How To Get The Most Out of a 15min Wedding-day Shoot
A handy guide to working fast with great results on your next shoot
Wedding days are unpredictable, as all wedding photographers know. Some days we have an entire hour allocated for our photo shoot, but a lot of times - We have about 15 minutes. My approach to conducting a photo session varies depending on how much time I have. The longer I have, the more complex and technical my set up will be, but this is not one of those times. This is a “Please let me get at least five usable shots” sort of a time. Check out my advice below on how to go about smashing your 15-minute shoot:
Let’s get started. We have a very short time frame to create a series of shots. Our safest bet is to stick to one location. How do we go about getting a variety of looks across our images if we’re stuck in one place? A lot of the time we’re in a hotel room, someone’s home or if we’re lucky, we’re on location somewhere awesome - Wherever you are, you can create vastly different looks across your bridal session images by working with the following tips:
We can achieve varied images by adjusting the bride and/or groom’s poses throughout our images. This not only includes how the subject’s body is positioned but their expression plays a huge role in how the image feels, too.
For a bride, I’ll start with one hand on the hip, the other at the side with a slight kink at the elbow - Her expression neutral and relaxed (no smiles), looking directly at the camera. This is my foundation pose, from here I’ll make tweaks to her position as we go with simple instructions for maximum efficiency. Once I’ve got my first shot I’ll start to make slight adjustments to this pose:
- Looking to the side. Looking down to the left or right. Looking up above my head, soft smile.
- Body facing off to the side away from the camera. Head back towards me.
- Drop the hand on the hip. Grab a handful of the dress with both hands (as if about to walk)
-Face subject’s back to the camera. Looking over the left/right shoulder with one hand on the hip
These are the poses I work with a lot, you may like to use these or some of your own to create variety across your bridal shots. For grooms, I will position the subject with one hand in the trouser pocket, the other holding the lapel on the jacket looking directly at the camera with a neutral expression. From this foundation pose I will make adjustments as we shoot:
- Looking to the side. Looking down to the left/right. Looking up above my head, smile.
-Both hands in trouser pockets