With the 2.3 million couples who get married every year, there are many weddings available for you to book and shoot. When the wedding day arrives, there are suggested images you can use to photograph the traditional moments. What about the moments not listed on a checklist, but happen when no one is looking? How do you capture those moments and provide unique images to your clients? The key is to capture the pure emotion that exudes from your couple on this day. Here are four secrets to capturing emotion from the bride and groom.

1. Anticipate the Moments

During the wedding day, there are many sentimental and emotional moments you can capture. The best way for you to take the photos that feature these moments is to anticipate when they will happen. As the bride walks down the aisle, you know the groom will have an anxious and excited expression on his face. There is also a chance that some family members and friends in the audience will be emotional, as well.

Related: What’s your plan for shooting portraits during mid-day?

Try to capture as many special moments you can, so the bride and groom can remember how everyone felt on this day. During the father-daughter and mother-son dances, make sure to keep your camera on each pair as they enjoy their time together. It is a meaningful tradition for the bride and groom to fulfill on their wedding day, and a great opportunity to capture their candid emotions.


Image Compliments of The Leeann Marie Collective

2. Stop Giving Direction

Although some of the images will need your expertise in posing, there are situations in which you do not need to give instructions to your couple. An example of this is when the bride and groom are connecting with family and friends at the reception. This is a moment that does not require you to pose your couple, so it is an opportunity for you to capture candid photos. There are other instances, such as the bride and groom portraits, when you can let them walk together without specific posing instructions. As they walk hand-in-hand, you will have a chance to capture their genuine emotion and expressions as they spend a quiet moment together. You can follow the couple with your camera, but remember to give them space so they act naturally and give you expressions that will create stunning images.

Related: Click here to listen to Joe Buissink share how to easily capture the emotion during your shoot

Tip: Stand behind the bride and groom as they walk away from you. When they turn to look at one another, zoom in with your camera and capture the emotion on each of their faces.


Image Compliments of The Leeann Marie Collective

3. Change your Perspective

Since you are looking for candid moments, it can be helpful for you to move around a bit and change up the angle of the shoot. When the bride is getting ready, step back a bit and let her and the bridesmaids have a moment together. While they are helping the bride get ready, capture their genuine expressions and excitement for the upcoming ceremony.

As you position the bride and groom for their portraits, let them have a moment while they are in that pose. Walk away from them, allowing them to have their space. From here, capture a large portion of the landscape and scene around them. When you change the perspective, you can capture the bride and groom’s many expressions, which helps create stunning images.

Related: How did Roberto Valenzuela discover the key to successful posing?

4. Let your Couple Have Fun

Through the rushed and hectic wedding day, it is important to remember one thing: let your couple have fun! This is their wedding day, after all. There are plenty of chances for you to pose them and create serious moments, but you also want to give them the freedom to have a fun time. The more comfortable they are, the better their images will turn out. Remember to arrive at the wedding shoot with a smile on your face. Smiling can be contagious! The more energy you can bring to the shoot, the more excitement your couple will have (which also means better natural expressions).

Once the traditional images are taken, have the bride and groom pose in ways that will make them laugh. Try having the bride hold the groom, and watch as they both burst into laughter at her attempt. It can be helpful to have them tell each other jokes, or to make funny faces to create unique images. The key is to make them feel as comfortable as possible so they can have fun and give you realistic emotions.


Image Compliments of The Leeann Marie Collective

BONUS: Shoot a Lot

When you are shooting constantly, you will document the intimate and sentimental moments, as well as the moments no one thought would be photographed. This is a day of celebration for your couple, but it is also emotional for those closest to the bride and groom. There are also funny moments you can capture, such as the groom laughing and dancing with his friends. These images are ones in which the bride and groom will be excited to see, and will want to add to their wedding album. Continuously shooting during the wedding day can make a large difference in the type of images you create for the bride and groom.

Tip: If you have a second shooter with you, split up and focus on different parts of the wedding. During the reception, have your second shooter photograph the dance floor while you are taking pictures of guests at the photo booth.

Since the wedding day can bring many emotions to your couple, as well as to their family and friends, you have many opportunities to capture the unique and candid moments. After you receive your images back from a wedding photo editing company, you can share the stunning images with your clients! As you shoot your next wedding, be sure to pay attention to the intricate details of the poses that are in place. To learn more about incorporating expressions into your images during the wedding day, download our Posing for the Wedding Photographer Guide!


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