Photojournalism wedding photography has become a popular choice among many couples because they want to capture their moments in the most genuine way. For more detail about the style, you can read this post: “what is photojournalism wedding photography”. But for now, all you need to know is the photographers focus on capturing the candid moments without interfering with the event flow.
That leaves two questions for many couples:
- First, how can you get beautiful portraits if you don’t know how to pose and the photographers don’t give any direction?
- Second, even if the photographers give direction, how can they make you look natural when posing is not what you are used to?
That’s what we are going to discuss today.
1/ How would you pose without any direction?
Before we go into details, let us make one thing clear. With pure photojournalism wedding photography, the photographers will not interfere at all, which means they will NOT give you ANY direction throughout the entire day. That’s simple. If you need some assistant during the portrait session, this is not the best style for you. Because of the pure photojournalism’s nature, this style is pretty picky and not many couples would like to choose this. Therefore, only a handful of photographers practice this.
Most photojournalism photographers you meet nowadays are not pure photojournalism. Although they still focus on photojournalism, they blend it with something else, which I call “their approach” for now. This lets them capture most part of your wedding genuinely and allow them to assist you with posing during the portrait session. This might be the better option you want to follow.
So, there you go, the first question has just been answered.
2/ How can your portrait wedding photos look natural when you are not used to posing?
Now, the second question is a little tricky. Not all approaches are the same. Some require the photographers to give intensive direction, down to the smallest details like hands, fingers, and head placement. Everything has to be exact. This, of course, will be great if you can follow all directions while, at the same time, maintain natural facial expressions. If you already have some experiences with posing, you will find this easy to work with. However, if you don’t have any posing experience, too many directions give your brain too much information to process. Therefore, it will most likely make you look stiff and unnatural.
If that is the case, then, you want to find an approach that doesn’t give too many directions. What do I mean by that? Some photographers can help you pose and maintain a natural expression by giving you just ENOUGH direction. They will tell you what to do but will let you do it the way you normally do. For example, they can tell you to give each other a hug but will not fix your hand placement. Since your brain doesn’t have to process too much information, you can look more natural.
In addition, to get a natural smile (who doesn’t like to have a natural smile in their wedding photos), the photographers can give you some subjects to think and talk about. For example: talk about the most hilarious movie you’ve just watched recently, or talk about the first date. When you talk about those subjects, because you are talking about your real past experience, you tend to focus on each other and thus, forget the presence of the camera. That’s a good thing. Without thinking about the camera, without thinking about whether or not you are posing correctly, it is most likely that you will make some natural reactions and genuine laugh. The rest is the photographers’ job to capture those reactions.
That is how they can make you look natural even if you don’t have any prior posing experience. Now, you might wonder: how do you know which photographers have the approach or style you want? Well, that’s a pretty big topic and I will save it for another blog. For now, let’s recap the main points.
- Pure photojournalism wedding photography gives you 100% truthful moments with the trade-off of no direction. If you need direction during the portrait session, this is not the best choice.
- Most photojournalism wedding photographers nowadays have a blend of photojournalism with something else that allows them to assist you during the portrait session.
- Some blend will give you lots of direction to follow. This is a good choice if you ALREADY have some posing experience.
- Some blend will give you minimal or just enough direction, and let you do it the way you normally do. This is a good choice if you have NO posing experience.