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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 01 Oct 2012 (Monday) 21:05
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'Alternate' Civil Ceremony - Posing help?

108 posts
Joined Jan 2011
Oct 01, 2012 21:05 |  #1

Hey guys,

No stranger to photography, and have been at it a while (professionally).

Today, I've met with a bride who's getting married tomorrow. It's a small Civil Ceremony and will have about 30 guests present, as far as I know. I've worked the venue before for a Civil Ceremony and I'm familiar with wedding posing and the different interiors of the hotel.

However, upon meeting my bride today, it turns out that the Ceremony tomorrow isn't really going to be traditional. She'll be in black, as will the groom, she's entering to metallica, etc. (you get the general idea).

Now, I've seen 'alternate/gothic' type poses/photos before and it seems fairly straight-forward enough.

However; my bride has stated that she doesn't really want to do anything 'cheesy' or photos where she's 'too close' to the groom (again with not wanting anything cheesy in mind).

Now, whilst I fully understand not wanting 'cheesy' photos, I'm sure we can all agree that there is a certain element of cheesiness to pretty much all couples/wedding poses. Truth be told, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what I can do with these two to get them looking good in the photos, and like they've just been married, but at the same time, keep them happy and not be too traditional.

I've Googled and searched Flickr for ideas, and checked out lots of random links and URLs along the way, but I'm not really seeing anything that I can realistically use.

I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas for poses that can be done that allow the couple being photographed to look like they've just been married, but that don't verge onto cheesy territory.

I've already explained to her that all couples photos are going to be a little bit borderline cheesy, but that I'll try to avoid anything too cringe-y or such along the way.

Just thought I'd throw up a thread. Short notice, I know, but no harm in asking.

Cheers :)

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87 posts
Joined Apr 2012
Oct 01, 2012 22:03 |  #2

Hmmm, I guess I would get inspiration from heavy metal cd covers/ band posters and how they pose. I'm imagining a lot of serious faces and less smiley.

Maybe B&G standing near each other, groom's hand around bride's waist, bride cocking hip out, head bent to one side, arms by her side?

Groom standing up straight, bride sitting on the ground with one knee up, leaning against him, head leaning against his leg?

Groom standing behind bride, his chin on her shoulder, arms around her waist/one arm coming up under her arm and grabbing her shoulder, both look at camera?

Light Bringer
50,987 posts
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Oct 02, 2012 01:55 |  #3

Ask her to show you examples of what she wants. Bit late now though I guess.

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108 posts
Joined Jan 2011
Oct 02, 2012 06:38 |  #4

Cheers Mirrorrim. Have been looking at CD covers but they're not great. All fairly much the same thing with different bands, but wouldn't really work for a wedding (maybe if I'm shooting a divorce down the line I can use them then - lots of angry faces!).

Yeah, Tim, t'is short notice, alright. It's in about 2 hours, so I'll just see what happens, I suppose. I was booked for it 3 weeks ago, but only got to meet the bride yesterday, and there was no mention of there being anything unusual or out of the blue about it, so it's just kinda taken me off guard a little.

I'm sure it'll be fine though. I'm thinking that maybe the traditional poses might work, but if I stop the aperture down a good bit and use some off camera flash (to give me darker surroundings and an overall more sinister looking tone to the images) I may get away with it.

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Joined Feb 2009
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Oct 02, 2012 11:27 |  #5

I'm late on this, but for this sort of thing I think action shots would work. Have them walk someplace and just take pictures as they walk or bring them to an arcade to play a video game... stuff like that.

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Cream of the Crop
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Oct 02, 2012 15:20 |  #6

I think some strobist techniques would make for some posed portraits that they might be happy with. Dramatic lighting, hard lighting, high-contrast, desaturated skin tones. Maybe mimic some album covers and band posters.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

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So boring
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Location: Boston
Oct 02, 2012 15:39 as a reply to  @ nathancarter's post |  #7

Make them look like Brad and Angelina and they should be pretty happy, I think. There are a few nonpapparazzi photos of them, once I googled them, that could work as part of an edgy wedding album.

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Cream of the Crop
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Joined Feb 2011
Oct 02, 2012 15:49 |  #8

Ceremony is tomorrow, just meeting the bride today? There's your problem.

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Oct 02, 2012 16:58 |  #9

Do both.

Do a traditional pose, so they are in good spots, take the shot, and then say "now do YOUR thing!" and let them flash peace signs, stick out toungs, she does and over the shoulder back at you shot while he's hugging her waist on his knees.. just let them play. Then they can decide what they like best.

So alternate, collaborate and have fun!

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108 posts
Joined Jan 2011
Oct 03, 2012 11:20 |  #10

Numenorean wrote in post #15071168 (external link)
Ceremony is tomorrow, just meeting the bride today? There's your problem.

Well that's not really a problem at all. How much preparation do you need for a Civil Ceremony?

I've had Ceremonies that had been booked a year in advance, and some I was asked to cover about an hour before they happened.

Seen as I had the 24 hour window here, though, I just thought I'd ask on here for suggestions on what to do with the couple. I'd a few ideas in my head, but it'd be silly to not take advice/ideas from other people.

Unfortunately, I didn't really get to do as much with them as I'd have liked. There was another Civil Ceremony directly after ours, and the family involved were a traveller family (in Ireland: generally known for causing trouble, though I personally haven't had any issues) and the manager of the hotel asked that I not mix the two wedding parties and to try to avoid the area of the hotel that the other ceremony were using.

Sadly this part of the hotel was what I was planning to use mostly, so that kind of threw a wrench in the works.

So I got a few posed shots with the limited space that I had, and the couple seemed grand with it. When I was finishing up I offered to return later that afternoon when the other ceremony would/should be over and continue on but they said it was grand, not to worry about it.

They seemed happy enough, but I'm not really too pleased, myself, to be honest.

Can't really post anything up as no one's seen any of the shots yet, and I'd always make sure the Bride/Groom are the first to see them.

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'Alternate' Civil Ceremony - Posing help?
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