Being a UK professional wedding photographer, I have complete understanding of my cameras capabilities, lighting techniques and how to make my clients not only feel relaxed in front of the camera but to look good too.
I have created this blog to provide brides with inspiration in having elegant formal portraits with sophistication and classic style, how to pose correctly and understand the importance in selecting a photographer who has been professionally trained and can deliver beautiful natural yet directed photography for your unique day.
To spice up some of the traditional wedding portrait shots, the bride should consider having a few pre wedding photos normally after preparations at the brides home and before the ceremony. These can be achieved at either a suitable location such as a garden or even at your place of getting ready.
Below is a number of portraits of a model bride which explains simple poses and with attention to detail from the photographer can give stunning results. This session can be achieved in no more than 20 minutes depending on the experience of the photographer.
By doing something different with each side of your body, you can dramatically change your shape and form and give a sense of mood to the finished photograph.
Most women tend to lean away from the camera instinctively, but by having your shoulders on a tilt towards the camera and your head looking away creates an elongated neck and more attractive style to a classic portrait.
When you want a far off, dreamy look and choose to have your subject look off camera, do not tell them to “look over there.” Give them an object that you to tell them to focus on so you can control their eye-line.
Endless variations are possible for posing in full height. This pose is just the starting point. Ask the model to slightly turn her body, change hand positioning, change head and eye directions etc.
Putting your weight on the back foot and turning your front leg knee creates a slimmer appearance. By turning your waist to the side on a position to the camera and have your shoulders square on this appearance reduces the waist dimensions and looks smaller.
The above image is an example of placement of the hands either on the side of the hip and the other hand touching a facial feature such as the tip of the chin. Again attention to detail on finger extension creates an elegant finish.
In portrait photography, hands are usually not visible or at least not dominant. However, you might get creative by asking the model to play around with her hands trying different positions around her head or face. Keep in mind, though: No flat palms, and the hands should only show their sides!
The placement of hands on your hips creates an illusion of a smaller waist. The naturally made holes between your arms and body frame create a background that should be out of focus (depending on camera operators lens choice and focal length) and removes emphasis from your shape.
The side of your hand is far attractive in photographs and creates the longest line extending from your arm. The extension of the fingers creates a more feminine appeal.
Hands can be the most awkward part to posing for a bride. Normally holding a bouquet of flowers is the only thing a photographer can think of. I have deliberately photographed my model with out flowers in order to show you examples that can be elegant on their own.
Natural yet choreographed fixing necklace or earrings.
The effects of sunlight
A professional photographer will know the direction of natural light and where shadows will cast. This will affect the appearance of your face. Natural light is above us most of the day; by tilting your nose down may cause your brow bone to cast a shadow over your eyes.
Keeping your chin high reduces forehead and elongating your neck gives greater results and reduces the double chin effect. Pushing your head forward and maintaining the shoulders in line with the body also helps.
Smile it is your wedding day
It’s your wedding day and joy, emotion and laughter should be expressed continuously. However your facial expressions are hard to maintain and hold throughout the whole day of your wedding and being relaxed and comfortable with your photographer is essential to have natural portraits that just visually show how happy you are. These are choreographed, timeless moments and work well within the stunning collection of bride portraits that can be placed at the beginning of a wedding album.
Showing the venue
The venue is an important location and should be photographed creatively. Having good composition and posing the bride correctly within the environment can work well. A full length portrait where particular time is spent on positioning the wedding dress in its true alignment is essential.
A close up within the vegitation which in this scene the colours of the leafs complimented the models hair colour perfectly.
Here is my typical selection of bride portraits.
A close up of face, hair and head wear giving great detail of make up and eyes.
A head and shoulders portrait perfect using natural window light
A three quarter portrait, emphasizing on the flowers.
A full-length portrait, looking over shoulder, perfect for capturing back of dress detail.
Looking down to bouquet of flowers and in her own moments and thoughts
If you liked this guide and would like to consider Derek Ramage Photography to capture your wedding day please don’t hesitate to contact him for his availability and collections.
Derek also works with international models throughout the UK creating bespoke portfolios and conducts fashion portrait workshops providing tuition for inspiring photographers.
see web site for details: http://www.derekramagephotography.co.uk
Model: Amie Jayne Boulton
Hair and Makeup: Amie Jayne Boulton
Location: Cockington Court Devon
Stylist: Derek Ramage
Equipment: Nikon Creative Lighting System Off camera flashes SB910 and SU800 Commander and a D7100
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