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Photography Question 
Marina K

Wedding photography poses

hey guys, I am doing my first wedding in couple of weeks and I got the list of all the "not to be missed" shots from this forum...but I do have a rather silly question. when it says to photograph 'Mother of the bride fastening the bride's necklace'....well what if the mother of the bride does NOT do that, do you tell them to pose that way anyway as if she the mother is doing that? Or do you just catch the momements as they happen?

any help is appreciated.


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5/16/2006 7:46:24 PM

Debbie Del Tejo
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/30/2005
  Not all mother's have a necklace to put on their daughters...some are not even there with their daughters while they are dressing. Go with the flow and if the mom is there and she puts SOMETHING on her daugher, catch it. This time in the wedding day it should be photojournalistic and just get the mood and the silliness of GETTING READY!!!! I hate those lists....

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5/16/2006 8:00:08 PM

Paul Tobeck
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/19/2005
  The only list you need to follow is the one you create by sitting down with the bride and groom, and the mothers, asking them what they would like. The fathers can be there too, but we all know that they are already married and their opinion doesn't matter. :)
You can take suggestions from the many lists out there, but the bottom line is to make the client happy and give them what they want.

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5/17/2006 4:54:32 AM

Jerry Frazier   Starting out, I would go by lists. The thing to ask yourself is what type of photographer you are.

From the start, I told clients that I will catch the moments of the day, so don't say things like, 'groom seeing the bride for the first time', or 'mom putting necklace on bride', or 'bride putting on shoes', or 'dress hanging in window', or 'ring on flowers'.

I am the creative professional and will capture what I see and what happens.

All I want to know is this: If I missed one shot, just one shot, and you would be completely upset, what shot is that? It makes them think about their priorities, and they usually can't answer right away. But, the point is, it helps them to stop screwing around with all the details and tell you what is important. If she says something like, "a picture of my grandma", well you know that not only is grandma important, but she values family over all the other stuff, so make sure that is your focus for the day.

The dreaded list, which I no longer do, is just a question about which family members they want documented as being present, and the combinations thereof. It's simple. Don't let clients dictate the shooting. But, do let them tell you what their priorities are, and which formals they like.

I now offer a new package that has no formals. That is the rule of the package, no formals. It is sparking quite a bit of interest. I find that very telling about where wedding photography is moving and how the style of editorial shooting is taking hold overall. There's still a place for a more traditional style. But, I am experiementing with not having formals, and it's going over quite well.

Just some food for thought. Lists suck. They totally take away creative surprise and completely ruin the flow of the event, IMO.

The point of wedding photography is to document the day and what happens. Not to document the brides wishes. At least that's how I see it, and that's how I sell it. But, in order to say that to a bride, you have to be pretty confidant in your abilities and you have to show your work so that they see that you can satisfactorily do that.

The package with no formals also involves no proofs. It goes staight to an album (not pre-defined at all). I decide everything, client has no input. I deliver a completed album and that's it. They are paying for an artistic service from beginning to end. In this way, it is not a clients version of their dream day, but rather an artists view of it. It involves an incredible amount of trust from the client.

Think about it.

Best of luck.

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5/17/2006 10:32:14 AM

Marina K   Joe, so you're saying you do not do formals, do you mean you don't do posed photos at all, just candid shots?

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5/17/2006 1:10:50 PM

Jerry Frazier   In my normal packages, I do limited formals. In this new package I am testing out, there are no formal or posed shots whatsoever. It is not candid shots, it is photojournalism. The two are different. But, to answer your quesiton, no posed photos at all. While some couples like it, they say that their parents, who are paying, would not approve. My clients that are biting are paying for the wedding themselves. The interesting part, and surprising part isn't that there are no posed photos. The surprising part is that the client has no input into the album, no proof images, and no cd. They get me shooting things as they occur, and an album. That's it. It's a service with the end product being an artfully crafted story of the day.

I am trying to get away from the "what do I get for my money" mentality. And start down the path of, 'i am a story teller'. it's harder. it has more responsibility tied to it. but, I think it will be more rewarding. and, I think it is more toward my vision of how weddings and art can combine into a final product without looking at the individual pieces that make up that product. I have always felt that was wrong. it's not about an image; one image. it's about how that image flows into the next, and into the next, and into the next. it's about the story of love. it's an artistic interpretation of the expression of love.

it's not about how many 4x6's they get, or a shot list.

nothing is defined in this package. the only defined thing is that there are no formals. and the time has some limitations around it.

so far so good. but, time will tell if this is something that will work out or not.

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5/17/2006 3:59:09 PM

Slim Brady 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  10 % Formal
90 % Life

Thats how I get them, I'm short and to the point.

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5/17/2006 7:54:31 PM

Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Marina, I think all the above is good advice - but ultimately you also need to consider the personality of the couple, how relaxed and spontaneous they are in front of the camera - then shooting as Joe suggests is great - some people.... well you wonder why they're marrying, as they're so unaffectionate, there's no spark, and its like pulling teeth. If you feel you need a few 'formals' parents/inlaws/grannies etc, then yes.... I agree with Brady 10% and the rest go for it. Try to get a bit of champage in them as well - it works wonders :) Good luck - shoot from your heart, and ALWAYS keep your other eye open for whats happening with friends and family OUTSIDE of the viewfinder at that very moment - Granny might be wiping a tear, a junior member looking sooooo bored......

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5/18/2006 10:34:42 AM

Marina K   Thanks for all the good advise guys.

One more questions I just thought of. For example during the ceremony when they are exchaning rings and all, I know thats one of the important moments that I need to capture, how do I go about doing it? Do I shoot from the side or from the front (that way I will be blocking guests who are seated behind me). Or for example the cake cutting, do I want to be right there in the front or try to be discreet and invisible as much as possible throughout the entire wedding?

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5/18/2006 12:56:44 PM

Debbie Del Tejo
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/30/2005
  I, for one do not go near the altar. The exchange of rings can be shot as a full length and a nice 3/4 pose from the back of the church with your telephoto lens. I use my Nikon 7- to 300 lens and I dont have to go near the altar or the front of the church. I just don't want to block guests view or be distruptive of a wedding. I have respect for the ceremony. During the meal at the receptioon I usually take the rings from the couple and do a nice macro of the rings on the bride's bouquet....this is the photo they love the best. Sometimes, if they are not too rushed for time, I will do a close up of the exchange of rings but only at the reception. You can have him put the ring on her and vice a versa and do a close up if you want.
During the cake cutting, you do have to be up close and in front of all the guests. Everyone has their camera so you have to be in total control and orchestrate the shots you want. If they smash the darn thing in their face (which is going out of style....THANK GOD!) then you want to be up there to get that.
BUT...having said all that....I see so many photographers up in the altar in the couples face every photographer does his or her thing and each one does things you can get many different answers as you saw with the posing question.
Best of luck to you.

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5/19/2006 2:45:57 AM

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