Few things look better in wedding photos than genuine, heartfelt smiles and laughter. But getting guests, family, and bridal party members to laugh and enjoy themselves during a long day and multiple photo shoots can be next to impossible. So, how can you get your friends and family to smile like they mean it? Here are 5 tips for any wedding, whether you're just snapping photos or taking professional pictures.
Learn a Couple of Ice-Breakers. Find two or three clean, all-ages-friendly jokes that get a laugh in real life. Then, have those in your arsenal as you get your subjects ready to take the pictures. Even somewhat corny "knock knock" jokes can break the ice, get the group involved and relax everyone. Not good at jokes? Try having the subjects wiggle their backsides, make funny faces or yell out a favorite funny movie line (The Princess Bride, for example, provides plenty of age-appropriate laughs).
Be Willing to Fake It. Fake laughs look awkward in photos, but they generally turn into real laughs. Don't be afraid to start a fake laugh among the group being photographed—because it often causes those same people to devolve into real shared laughter.
Have Patience. When people posing for pictures begin to laugh, it can often be hesitant and even awkward. But if you wait through the laugh, you may find that as it develops (and other people catch it), it becomes a more real, heartfelt thing. Continue to take photos even after the laughter dies down, because you may find that the best smiles are those that occur in that relaxed moment just after a hearty guffaw.
Get Close. Laughter and easy enjoyment is often best photographed from close up. Place couples, friends and bridal parties in tight groups with one another, then get them joking and enjoying each other's company. Be willing to come in close as well—capturing the genuine moment from a more intimate angle that can highlight the bright smiles, friendship, and love of an informal scene.
Point out the Absurdity. Wedding photo shoots tend to be formal, mechanical, posed affairs or placed in unusual locations. These are naturally awkward in a lot of ways, which inhibits genuine emotion and laughter. So, be the one who points out how strange it is to be doing this—breaking the ice and helping your subjects to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. Want the groomsmen all posing with a lamp post? Have them mock it a little, which usually ends up in a bunch of friends laughing over a silly thing in a moment of bonding.
By knowing how to coax a laugh out of your wedding photo subjects—and how to best photograph those laughs and smiles—you can help get amazing pictures that will bring you a smile for a lifetime.
For more information, contact professionals like Dexter Davis Photography and Films
The best way to keep your special memories alive is to hire a professional photographer to capture them as they happen. But after working with hundreds of professionals over the years as a special events planner, I know first hand that not all photographers are created equally. Some can really focus in on their human subjects to capture emotion that comes right out of the photos, while others are more attuned to making the surroundings in a photo stand out like a 3D feature. So I figured that I could help people who are looking to hire a photography find the best possible fit for the occasion that is going to be documented. Learn the right questions to ask, find out what types of skills to look for, and figure out what tools and resources are needed to capture all the details of your special event.