7 cracking photographer-approved tips for relaxed and natural wedding photos

 

Couples photos are one of my favourite parts of every gosh darn wedding day. It’s the first time it’ll be just the two of you after saying I do, and it’ll be a welcome little break from chatting with all of your best pals and distant relatives. It’s a moment to relax and have fun.

It’s also the part that many couples dread the most – lots of people don’t like having their photo taken, some are worried about looking good, and some just find the whole process pretty awkward.

But pals, I’m here to tell you that you really don’t need to dread it, not even one tiny bit.

As a wedding photographer, here are my go-to suggestions for how to make sure you get the loveliest, most fun and natural wedding photos that you’ll be proud to place on your mantelpiece, share on social media, send to your nan, use for thank you cards and anything else you can think of.

 

1. Get to know what you’re in for and book a pre-wedding shoot with your wedding photographer

If you or your partner feels uncomfortable in front of a camera, this is a really good shout. Many wedding photographers offer this service with slightly different set-ups and packages.

This is how I do mine: the couple chooses a beautiful location in Cumbria, and we’ll spend an hour having a walk and getting to know each other, while I take some photos. It’s super chilled – there’s much less pressure on this shoot than on your wedding day, and it’ll get them more used to having their photo taken (as well as my silly jokes).

For couples who are self conscious, this is always a good option. Plus, you’ll end up with even more lovely photos of the two of you!

 

2. Take your sweet, sweet time getting ready on your wedding day

I always tell my wedding clients to aim to be ready at least half an hour before they need to leave for their wedding ceremony. It’s inevitable that in the excitement of their wedding morning, something or someone will cause them to be a little more behind than they’d like, so add in a lil time buffer.

Rushed photos are a guarantee for ruffled foreheads, furled brows and pursed lips, so it’s best to leave yourself as much time as possible so that you can have a drink, chill a bit, take in what’s happening and the lovely moments before the ceremony. And your wedding photographer can get some really lovely photos.

I love taking photos of the getting ready part of a wedding day – the anticipation is palpable and always makes for some beautiful shots. I take some sneaky photos of the couples’ closest loved ones helping them to get ready, and then a few posed shots of them all dressed up super smart.

 

Black and white photo of a bride with dark hair having her make up done

 

3. Have an open mind and trust your wedding photographer

If you go into something thinking I’m going to fudging hate this, then your body language is gonna show that – just give your wedding photographer a nudge if you are feeling mega awkward or uncomfortable.

You can trust that your wedding photographer knows what looks good when it comes to wedding photos. It’s likely that they’ll come over and squidge a couple together a little bit or pop one hand somewhere else.

I’ve photographed literally hundreds of couples, so I have a list of failsafe solutions and poses in my head, not to mention a whole bunch of silly jokes to bring couples’ guards down, while avoiding some of those (in my opinion) cringe-worthy traditional wedding photography poses.

Danni and Matty’s colourful summer wedding had harsh, direct sunlight, so I got them to jump onto the vintage bus they hired from Cumbria Classic Coaches, away from the sun. I asked them to ‘cyclops’ (think Leela from Futurama, where 4 eyes become one by touching heads). After getting the ‘safe’ photo, I asked them to go cross-eyed which resulted in some really funny after photos.

 

Newly wedded happy couple look lovingly into each other's eyes with foreheads pressed together. They stand in the doorway of a green vintage bus, and the bride holds a large beautiful bouquet of flowers.

 

4. Keep on movin’

The key to great wedding photography (and photography of people in general) is for the subject to move around. It’s lovely if a couple cuddles into each other, moves around, and does whatever feels right for them, instead of standing there like a rabbit in headlights.

I like to break the photoshoot time into different parts, so that my couples don’t end up with stiff wedding photos – a pose, a walk, a pose, etc. I’ll probably ask them to have a little dance or grab each other to loosen up their bodies and make them more relaxed.

Georgie and Joey had so much fun in their couples photos, and when they felt awkward, I asked them to run towards me. I’m so glad they trusted me and just did it. Although the photo isn’t ‘perfect’, the movement in the blur and their expressions make the photo so lovely to me.

 

Black and white photo of a groom and bride running towards the camera, smiling.

 

5. Don’t hide your emotion (or double chins)

Being a wedding photographer basically means capturing emotion during the most special moments, so please don’t try to keep a straight face so that you look ‘better’. It will mean a lot more to you to look back at your wedding photos and see the love in everyone’s eyes, including your own.

Just be yourself and feel whatever you’re feeling, whether that’s absolutely creasing up at something your best mate said, the awe of seeing your beautiful partner as they walk down the aisle to you, or shedding a tear during a heartfelt speech – the most beautiful wedding photos are the ones that are real.

Andrea and Matt booked me for their colourful vow renewal at Hidden River Cabins, as they really didn’t like their outdated wedding photographs from 20 years ago. They booked me for my fun and colourful style – in this photo, I asked Matt to whisper what he had for breakfast in Andrea’s ear… as you can see, it worked a treat.

 

Bride with red hair and black leather jacket over her white dress stands with her groom's arms around her from behind, he's whispering something silly in her ear to make her laugh. They stand under green leafy trees.

 

6. If in doubt, have a silly chat

Sometimes it’s easy to get in your head when having your photograph taken – how does my hair look, have I accidentally left something unzipped, what if there’s a bit of that canapé stuck in my teeth? It’s your wedding photographer’s job to make sure that the couple looks good in their wedding photos, so trust that they’ll notice those things for you.

A good way to take your mind off all these things is to have a little chat between the two of you. Maybe it sounds silly, but by talking about something ridiculous, you’ll stop worrying about all the other things. It’s fun and it makes you laugh without being too cringey, and your photos will be better for it.

I like to offer up some of my favourite conversation topics to couples, such as favourite breakfast cereals, or ranking favourite potato products – are hash browns better than potato waffles? Discuss.

For this photo, I asked Katie and Lewis to walk towards me and chat about the food they’d just eaten… seriously! I took some other really lovely photos of them and they were both chatting about work.

 

Happy newlywed bride and groom walk hand in hand, smiling at each other.

 

7. Let go and have fun

There are a thousand things you think you need to worry about on your wedding day, but trust me, you don’t need to. You’ve done your planning, so everything will just happen – all you need to do is try to relax and enjoy it.

Your outfits probably will get dirty, but don’t let that stop you from having really lovely photos of you having fun – you can get them professionally cleaned afterwards. Go outside for some alone time and get some lovely photos (with your wedding photographer, the professional third wheel, of course) and leave your guests to it for a little while.

Everyone is at your wedding to support you and your love, so try not to be nervous. Enjoy your time alone together.

 

I really hope that these tips for fun and natural wedding photos have made you feel a little more at ease about the whole thing. You can bookmark this post to refer back to as your wedding day approaches, or send it on to your nervous pal who’s engaged to be married soon.

 

 

You May Also Like…