Wedding Posing.

"We don't want posed photos, just nice & natural" - this is said to me on nearly every initial client chat / meeting; & I agree but still have to explain that I actually will have to 'pose' them at certain points of the day, just not in the way they're worried about.

I would describe my style as natural, fun & stylish. I capture natural moments but in a refined way. So I may place & pose people according to the light & for the correct composition whilst always trying to provoke natural expression between whoever I'm photographing. 

In terms of the group 'formal' photographs again I always strive to provoke natural emotions rather than a rigid straight line with awkward fake smiles. I want everyone to look at each other & converse with each other which can sometimes make people feel slightly strange to begin with, or they just look at me like I'm a bit mad, (depends how tactile families are with each other), but what it actually does is create real smiles & reactions so by the time everyone is looking back at me they are in the moment, they all feel relaxed, less stiff & ultimately that makes lovely photos. I say my shoots are 'photos & therapy' which I find quite amusing. My goal is this whenever I am 'posing', so in terms of the couple or the family I will do the same thing. The majority of the rest of the day is never posed, that is me capturing things as they unfold naturally. But during bridal prep for example I may say, could you just stand here or turn into the light. I am always working for the light so if the bride is standing somewhere but I see light is better in another place I will guide her there instead; so would you call that posed? I think there is a middle area where my style fits. I am not pure documentary style but then I am not fully staged - 'every shot is posed' & for me personally I think the middle ground is the best way. So ultimately it's natural but refined.

The main part of the day which has the majority of posing would be the bride & groom photos & this is where clients worry the most as nearly everyone I photograph actually feel nervous in front of the camera - would you believe!? If I didn't take control during this part of the day & just let them be, unfortunately they wouldn't end up with the best shots, as they wouldn't know what to do in that situation, or even if they did & loved 'posing' together privately for their own selfies; it's very different with a photographer standing in front of you & they feel a little more self conscious, so they need to be guided, they need to feel comfortable, supported & eased into the moment feeling like they can let loose & do public displays of affection in front of me! Can I also add that I would very much dislike been posed into a held position which feels cheesy if I was on the other side of the lens. I have done many shoots with Rob mainly so we know how it feels, what works & what feels awkward /unnatural. I think it's highly important to put yourself in your subjects shoes as it makes you very relatable. 

Your wedding day shouldn't be a photoshoot. But you still want beautiful images you have to meet your photographer half way, give them all you've got & trust that they know what they're doing! This is why I always make it about the couple & their relationship. Not all my images are the same because every couple is different & I work according to them & what works for them as a couple. I like to think I can read people quite well so I also know if they aren't enjoying being photographed a certain way & quickly change to adapt. It makes my job very exciting & rewarding as I watch people slowly being converted into enjoying having their photograph taken.

I have commented images to explain how they happened with regards to posing.

Enjoy!

This is one of my favourite images. It was during the wedding breakfast so I had put my camera down & was resting my legs. Then I noticed the incredible light coming through the windows in this room next to me. I went slightly frantic, picked up my camera & stood in there overwhelmed thinking "I need an image, I need an image" but I didn't want to pull anyone away from their meal. Then a mini miracle happened as the bride & groom's daughter ran into the room. So I just asked her if she would like to spin for me & show me her pretty dress. Then this happened. This is a great example of a natural but refined moment.

This is one of my favourite images. It was during the wedding breakfast so I had put my camera down & was resting my legs. Then I noticed the incredible light coming through the windows in this room next to me. I went slightly frantic, picked up my camera & stood in there overwhelmed thinking "I need an image, I need an image" but I didn't want to pull anyone away from their meal. Then a mini miracle happened as the bride & groom's daughter ran into the room. So I just asked her if she would like to spin for me & show me her pretty dress. Then this happened. This is a great example of a natural but refined moment.

Carissa & Michael are a great example of a couple who are very comfortable being tactile with each other & this always makes my job easier. I stood them this way as I wanted to see both of their lovely faces but not make it head on to the camera as this automatically doesn't look natural. I then left them to cuddle each other & enjoy the moment.

Carissa & Michael are a great example of a couple who are very comfortable being tactile with each other & this always makes my job easier. I stood them this way as I wanted to see both of their lovely faces but not make it head on to the camera as this automatically doesn't look natural. I then left them to cuddle each other & enjoy the moment.

Look at your family. Enjoy the love around you on this special day. Don't be afraid to show it!

Look at your family. Enjoy the love around you on this special day. Don't be afraid to show it!

Groups of gentlemen can be like herding sheep. But these chaps seemed to instantly be on board with looking at each other & not feel weird. I think they look incredibly cool!

