How To Take Authentic Engagement + Wedding Photos

January 21, 2021

Growing up, I had no idea how to become a wedding photographer. I thought all photographers were snobby, and I never thought I’d become one, but here we are. That’s a story for another day.

When I (Chelsea) first started off as a wedding photographer, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends saw something in me and hired me to take their photos. I will always be so grateful for them believing in me and starting my career. But the struggle was real. For the first year, I had the hardest time getting good photos.

My photos were posed: “Stand there and kiss” I would say.

“Now stand a little different and kiss again!”

“Now pick her up!”

Haha seriously, that’s how it went. Here’s a photo from my very first wedding!

How to Become A Wedding Photographer

Posing is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when becoming a wedding photographer.

Through the years we’ve learned and developed more and more strategies for taking flattering photos that also show authentic emotion. I believe both of these aspects are equally important.

It starts with getting to know your clients and equipping them with the knowledge they need to nail their session. We do that by sending an info-packed questionnaire. You can get ours here!

But that only gets you so far. If a photo isn’t flattering, the couple isn’t going to like it. We’ve seen so many websites that are like “Capturing your authentic emotion!” And their main photo on their home page is of the happiest, most beautiful bride, with allllll the chins because of the angle the photo was taken at and lack of coaching the photographer provided. I personally would not hire that photographer purely based on that image. I want to look happy, but honestly if I had to pick, I’d choose a half smile with one chin over SUPER HAPPY with two.

So how do you take flattering photos? Here are some of our go-to strategies.

1. Closing the space between your people to make them seem smaller (even tiny people appreciate this)! There are lots of ways to do this!

2. Shooting down at them. Ok this is pretty basic, but it’s so easy to forget. Even if you’re just shooting groomsmen, even if it’s a candid moment, SHOOT DOWN!

3. Have them lean toward the camera to capture their one perfect chin.

If you deploy all the tips at once, your clients will LOVE YOU!

We cover more tips in our members page for Candid fam if you want in on some more secrets!

Ok, so you know how to get flattering photos now, but if a photo has no emotion, it’s lifeless and won’t evoke emotion years later. People don’t just want to remember what their wedding day looked like, they want to feel it all over again. This is the beginning of their lifelong story. A story that will matter for generations to come. We have such a huge privilege and responsibility to capture the beginning in a timeless, authentic, and beautiful way.

To get authentic photos you have to get them interacting in ways they normally would… but with you there… and a camera… It’s hard sometimes, guys! I know it’s hard for me to be myself when someone is holding a camera… and I’m worried about my chins, and my stomach, and my clothes, and my hair. That’s why we created Candid! To help your clients feel comfortable, and for you to get awesome, CANDID moments, all while integrating the strategies we give you!

GUYS! Join the Candid fam!! It’s fun, easy and affordable. Your clients will thank you later!

Check out Candid!


We're Jack + Chelsea!