I put a lot of emphasis on being a candid wedding photographer who absolutely abhors a day full of “say cheese” or “smile for the camera” shots. My strength lies in capturing unplanned and unstaged moments and I’m very upfront that I don’t obsess over posing or perfect placement. In fact, I really don’t feel that I would ever make a very good studio portrait photographer. Not that I couldn’t do a decent job, but rather because I’m simply not interested in taking absolute control of every head tilt and finger placement. I prefer a more relaxed, hands-off approach.
That said, I do create some formal and posed photographs on the wedding day. Sometimes more, sometimes fewer, but almost always some. It primarily depends on the schedule and what the couple wants.
Still, because I am adamant about bringing a relaxed atmosphere to my wedding photography, I approach the formals with a more casual flair. Even when elegance is the goal.
The photo above was taken at the Chase Park Plaza shortly after our lovely bride finished getting ready but before we headed upstairs for the ceremony. The stairway was one of her favorite spots, so I made sure to capture a number of photos from several different angles. But, even being the center of attention, I did my very best to keep it fun and relaxed.
For this photo from above (really a spur-of-the-moment idea) I asked her to just sit back and get as comfortable as her dress would allow. I didn’t worry about how her hands sat. I didn’t worry about the perfect drape of her dress. I care about capturing that perfect smile, which doesn’t happen if she’s worried about moving ever-so-slightly out of position.
Is it studio perfection? Well, I’d say her relaxed expression tells more about who she is than the position of her fingers. I’m proud to have a 24×36 inch print of this one on my studio wall, and I foresee it as a full spread in the album.