Wedding Photography: The Art Of Wedding Portraits | Alex Lawrence | Skillshare

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Wedding Photography: The Art Of Wedding Portraits

teacher avatar Alex Lawrence, Creative Director and Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Prepare for the day


    • 3.

      Select the right equipment


    • 4.

      Pick locations


    • 5.

      Make couples feel relaxed


    • 6.

      Pose a couple


    • 7.

      Compose your shot


    • 8.

      Capture authentic moments


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Wrap up


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About This Class

Hi, my name is Alex Lawrence and this is my wedding photography course on how to capture natural and beautiful wedding portraits. I have been a wedding photography for the last ten years having the honour to be chosen to photograph one of the most important days in a couples life. That takes trust and trust is a relationship built from reputation, truth and the belief in a persons ability.


In this course I will be specifically focusing on the portrait session part of the day. That part of the day is when the couple has their first opportunity to soak in what has just happened, reflect and enjoy the moment within each others company as a newly married couple. 

With the right equipment, preparation and confidence we can ensure your couples relax and enjoy this moment away from the busyness of the rest of the wedding.

I will walk you through how to prepare for the day, with the gear I select, scouting locations and making the couple feel relaxed to get the best from them. We will talk through composition and posing the couple as well as capturing authentic moments in between staged setups. 

We will wrap up by exploring how to experiment during the session, where I will share some of my “go-to” tricks. This class is aimed at photographers looking to improve their game and make the most of their portrait sessions. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Alex Lawrence

Creative Director and Photographer


Hi i'm Alex. I'm an experienced Creative Director, Cinematographer and Photographer specialising in live action film production and wedding photography. At my core i am a Creative. I have always loved the creative process, studying graphic design and art at college. After picking up a camera in my late teens, I found a passion for creating moving image which was enhanced through my love of watching films. 

