This blog is a celebration of our amazing couples – and our photos of them together. We also wanted to talk about how we take our couple shots – namely, without posing and completely naturally. As you’ll see from this blog, we don’t do cheesy, we don’t do staged – we don’t do awkward staring at the camera all day. So this blog will be useful if you’re looking to book us as your wedding photographers – or if you’ve already booked us, it will give you a good idea of what to expect!
When we photograph your wedding, you will get a day of natural, documentary wedding photography (plus some group shots if you want them). Also, you will receive some couple time images – which is what this blog is all about! Your couple shots will be taken in the same style as the ones on this page. That means: no looking at the camera, just natural images of you both together, taken within your beautiful wedding venue and its grounds – or even the surrounding area, if you’d like to go for a walk or drive outside the grounds.
Couple time is exactly as it sounds – time for our couples to spend together! On a wedding day, all the cliches about the day racing by in a blink of an eye are so very true. So, we really recommend to our couples: take some time to spend together. A walk around the grounds – or a drive to a nearby location. Every couple and every location is different. But savour those few minutes together and really enjoy them. A wedding day is so exciting and so much fun – but it is also really busy! You will have so many guests to speak to and mingle with – so remembering to spend quality time with the person you just married is actually quite difficult!
During your couple time, we take some couple shots – without any posing or staging. Some photographers call these photographs ‘portraits’ – portraits however, by their nature, are posed and staged. They are about the photographer and how they think a couple should stand. Portraits are about how a photographer thinks a couple should kiss, hold each other, interact with each other. Portraits are about a photographer making a couple laugh, smile, look moody, stare wistfully into the distance. So portraits are about the photographer – portraits aren’t about the couple. Our approach could not be further from this awkward, traditional, one size-fits-all approach!
Every couple is different – every wedding is unique – and our photography reflects this. So in some photos you’ll see our couples kissing, laughing, picking each other up, climbing into a river, running, jumping, holding each other close, kissing each other’s hand, practising their first dance. But all of this is all down to our couples – not us. We haven’t told our couples to kiss and we’d certainly never ask our couples to take their shoes off and jump in a river! We haven’t made them laugh by telling cheesy jokes (we do reserve the right to tell rubbish jokes, but we don’t do this to create moments or stage things – it’s just because we are quite bad at jokes, so sorry in advance for this!)
Our photos of your day show you and you and your guests’ personalities – and our couple shots show how you and your new husband / wife are together, as a couple. They are about your personalities – not ours.
We won’t ask you to kiss – we won’t put you in a pre-rehearsed pose. In fact, we won’t ask you to look at the camera! We just ask you to ignore us, forget about our cameras and enjoy your time together. Then, if you kiss – we’re there to capture it. If you just have a chat, we’ll be photographing that instead and your photos will show you having a relaxed chat. We find though, that by leaving our couples, beautiful moments begin to happen naturally. Natural kisses, natural hugs – natural moments.
We’ll be truthful – as you can see from these images, we love interaction from our couples, we love closeness and we love it when they kiss or make each other laugh (or both!) as it’s these little moments that really make an image. But, we also love it when they do something unexpected. So, by letting our couples be themselves (that’s the key here – as you are all individuals).
Another key element is that we don’t ask our couples to look at the camera. We know to some people, this may seem a little strange! In the era of the selfie, photography has become very portrait or ‘self portrait’ based (a fancy name for a selfie!) But we don’t want to create work that looks ordinary like a mobile phone image – we want to capture beautiful memories. For us, looking at the camera is fine for a quick group shot (as mentioned we still do take a few group shots at most weddings, without ever allowing them to take over the day). But for all other images, just ignore the lens completely! No more so than during your couple shots when you’ll quickly forget we’re there at all.
If you look at the camera two things happen. Firstly, it all feels very awkward and staged – you look at us, we look at you – you grin that really false grin everyone always does in a posed picture and we take a photo literally anyone on the planet could take (just with a very fancy camera!)
