“Formal pictures” in wedding photography is a term that brides seem to like less and less each year – but there’s no need to fear them. With the right photographer, these pictures will not only be a breeze, but they’ll actually be cool! A lot of brides say that they want a photo-journalistic style, which we agree is essential for capturing real, candid moments throughout the day. But, part way through the day, we love the opportunity to set up some lights, choose a cool location, and create some compelling, fashion-inspired portraits.
Fear not the formal portrait
“Formal pictures” is a really broad term, and it means different things to different photographers. It’s true, for most it seems to mean awkwardly assembling groups of people in front of the alter in maddeningly complex combinations, with dull lighting and stiff poses. Of course you don’t want that. But that’s not what formal pictures have to be.
We prefer to approach formals the same way we approach fashion photography, or any other artistic portrait session that we would have.
This dramatically affects the way we shoot. No stiff poses. We move around a lot to different locations, we change lighting setups a lot, and we try to keep things interesting and fun. This means a more enjoyable experience for you, and more compelling pictures for your album.
In the next mini-series of blog posts, we’ll talk about where and when to do formal pictures, and about how much time you should schedule for them. But today – let’s just ask the question, “why?”
“Why should we do formal pictures at our wedding?”
Partially because grandma wants a nice picture to frame. But really, it’s for the same reason that you invite all your friends and family out to be with you: These people are important to you. So, it’s good to get everyone together just for a few minutes so you can remember who was there and how amazing they looked all dressed up.
Just remember two things. 1) They don’t have to be boring. And 2) Just because we do some formal pictures, doesn’t mean that we’re not getting beautiful candid moments throughout the whole day with you.
Stay tuned for our future posts, where we talk about how to plan out your formals!
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