Unusual Portraits For Your Engagement or Wedding
Really, its the thought that counts
By Natalie Tsang
November 7, 2011
Kind of like the elevator pitch, the portrait is supposed to convey the best side of you in a very short period of time. Some of your guy friends will probably spend less than a second on each photo, but a few girl friends will spend over a minute, oohing and ahhing over every detail of your wedding gown.
While your grandmother will be delighted with a picture of you with good posture and a wide smile, what will this photo say about you as a couple? What sort of details will it include to spark memories? Back in the day of early photography, people would use props from their work. A pen and a book would mean that this person was a writer. Travelers would hold a globe.
I'm not saying that you should hold every single prop that you can find, but these old-timers were onto something. A portrait is an expression of identity; it's a declaration of "This is me" or "This is us." Although you should aim to be pleasant, there are other expressions that you can use besides smiling like the affectionate eye roll, the good-natured pout, or the look that says I-am-totally-confused-but-I-trust-you.
The key to unusual portraits is that they take private moments, thoughts, or exchanges and captures them. Or sometimes they leave certain things out. For instance, taking a picture of a couple's shadows. Body language becomes the main attraction, and their expressions are left a mystery. Is she closing her eyes or staring at him? Is she smiling or thoughtful? You can take of picture from a persons point of view. You can have your photographer stand right behind you or a little to the side. Your photographer can then take a photo of how your husband or fiancé looks at you. Make sure a part of you is in the photo like your hand or a part of the dress, so its clear who hes looking at.
Engagement photography can especially be used to capture the day in the life aspects of your relationship. How a space is set up tells you so much about people. But wedding photography can also make a record of surreptitious comforting touches or sidelong glances.
The main ways to vary your portraits are through vantage point, props, backgrounds, and posing. Is it an overhead shot, taken from fifteen feet away, taken six inches away, what's in the photo and what's not? What sorts or props are you using? And yes, other people count as props. Where are you shooting? Outside, inside, in your kitchen, or on the balcony? Poses are a lot of fun. You can get comfy and cuddly together or re-enact funny or touching moments of your relationship from walking the dog or packing for your first vacation together.
Be careful about imitating poses that you find in magazines or advertisements, because they're usually trying to sell a product. Rather than conveying the model's personality, it's trying to make silk wedding dresses appealing.
Remember what makes a portrait unusual is you!