can't see where he's going and she doesn't know when it's coming, it makes for either some really sweet moments or some really genuine laughs when they inevitably bump into one another.
*The focus on the shoulder shot Now I'm ready to start working a few different angles. One of my favorite side angle shots to do, is to swing around to one side and focus on a shoulder while asking my couple to do "the slowest kiss imaginable." I tell them to really own it, Chariots of Fire style. The slooooowest kiss they've ever had. And by doing that, I can get a few shots on the approach and then a few shots of the kiss itself. To be honest, this can make for a pretty steamy shot if the couples really get into it. :) But by focusing on the shoulder, you get a sense of what's happening in the background without being all up in their grill while they're making out!. :)
*The peek over The next variation would be to swing over and shoot from the other side. A shot that we love to do is to shoot past one of them while the other is just peeking over. To keep this from getting static, I had Lara alternate between looking down at her bouquet, out in the same direction as Peter, and then back over at me. And anytime I felt like the pose was going a little too long, I would just have her change where she was looking again.
*The Slice of Life Finally, I love to make sure to look down for little slices of life that might be telling a whole story in and of themselves. What the feet are doing, how she's holding his hand, where his hand is on her waist. And this is also a great time to come in and get a great detail shot of the bouquet.
So there it is! One pose, four ways. I think it's worth mentioning that for all of the extra four poses we showed here, we got closer. But remember that moving your feet works both ways, so another great way to shake it up would just be to step back and get some wider shots showing off the scene that you're in. Also remember that our poses don't have to be your poses. The point is to just find a couple of good go-to base poses that you can start with, and find ways to make them work for you.