If you’re a photographer, have a love for photography, or just want to know my favorite cupcake flavor and want to have one of your questions answered on my next FAQ post, feel free to email me here, and I’ll try to include it! For past FAQ posts check them out here.
Alicia asked: How do you get couples to loosen up and laugh? Sometimes I feel like my couples are so nervous it’s hard to get them to relax! Well, that’s a great question, Alicia! I am, by no means, an expert in posing but I do have a few things I do to get my couples to laugh. Regardless of a couples’ comfort level in front of the camera I feel that it’s my job to draw the emotion out of the subjects that I’m photographing. Not every technique works the same for every person I photograph, and not every photographer instructs their subjects the same way, but these are a few things that I do. My personality is full of life and crazy outgoing and my clients know that, and are familiar with the work that I produce when they book me. Therefore they trust in me to produce the same kind of images, even when I instruct them to do some weird poses to get those images.
The Lick. Yes you heard me, in both of these images I told the groom Ok now I want you to give your lady a little lick on the temple. Is it ridiculous? Yes. But they both end up genuinely laughing like Yelena and Megan, and looking all adorable and shit. Sorry mom, it slipped.
The Get Away. I also like to loosen them up by getting them to play little games. I’ll have the them hold onto each other and then instruct the bride to try and getaway from the groom. Most of the time the groom is stronger than the girl, though sometimes he gives her a little wiggle room. Either way it loosens them up, always produces a different result, and ends up with them laughing. Here’s Lindsey and Charlie from their Annapolis engagement photos.
And loved seeing Amy laughing with Bill.
The Walk and Kiss. Now, contrary to what you might think, I’m not a huge fan of kissing shots. I know, some wedding photographer I am?! Fire me. Although kissing is lovely, hubba hubba, more often than not it’s not pretty; two faces and noses smashed together, it doesn’t show emotion, and it takes absolutely no talent to tell two people to stand there and kiss. I want the images to show the emotion from the moment, and to pull it out of them I instruct them that we’re going to walk and kiss. Them, not me. But, here’s the thing about walking, and kissing. You’re aiming for a moving target, and more likely than not you’re going to miss, and bump shoulder, and foreheads, which is the point. They start laughing, and then I tell them to try again, and wait! don’t stop walking! again! more kissing! It’s actually quite comical and produces some amazing images like this one from Amanda and Scott’s wedding and another peek from Marie and Scott’s wedding!
The Foreheads. Summers here in Maryland are awesome. And hot. Like so hot you might sweat on your wedding day. So, sometimes I’ll tell my couples to put their foreheads together full well knowing that they might be a little sweaty. Do they all do it? No, and I don’t blame them. But when they do, they start laughing because you’re so close and it’s kinda a hot mess. But when you look this happy like Cat and Mike, I’d say it’s worth it. I also do this in the wintertime when it’s really cold and will have one of them bury their cold little nose in the other’s neck. Nothing like a cold ice cube nose on the neck to get you laughing; works every time.
The Head Bump. The head bump is also a favorite and can be done in any pose that you set your couple in. Below I told the grooms to gently head bump the girl wherever was closest to them. With Rob and Jess he head bumped her on her temple, and Liz and Alden on her shoulder, and Jessica and Nico on her temple. I normally have them do it several times and have them increase the velocity. Ok, now this time do it a little harder! They obviously never end up really doing it hard enough to hurt, but by the last few times they always end up laughing because it’s just so weird and ridiculous .