I am passionate about visual storytelling and creating imagery so as well as being a Creative Director, I am also a seasoned photographer and director of photography. Working with my clients to create beautiful and meaningful images.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, My name is Alex Lawrence, and this is my wedding photography course on how to capture Natural and beautiful Wedding Portrait. It's I've been a wedding photographer for the last 10 years, haven't honored to be chosen to photograph on the most important days in a couple's life that takes trust and trust, the relationship built from reputation, truth and a belief in a person's ability. In this course, I will be specifically focusing on the portrait session part of the day that part of the day when the couple has their first opportunity to soak in what's just happened, reflect and enjoy the moment with each other's company. As a newly married couple with the right equipment preparation and confidence, we can ensure your couples relax and enjoy the moment away from the business of the rest of the wedding. I'll walk you through how to prepare for the day with the gear. I select scouting locations and making a couple feel relaxed to get the best from them, who were talking through composition, imposing the couple as well as capturing authentic moments in between the stage set ups who wrap up by exploring how to experiment during the session. We'll share some of my go to tricks to join me on this course, to transform your confidence and give you some new ideas on how to create beautiful wedding poor traits. 2. Prepare for the day: So you've met the couple and they have put you to capture their wedding. Congratulations. That's a big deal, and you should feel very proud. You probably feel nervous. It will be months until the wedding takes place and you're plenty weddings between now and then for me, I like to be prepared. So on the day when I walk into a venue, I prefer that it wasn't for the first time. Or at least he didn't feel like it was for the first time. With speed and uncertainty and most wedding schedules, times becomes precious most often and not you don't get much of it, especially during a portrait session. The lays and shifts in the schedule community. The precious time you would have loved for those portrait sessions could be cultural. So for me, I want to be as prepared, and it's good to go is a can be my first. It is to try and convince your couple to shoot an engagement session with you. There are so many benefits to this. Firstly, you get to spend quality time with a couple getting to know each other so that you can all feel relaxed in each other's company. You can recommend shooting engagement session at that went in venue, for example. This will give you a good chance to regular location to find the perfect spots for the formal group shots and the portrait on the day when you are there, try to speak to the venue manager or wedding planner and ask them if there are unexpected changes to the venue or surrounding beauty spots do toe happen. That might put a spanner in the works on day, such as construction or areas being closed off due to flooding. Trust me, this can have during the engagement session you can try out shot. She wants to capture an experiment with some of shots that you haven't been used to creating, giving you that much needed practice and building your confidence. At the very least, if you can't shoot an engagement session or visit the venue before the main event, our recommend searching for the venue on Google. Looking at the images of the venue, as well as other sessions, photographers have shot there, look through them and select the images you like. I want to capture for yourself on day. You can bank these photos into a folder on your face. This will give you a quick reference on the day and give you that confidence that you have a go to shot just if you need it. 3. Select the right equipment: in this chapter, I want to assure you that you can create beautiful images with minimal equipment. In the past, I brought with me and carried multiple backpacks of lenses and camera bodies, flash guns with soft boxes, reflectors and tripods with without an assistant. That's a lot to carry around all day and will definitely make you feel fatigued and stressed. Now don't get me wrong. Some photographers were quiet all of this for their style of photos. It's not my style, and it's not what I would recommend for me about photographer when I could focus on my couple and my ideas without worrying about looking after my equipment and dealing with issues when the equipment doesn't work. So here's my advice. Need a camera and the lens. Yes, a camera needs a card in a battery, but I'll cover that shortly. For now. Just remember, you need a camera and the lens to capture an image. The only choice you should need to make when it comes to your equipment on the day is which lens I want to use to catch the idea I have. Most of my ideas for images come in two forms wide and close by that I mean it either capture the environment using a wide angle lens so that I can see not only the couple, everything around them and the location there in. Secondly, I want to focus closely on a couple to capture moments between it could be a look kiss hand touching another. For these moments, I need a lens that allow me to get close and capture more detail. We could do this in two ways. Firstly, I can have two lenses, a wide lens of which my preference would be a 35 mil on a close lends or what's called a portrait telephoto lens, of which my choice would be a 51 85. I could switch between these two lenses or carried on both on two separate camera bodies. My second option is that I could move myself closer and further away from what I want to capture. A 35 mil lens was perfect for this. Enabled me to move wide enough to capture location everything in it or move closer for beautiful portrays detail shots. It's knowing this you can have confidence in shooting the majority of the wedding with one camera on 1 35 mil lens. The struggle to capture the ceremony shots such as giving of rings and first kisses. Well, a speeches later in the day without being noticed, because you have to move so closely with your body. But my preference is to carry two camera bodies, with one holding 35 millimeter and the other