Secondly, looking at the camera really restricts us and restricts you – it freezes us to the spot as we can’t move around getting photos from different angles and different positions, as we have to photograph you straight on. This really limits our creativity and means we can give you less images, as once we’ve taken one image at a certain location of you looking at the camera, that’s all we can do – all the others will look the same. It also restricts you as it stops you both from enjoying your couple time together, as you’re interacting with us and not each other. Trust us – you’re the important ones, not us! So, ignore our cameras and we’ll capture beautiful, natural couple shots of you both together. Looking at the lens really interrupts the flow of your day and stops moments like the ones on this page from ever happening.
Some photographers you may notice produce couple shots that look very similar from wedding to wedding. That is most probably because they have been staged and they have used poses that they use regularly. Therefore, the images look the same again and again. This isn’t a criticism at all of our peers, our industry is great as there is so much choice out there – there are some truly wonderful photographers who produce amazing work in a different style to ours that we really respect. It’s just that style isn’t for us and it isn’t a style we ever work in. If someone asked us to shoot in a traditional style, we wouldn’t want to!
We specialise in natural, documentary wedding photography and unposed couple shots – it’s what we’re really good at and it’s what people book us for. So if you want natural yet beautiful images of you both together, we will be a perfect fit for your wedding. When you look back at your couple shots, we want you to remember the moments as they really happened – we don’t want you to remember being posed to the extreme by your photographer to ‘get the shot’. So, we won’t be moving your hand positions, the way you stand or how you act with each other – that would just make you feel awkward and you could feel as if the way you naturally act together is somehow not ‘good enough’ or doesn’t ‘look right’ in photos. We think the opposite – just be yourself and enjoy your day! It’s this that will enable to take beautiful photos like the examples here.
Not everyone wants to kiss on their couple shoot, so we don’t want to make anyone feel awkward by asking them to do so – we just want you to act naturally as you would if we weren’t there. We keep everything really discreet and move around, trying to be out of sight as much as possible. This sometimes leads to us hiding in a bush or behind a tree – we know, we know… it’s a strange job, being a documentary wedding photographer!
We want our couple shots to feel completely relaxed, so we never extend couple time for hours and hours. We often get compliments from our couples and guests about this. Everyone has been to weddings where the couple disappears for hours to take formal photographs and ‘portraits’ – we never do this though! We split our couple shots up into two or three separate time periods, for 5 or 10 minutes only, meaning you never miss your wedding day unfolding. This approach also allows us to take advantage of different locations, different quality of light at different times and we show you together as your day progresses. It’s worth noting a few photos in front of a sunset is always great (but unfortunately we cannot promise a sunset – though we wish could!)
If you don’t want to go for couple time, that is absolutely fine! We have photographed lots of weddings without taking couple shots and without taking any group shots at all. This is a completely documentary approach. It’s your day, not ours – so if you wanted to spend all your time with your guests and not take a walk around the grounds while we snap away disreetly, that is more than fine – just let us know this is what you want. The day is yours and we are happy to adapt as needed.
But if you do want some couple shots as most of our couples do, we will always take them in the same relaxed and natural style, whatever the venue, whatever your plans, whatever the weather – our style doesn’t change and that allows your personalities to naturally shine through in every photograph.
All images by Yorkshire Wedding Photographer and Hertfordshire Wedding Photographer M and G Photographic. We photograph weddings all over the country – location is never a barrier to us. We have photographed and / or filmed over 600 weddings all over the UK and we’ve won many awards for our work. So, don’t think we are based in Yorkshire or Hertfordshire – it’s just where we live! We can be in the Lake District one weekend and Cornwall the next, then Devon, then Scotland, then Surrey, then Derbyshire, then Cheshire – we love the variety this brings to our work. We enjoy nothing more than visiting a new wedding venue, so wherever you are getting married, we would love to hear more about your plans.
So, if you love our work and want a photographer who is relaxed and takes natural photos without posing, please get in touch with us by clicking here.