As an editor, I go through thousands of wedding portraits and pictures and after some time, it all becomes a blur. But there are gems to be found and when I do find them, they stand out for various reasons. Let me highlight a few characteristics of what I think makes for a great bridal portrait - and these are points you can reference when you look through a weddingp hotographer's portfolio:
There will always be the classic studio bridal portrait - a must for any wedding album. But it's the joyful, spontaneous pictures that always catch my eye: the unbridled exuberance and joy, the couple relaxed and unaware of the camera, and the many unexpected details that add interest and flavour to the visual. Happy pictures are never ugly; and a couple caught in a moment of time, expressing their love and joy in the most natural way, is a moment to treasure.
Most of all, you don't get the sense that the couple was instructed by the photographer to pose in a certain way to evoke a certain emotion. Some of the recent bridal albums I've viewed all feature similar pictures of couples caught in the morning light amidst' forest-y' surroundings, looking afar with small smiles, or touching foreheads with closed eyes - seemingly lost in their world of love and romance. The pictures are pretty but they just strikes me as being a mite artificial, obviously art-directed and quite devoid of genuine emotion. If a couple's relationship is a vibrant and fun one, then capturing them in such a soft, backlit gentle picture is not a true representation of what they're about.
You don't need DI enhancements or special effects to produce a truly creative picture. It takes a great photographer to notice the amazing creative possibilities in any normal situation or setting. Whether its capturing the couple from an unexpected angle, or using light to create interesting silhouettes and depth, it's always a pleasure to see a picture that creates wondrous, romantic visuals from everyday normal settings. Below are some great examples:
A great photographer will be able to truly capture the character and personality of her subjects effortlessly. They should not manipulate or direct their subjects to be stereotypical 'wedding' characters to fit the mood or style of the picture.
If you vet through a photographers portfolio and realise after some time that all the couples look alike, or are lit or posed, the same way, it just goes to show how lazy this photographer is. It takes quite a bit of effort, patience, time and skill to capture the mood and personality of a person. But when a photographer is able to do that, the picture will truly evoke a thousand words.
Your photographer has to be inspired by you to create bridal pictures that are uniquely yours. Whether he is inspired by your personalities, your relationship, the way you guys behave or even the bridal wardrobe, there has to be something about the bot of you that inspires him to take great pictures. The result will b pictures that can never ever be duplicated.