with 50 or the 85. I'll make sure the cameras of fully charged with plenty of batteries in my bag for when I need to switch out. I don't have to tell Charge batteries junior days to make sure you have enough of those to last. Any additional piece of equipment I use is my flash gun shy bring out in the evening. I put it on top of my cameras, capture the wedding party and dancing. I used the flash gun and drag my shutter to capture creative lighting effects and bring energy and funds to the reception images. I carry all of my equipment and a peak design sling bag, keeping what I need to carry small, discreet and lightweight. And if I'm using two camera bodies, I'll shoot with cameras thing, which allows me to carry my camera on my side and distribute that way across my shoulders, back and chest. Help me not to get so fatigued during the day. Overall, the take away from this chapter should be that the less you you have to use, the less you have to worry about and the more you can focus on your ideas and capturing moments as they happen, not missing anything. 4. Pick locations: when it comes to location should be blessed or struggle with the options you have. However, you should have confidence and knowledge to call upon to help me make the best decision. Harrison tips I fall over and finding a picking locations for the couple's poor traits. The first and most important, is to be aware of the effort it takes to get there during the precious time you have to capture your poor traits. You may or may not wish to choose to walk for 20 minutes of your our to your chosen spot, so ask yourself, will it be worth it? But the answer is yes, then great, but commit to capturing the majority. If not all of your images there, you may not have enough time to move to a second spot. If you would rather have variety in your poor traits that make sure the spots in a more than a five minute walk from one another. Also be mindful of the bride wearing hills and getting the couple's claims dirty. If you can avoid muddy parts and water and pretty certain the bride and groom would appreciate it when looking for location, I'm looking for at least two things. An interesting backdrop or useful foreground objects, whether a vista, a wall, a backdrop you can place your couple in front of should complement the couple. On overall image of war with a pop of color or interesting texture or beautiful scenic landscape, I'm always looking for a backdrop that I can compose my couple into. That could complement the style and poses for examples of background with symmetry will complement a couple holding hands side by side. A brick wall I can place the couple against will focus on where they are and shout about the venue. Know where the sun will be in the sky that time? If your portrait is useful, a certain location may look fantastic, but we bathed in harsh sunlight will not make your couple look their best when they're squinting in your photos to check where the sun will be so that you can place your couple in light that it's soft. This may mean looking for shaded areas or turn in your subjects back to the sun, Carson them in shadow for a more dramatic look. Find Paul's of light. You can place your couple into exposing your camera for them and cast in the rest of your frame into dark shade to the best light. Aim to shoot your portray. It's late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky Magic. How will create a warm, soft and romantic light that you can use to your advantage? Being able to flare the sun into your camera adds to the powerful impact of your images. 5. Make couples feel relaxed: It doesn't matter how confident you are unless you're couples feel relaxed and confident in themselves, You will struggle to capture natural moments. At this point, I've seen photographers get frustrated trying to pose awkward couples over there at them. This is because the photographer has not seen the results that they hoped for. I think that's because of the couple, but I think it is. I prefer to keep an approach that is informal and calm. As long as you communicate to you couple that you want to capture them naturally, I would prefer them not to post for you. You'll find that they don't ask you for their action, and I don't get nervous. They end up comfortably finding themselves in positions you wanted them to be in without feeling pressured to just step away. Later, couples interact and find their natural rhythm. Then you can start to move in and make small adjustments to the couple here and there, finessing your poses. I like to talk with the couple's during this time, mostly complimenting them on how the day has gone so far. I found it. This builds their confidence and makes them feel good about themselves. we all know that they've put a lot of effort and thought into this day that they care that it goes well. So let's help put them at ease and tell them that everything has been perfect. I also give them space to enjoy that time together and enjoy the moment. They are the priority, not your images. The more you realize that the better results will capture to stand back and let them have a precious 10 minutes together walking through the venue and surroundings, enjoying each other on the day they won't get many moments like this. My final tip is relax yourself. If you're Russian, frustrating and baffling around like a buffoon, you're gonna make your couple nervous and stress to stop worrying about missing a moment about your photo isn't gonna be any good. Take the pressure off of yourself and exist in the moment that relaxing presence will keep the energy positive on your couple. Confident in you 6. Pose a couple: our job. Imposing our couples is to make them look their best beautiful, confident, strong and in love. How he posed a couple should emphasize their assets and best, most flattering sides. There are a few tips to keep in mind when thinking about this. First, there's the angry or shooting them. If you want to look strong and powerful than shoot from a lower angle, this amazing look, tall and powerful great if you're after a dramatic portrait. But bear in mind, this won't be flattering for the bride. Whilst agreement will emphasizes height and broad frame, we don't necessarily want this for the bride. A flattering angle for a bride is from a higher angle pointing down towards her. This will elongate