As I’m a photojournalistic wedding photographer, the couples who book me tend to be the kind of people who don’t like the idea of posed couple shots. However, more often than not, they whisper to me “Can we still have just like, one shot to keep the mothership happy, just to prove we had the professional make up, so we know what we looked like pre jaegerbomb?”
They always seem a little afraid, but I reassure them that my approach to these posed couple shots is still unapologetically true to my ethos: Looking like your real selves= the best. Traditionally, a lot of posing aims for the most flattering angle, but we don’t often stop to think what does it REALLY mean. What it’s actually saying is that if I stand you in this way and you push this bit out and tuck this bit in, you’ll look like a slimmer lady or a bigger man. By posing someone in a way that makes them look ‘better’ suggests there’s something wrong to begin with or that an improvement can be made. Fudge that ship!
Part of my photojournalistic approach is that real laughter with flared nostrils and a thrown back head is 100 times more genuine and heartwarming than a perfect duck face, even though it’s technically less ‘flattering’. In a couple shot, if I posed you for the most ‘flattering’ body angles, it probably isn’t a way you stand everyday, or realistically ever in your whole life. Therefore it’s probably going to be uncomfortable, and most importantly you won’t quiiiiteeeeee look like the real you.
Here’s the truth, if you ask five couples to hug, they’ll all do it differently.
How do you hug when one of you has just arrived home from a hard day’s work? How do you hug when you’ve won £60 on the roulette tables? Your bodies convey different messages in every emotional scenario, so how great and unique would it be to tap into the emotions felt on such a one off occasion like the day you got married?!
Therefore, when I take a couple shot I simply work from how they would naturally come together. I just feel that this is so much more comfortable and natural and actually meaningful compared to whatever might be conceived as the most flattering pose.
In the shot below I didn’t even tell Debbie and Eyal anything, this was taken at 1am at the end of the night when all the flowers and decor were being packed away in a van. They stayed like this for a good half a minute. It shows a couple who have partied hard, poured out all their emotions and this hug says “Yes. We did it.” It conveyed everything what they were feeling at that exact time and that’s why to me, this is a perfectly posed couple shot.