From the Publisher
Your potential purchase of this book will no doubt influenced by your desire to gain more knowledge and improve your photography posing skills at weddings. Like a great number of wedding photographers you probably run out of ideas, causing "blanks", and seem to create the same poses week in and week out. It may be that you have a good repertoire of poses but need to give your work the finesse and elegance you feel it is currently missing. This book's aim is to help you and provide you with inspiration to take you to the next level and beyond.
By sheer virtue of buying this book you will make a huge investment in your career and your ongoing improvement, at very small financial cost. This alone puts you ahead of most wedding photographers who are content to be static and work with the monotony of sameness every week. Some are even too arrogant to think they need a guide like this (I have met many in the making of this book). It is our responsibility to ensure the coverage we provide our wedding couples is to the best of our abilities. Like sportsmen we need to spend time training as frequently as time allows, to improve our skills. It is prudent to hire a model every few months to do this (you can get amateurs for free very easily, or ask friends) . It would be ideal to get together a group of other photographers, enabling you to help each other. This alone will bring far greater rewards than the latest piece of equipment. If you are an amateur and covering a friend's wedding then explain to the bride and groom the importance of practice sessions - not only will they be more comfortable but you will be able to review your images and make necessary adjustments.
We have purposefully designed this book to be pocket-size, enabling you to take it with you to weddings. It can act as a prompt or allow you to quickly reference a certain point. It should not live in your camera bag though - it should be picked up and read as often as you can. You should certainly look through it the morning before each wedding to refresh your memory. The repetition will help you take in the knowledge contained within and eventually to use it instinctively. By remembering a certain point or pose you will be able to reference it when the time arises and you find yourself in a similar situation.
The book is inspirational and the images stunning, with beautiful people and locations. But it is balanced. We have taken care to include normal people in normal locations as this is what is normal for most photographers. You need to know how to get the best out of basic surroundings and make people who may not be comfortable being photographed feel at ease. Not only do we cover these issues but also some advanced topics such as motion posing, adding finesse and elegance, fashion posing and, of course, off-camera lighting, which can transform your work. By learning these you can only improve, especially if you are not naturally artistic.
You will find contradictions within the text and images, as the book has been written by multiple authors. Photography is an art form and therefore subjective, so this is intentional. I want you to think about the different approaches and make up your own mind. This will help you to develop your individual style which is what every photographer should strive for. I personally dislike seeing the groom holding his bride with one arm whilst the other dangles by his side: why would he not want to hold his bride with both arms? For some though this is fine and indeed on occasion planned.
It is also worth noting that weddings are real live events and that we are just one cog in the wheel. Brides can run late and the food arrive early. We have to cope with these variables and not let them fluster us. Even with a good amount of time you will still have some pressure to contend with to get great images. Unlike other photographers we have a very short space of time to capture images that will be remembered and loved forever. It is easy to make mistakes and most photographers will do so at every wedding. How many times have you reviewed your images the next day and wished you had only moved the bride's hand or turned the groom slightly? Although we are seeking perfection it is very doubtful we will find it.
What we need to do is focus on improving at each wedding. Quite often this simply means slowing down and thinking in terms of quality and not quantity. You may find it helpful to pre-visualise the specific poses you wish to do at a wedding that will be complimentary to the bride and groom. These should always be in addition to the basic and safe poses. I strongly recommend that you focus initially on mastering the basic poses before progressing to the fine art portraiture.
This book will help you realize any errors you have made and help you to correct them at your next wedding. This will enable you to progress your abilities as a photographer and retain your passion for what you are doing. Your confidence will greatly increase and you will become more and more proud of your work. The only detriment is that the more you learn the more you realize how much more there is to learn.
From the Author
Posing people at a wedding is not a "photograph by numbers" formulaic scenario. Each couple is different physically and emotionally - it is the photographers job to match the pose to the couple for the most outstanding results. It is only then that their true personalities shine through, as the photographer slows down to think about the image they are creating and how best to achieve it.
This book is therefore not in the "cookie cutter" format. It is designed to provide you with the knowledge needed to create your own images based on the information you have learnt. I want you to think and see images, not just copy them. I would love you to train yourself to develop images in your mind's eye and then be able to translate them into beautiful photographs. This is not easy - it will need work, perseverance and tenacity on your part. Perhaps most importantly it will require you to practise.
This book has been designed to be read in its entirety. Throughout the 256 pages you will find facts, opinions and musings to help you. If you do not read the whole book you may well miss the most relevant and pertinent point to you. Its size allows you to fit it easily into your camera bag for reference.
The book has been priced intentionally low so you can deface it without being concerned about ruining an expensive volume. We encourage you to highlight with a highlighter pen all the facts and points that are of use to you. This will act as a fantastic aid if you quickly dip into the book (which we suggest you do) on the morning of a wedding.
Look carefully at the images and work out why they work and what makes them so good. It is only by learning this yourself that you will really see the full benefits. We have given you hundreds of tips and the key is for you to start looking for and noticing them. Try to visualise how you can transform the shot you are about to take by finessing it. What happens if you change the position of the body, hands, legs, head, or the expression or eye direction?
It is a huge responsibility to photograph someone's wedding and you are doing exactly the right thing to Invest in Knowledge to increase your natural abilities.