Sometimes it is the smallest gestures that turn a good wedding photograph into an unforgettable couples portrait. In this image, which we took just after this bride and groom exchanged their vows in a lovely outdoor ceremony at Khimaira Farm in the rural areas just outside Washington, DC, the moment is obviously very sweet and tender. The looks on both of the newlyweds’ faces clearly communicate how much they love one another. The lighting is beautiful, and the rich, dark colors of the Virginia forest behind them add an attractive backdrop that takes nothing away from the main subjects of the photo.
What really makes this image special, however, is the way that the bride is holding the side of her new husband’s face. First of all, the gentleness of that small gesture helps communicate additional tenderness and love beyond that which is evident on their faces. Her hand is touching his face very lightly, indicating non-verbally that she sees her groom as precious and valuable. Second, the position of her hand adds another dimension to the connection between them that is considerably more overt than the looks in their eyes because it is a physical one. Finally, the gesture adds a nice dose of dynamism to the picture. By having her hand on his face like that, she appears to not only be gazing at him lovingly, but also seems to be in the process of pulling him in for a kiss. When you look at this photo, you can imagine that the next few frames that we shot on our cameras featured images of them with their lips together.
In our opinion as professional wedding photographers, pictures like this illustrate the importance of good posing. When you are looking for someone to capture your marriage celebration on film, it is important that you make sure that you find a photographer who understands not just how to put you and your fiancé(e) in a flattering light, but also how the two of you fit together physically and how to pose you in ways that highlight the connection that is part of what is bringing you to the altar.
The importance of learning our wedding clients’ shared body language is one reason why we are always happy to get a chance to do an engagement shoot with future brides and grooms in the months before their nuptials. When spouses-to-be choose to book us for their post-betrothal pictures, it gives us a couple of hours with them in front of the camera to see how they express their affection for one another non-verbally. We get a sense of whether they want us to help them with posing suggestions or whether they prefer to find their own best body language and rely on us only to make tweaks that ensure that everything looks great on film. That way, we come to their wedding day knowing the best ways to make them look fantastic in their couples portraits and ready to make every image of them one that they will want to print and put on their mantel for the next fifty years of their married life.