Groups of gentlemen can be like herding sheep. But these chaps seemed to instantly be on board with looking at each other & not feel weird. I think they look incredibly cool!

You can see how they were standing, same as the image above. I told Michael to give her some love!

You can see how they were standing, same as the image above. I told Michael to give her some love!

Gracie & Charlie were worried about being photographed after telling me they can feel slightly awkward in front of the camera - even though they're both clearly pros. But I always make the focus about them being together rather than the camera. I stood them here according to the light but everything else is in the moment. Gorgeous pure love.

Gracie & Charlie were worried about being photographed after telling me they can feel slightly awkward in front of the camera - even though they're both clearly pros. But I always make the focus about them being together rather than the camera. I stood them here according to the light but everything else is in the moment. Gorgeous pure love.

I will only ask you to look at me when I feel you are comfortable & the time is right. Natural smiles over fake smiles all day long!

I will only ask you to look at me when I feel you are comfortable & the time is right. Natural smiles over fake smiles all day long!

I wanted to stand Fran & her Father underneath this wonderful arch as I felt it really complimented her flowers. Then again, as I have said previously - I made it about their relationship so this is a genuine moment between Father & Daughter moments before she becomes a wife.

I wanted to stand Fran & her Father underneath this wonderful arch as I felt it really complimented her flowers. Then again, as I have said previously - I made it about their relationship so this is a genuine moment between Father & Daughter moments before she becomes a wife.

Now this is an example of one of the rare occasions I will completely pose. I felt that with the Great Gatsby style & the look of this venue, it would work to create some 'Vogue' esque shots & these ladies were up for it!

Now this is an example of one of the rare occasions I will completely pose. I felt that with the Great Gatsby style & the look of this venue, it would work to create some 'Vogue' esque shots & these ladies were up for it!

You have chosen these girls to share your day with. Look at them - not me.

You have chosen these girls to share your day with. Look at them - not me.

jessica-raphael-photography-evesham-wedding-photographer-the-wood-norton-weddings
Again this is posed but I had this shot in my head as the sun finally came through the clouds. All I asked was Will to kiss Sophie's forehead, & I'm glad Sophie chose not to smile. I think it really suits the drama of this image.

Again this is posed but I had this shot in my head as the sun finally came through the clouds. All I asked was Will to kiss Sophie's forehead, & I'm glad Sophie chose not to smile. I think it really suits the drama of this image.

Placed here according to the light. A lot of the time I will only ask one person to look at the camera, as it takes away the 'we are having a photo' look & creates the camera sharing a secret with one of them. In this case, it was the beautiful bride Kirsty.

Placed here according to the light. A lot of the time I will only ask one person to look at the camera, as it takes away the 'we are having a photo' look & creates the camera sharing a secret with one of them. In this case, it was the beautiful bride Kirsty.

The bridal party is normally your best friends, people you have fun with so I like making these photos fun & laid back.

The bridal party is normally your best friends, people you have fun with so I like making these photos fun & laid back.

Genuine laughter being shared between families when I ask them to look at each other rather than me. Always works!

Genuine laughter being shared between families when I ask them to look at each other rather than me. Always works!

I asked Jon & Sarah to have a little dance, spin around, have fun! I like keeping movement between couples as when they hold a pose for so long that's when they start to feel awkward. I ask them to keep moving sometimes & I can catch the in-between moments which show realness. 

I asked Jon & Sarah to have a little dance, spin around, have fun! I like keeping movement between couples as when they hold a pose for so long that's when they start to feel awkward. I ask them to keep moving sometimes & I can catch the in-between moments which show realness. 

Sometimes I have to try & be funny. Sometimes it works.

Sometimes I have to try & be funny. Sometimes it works.

My favourite kind of family photos. I kept shooting whilst they were getting into position standing next to each other. Captured Sarah's Nan's personalilty & love for her granddaughter. 

My favourite kind of family photos. I kept shooting whilst they were getting into position standing next to each other. Captured Sarah's Nan's personalilty & love for her granddaughter. 

I always ask couples to walk away & towards me but always looking at each other. It gets different results as each couple is unique.

I always ask couples to walk away & towards me but always looking at each other. It gets different results as each couple is unique.

Love this image of Helen with her Father & Mother. By just looking at each other you are never sure what emotions it could bring.

Love this image of Helen with her Father & Mother. By just looking at each other you are never sure what emotions it could bring.

I had to tell the girls where to stand as the room was quite small. But told them to just chat & play with the dress rather than hold a position.

I had to tell the girls where to stand as the room was quite small. But told them to just chat & play with the dress rather than hold a position.

& sometimes, miracles like this happen.

& sometimes, miracles like this happen.

Source: www.jessicaraphaelphotography.com