When it comes to couples portraits on your wedding day and keeping it candid it is something that I am very much aware off. Especially as a reportage wedding photographer. keeping it candid, and at a quick pace too. So I have been thinking about this which reminded me of a few things about the way I work and of which many couples can testify.
“We’ve been to a few weddings where the couple are crawling into their own wedding at 7:00pm or so, and it’s something that we most definitely do not want…”
In particular it was a run of weddings down in Dingle. I think it was my third visit to Dingle on the spin, three Ballintaggart weddings and each of the couples on each day wanted to head down to a little beach, Binn Ban, for a few minutes by themselves before heading back to the party.
One particular couple said to me earlier “we can be quite adventurous…”. I was unsure what was meant to be honest. Once we got to the beach they just took off. I thought “this could be interesting”, and I more or less anchored myself to my spot. They went off into the water and heading towards a rock jutting out of the water. Illustrated by the above image, and they just did their thing and gave me what I needed. Which was pictures of them doing whatever they wanted. Being themselves.
No handholding, no instructions. None of this fake ten a penny scenario like stuff so common in the wedding photography world. And while it may look set up that is where the beauty of the image lies, and how long did this take? They took a wander about the area and I’m sure we were back at the house within 30 minutes. In the space of a week I was here on this same beach with three different couples. They all gave me something different. And it is important that I allow every couple to do their thing.
From experience I feel that any couple planning a wedding and who discover my work get it. They get that there is a natural pace and pulse to the work which also comes down to having some couples portraits done. Want to go somewhere for some pictures? Great. If you expect to me to come up with some corny poses then that won’t happen, I have no interest, and anyway, isn’t that what everybody else does? And in reality this is just not suitable for some. And it certainly is not an option for me.
What is important for me is to document your wedding, and being a documentary wedding photographer means that is what I am going to do. Which brings me back to that Dingle beach, and another couple. They hit the beach and once again just did their own thing, which I found very interesting. They more or less went separate ways on the beach, exploring, every now and then meeting. The eye contact between the pair was just magic and it clicked, and I just thought “Wow, that was incredible”.
Now, imagine barking orders at that couple “err can you rest your head on his chest please, with your hand against his face… Now gaze into his eyes”. Imagine saying that to any couple? You can’t create a moment by ruining the one in front of you.
I received a phone call one evening, on the eve of a wedding, and it a rather nervous groom and he asks “We’d like to go to the beach across from Ballintaggart… and… err…what are we going to do when we get there…?”. I just said, “all you have to do is be yourself…”, to which he replied “what does that mean?” thinking out loud I guess.
I replied “You’ll know tomorrow”. Turned out very well as I recall. When any two people are together for a period of time they know who they are without even knowing, if you know what I mean. There is no need to over think anything on the day. In my experience being reactive as a reportage wedding photographer gets the best results. I highly recommend this