Whenever I'm putting together a wedding gallery, I find myself drawn to the getting ready sequence time and time again. A beaming bride filled with anticipation before she walks down the aisle makes for incredible portraits, and luckily we've got photographers like Jen Huang to capture them. Jen is sharing ideas to pull off the artful, expressive bridal session you want with go-to poses for your big moment in front of the camera.
Use Hands to Frame the Face
Hands are one of those elements that can change a portrait entirely. We are deeply aware of hand gestures because we use them like words to communicate. Always make sure that hands are relaxed and soft. When we clench our muscles, it can convey tension and apprehension. When you're placing hands around a face, make sure that there is a skin to skin connection and that both hands are at different heights. Placing them asymmetrically is more visually pleasing and can make your image more dynamic.
Find an Interesting Angle
In a busy getting ready space, it can be hard to move around or see things from a different perspective. Don't forget to have your photographer shoot from different angles. From straight on but also from behind and from the side. It may seem simple, but these poses are often forgotten during a fast-paced day.
Remember the Close Up Details
Sometimes I like to zoom in on details that I think are unique or dynamic, a portrait doesn't always have to include a face. Close ups can make a portrait feel more intimate. To help with these types of images, I use macro filters on my cameras so that I can shoot in close proximity. Photographers can also use their close-up filters on wedding details such as rings and invitations.
The Full-Length Look
In a small space, it can be difficult to shoot a full-length portrait without a wide lens. If your getting ready space is small, try to find a location outside or nearby that will give you a longer "runway" for the shot. Here I actually stood on a chair to give me a little bit of additional height to capture the full train of the bride's dress.
Try a Double Exposure
A tip for photographers - double exposures are challenging but also fun! With film, you never quite know how your exposures will appear on top of each other, although with practice you can start to memorize where your shots will line up. If you're just starting out with double exposures, try taking a portrait and layering in a pattern - for example, a close up of a bouquet or the lace on a bride's dress. Using elements from the wedding can make the double exposure even more meaningful.
For more ideas on how to compose unique and evocative images that stand out in the wedding world, take a look at Jen's new eBook series on natural and expressive portraiture. Psst: keep an eye on our Instagram for a chance to win a free copy!