Annie Leibovitz took this wedding photo of Kim and Kanye for the cover of Vogue.
Here’s the thing:
When we look at a wedding portrait of two people in love, we either see their affection for each other or we don’t.
And when we don’t it’s not because love’s not there.
It’s because the photographer didn’t get it because they were focused on something else other than that instead.
Such as this pose.
Sure, this is a technically great image. But it doesn’t have any feelings to it. No soul.
When the wedding photographer makes it all about the pose, in turn, the happy couple concentrate on the pose rather than on each other.
You’ve got to understand what happens next.
When the photographer has the couple think about their posing, then naturally it dominates their mind.
Feelings follow whatever you’re thinking. So since they’re thinking about the pose, they’re feeling, “have to take care of this posing task we’re doing and get this photo done.”
Then what? Their memory of that photo becomes what they were thinking and feeling when the photograph was taken. It’s embedded right into the image.
Take this wedding portrait of Kim and Kanye, for example.
It looks like Kim’s thinking, “Like this? Look at you like this, Annie? Is this okay?“
I’ll bet if you asked her what it was like taking that photo she’d tell you all the logistics involved with it. “Annie had us stand in front of the backdrop while her assistant finessed the lights. Then she asked me to bring my hands around and over Kanye’s, and then to look at her…”
All the logistics but not a word about themselves and their story.
Because that memory is what she associates with it.
Where’s the emotion?
Because if this were a photo with passion and feeling she’d be holding his hands, not just barely placing her hands over his as if her nails were still wet. They’d be snuggling into each other, not facing out to the camera. A serene look would radiate from them, not a stoic “look at the birdie” kind of facial expression.
And we’d see their love. It would be real. We’d see feelings.
But I don’t see anything like that.
And it’s not because they don’t love each other.
The photographer didn’t get it because the photographer made it about the pose, not the people.
Maybe when the point of the photo’s about a celebrity on the cover to sell magazines, posing’s the thing to do.
(So nothing against Annie Leibovitz, she did her job. And as a matter of fact, she loves the kind of wedding photography I’m talking about.)
But your wedding isn’t to sell magazines.
Truth is the best wedding photos, the ones that grab you, the ones that make people say “wow,” are photos filled with emotion.
Maybe not so coincidentally that’s exactly what you want to remember from your wedding day? How you felt?
Posing for the sake of making a photo like this? Nope. When it’s a wedding, poses are simply not enough. They don’t cut it.
Yet time and time again that’s what many wedding photographers resort to. They’re “posed based” wedding photographers. They run you through a slew of poses – their pose routines – same stuff they did at the last wedding and the wedding before that… and that’s supposed to somehow represent you on your wedding day?
How can it, really? Poses don’t have feelings.
So should your wedding photos.
**G.E. Masana (portrait artist and Huffington Post contributer) As Seen In HUFFINGTON POST | MARTHA STEWART WEDDINGS | THE KNOT | NEW YORK MAGAZINE | BRIDAL GUIDE | BRIDES | STYLE ME PRETTY | ELEGANT BRIDE | GRACE ORMONDE | WELLWED | TOWN&COUNTRY **
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