her features and emphasize her bone structure grain, a far more flattering portrait. With that in mind, when photographing the bride and groom separately, I will consider the angle of their portrait's been together. I will shoot both of those angles for close ups. I will shoot the male eye level with the bride. Always shoot from a higher perspective. I generally want to portray the couple's connection, so always keep them holding hands or touching in one way or another, holding hands, I can capture connection with the images of their hands close together and details of their wedding rings. When embracing old place hands on hips and shoulders, showing a delicate, caring connection between the couple. It makes our bride looks safe and comfortable on our groom. Secure and supportive, I'll always have the bride carefully place her cheek on her husband's chest, looking off camera and also with her eyes closed. Delicate touches of each other's faces also create a lovely, intimate moment that is perfect to capture. I really asked a couple to look directly into the camera message, traditional form of portray. I try and capture at least one shot like this. I prefer we captured a couple looking at each other rather than a couple together with individual portray its look into cameras appropriate that prioritize off camera natural poses instead for strong contemporary pose. I work through the couple Sanan, side by side, looking at each other and away from each other. The groom stood behind the bride with his arms wrapped around her waist, where can also capture details of the reasons I also asking cups to stand and lean when and where they have a wall, a tree, a lamppost, leaning looks and relaxed and cool. Where they're leaning on also helps when it comes to framing compositions to keep an eye open for some structures you could use the more playful photos. Spinning around and running will often create moments of laughter and smiling, which creates a nice, authentic and relaxed contrast to the more serious and dramatic images. As I've said before, though, when it comes to opposing, I prefer to let the couple find the natural rhythm. When they do, you can generally cover the majority that poses mentioned, is more important, opposes, feel natural and relaxed them. Forced to step back and let your couple breathe, you might be pleasantly surprised. 7. Compose your shot: So you've posed a couple when you're looking through the viewfinder, How do you now approach composing your shop and capturing an interesting frame? There are several tips for how we can approach composing the shop, maximizing the location. You're in the first thing. I want to talk about this framing. Overall, your frame will capture everything within it, but you can decide how much or how little. So as mentioned before, decide if you want to have an image that maximizes the details in your location, or you want to focus on your couple and not be distracted by the location. I lights create frames within frames, looking for natural frames that can create unique, an interesting composition. A friend could be a doorway, an arch, a canopy of a tree, so finding a natural frames of place, a couple within will draw your eye to the center of the image. You can also use foreground elements to create a natural frame for your image, and I'll talk about that in the next chapter. The next thing symmetry. It can be difficult to find symmetry in the field, but keeping an eye open for it will create incredible image If you can't find perfect symmetry in your locations, then you could play around. We created it in photo shop. You can use the rule of thirds to help you frame symmetrical images by placing your subject in the center of the frame on ensuring that the surroundings match either side of them. Composing your shot within the rule of thirds is a good sense. Check when lying up your image. You can even turn on grid lines in your camera to help you with this increasing powerful shots. But placing your images into corners or thirds of your frame, creating negative space for your locations to pop to create variety within your images, you don't want to have everything center framed by using the rule of thirds. You can create variety and interest in images whilst ensuring its composed correctly, and it remains attractive to the eye. Leading lines can draw your attention and guide your eye to where you want to look. Some lines obvious and some might be employed is might be a path that your eye follows to find the couple in the distance, the walls of a building that merge into a corner or trees that vertically frame your couple look for leading lines that draw your eye within the frame. Then lines also create depth and perspective to your image, which is useful when you're trying to convey distance or the idea of a journey. 8. Capture authentic moments: one thing I wanted to make sure that I touched him was to always stay aware. The best moments that you can caption will happen when you least expect them. The best shots you can capture that feel natural and spontaneous happened in between moments that you knew would happen when walking from the venue to portray spots. For example, Beware. The couple's guard is down there talking, laughing and having a funds to step back and tried to capture some of the special moments that we look her when they don't think that you're taking a photo. 9. Experiment: I hinted in composing, but you can frame and create some unique images when you experiment. Also, try and give myself the opportunity to try something new and play around for a few minutes during the wedding. We always have a few foreground elements in my bag. For these occasions, I find it composing depth into an image concrete's and visual excitement. So I try and pull out few of these items during a shoot to create some four around very light so useful for a darker location to create twinkle in the foreground. A beautiful and interesting Boca to lighten up a frame the prison is useful is create like the fraction Blair's of light in a frame. You don't have a prison. I've used a glass from the venue or pull off my glasses and holding in front of the lens. If we're nature, I pick grass or flowers and hold that in front of the frame to create colorful foreground Boca. First it under a tree, perhaps a pink Boston tree. I'll pick some of that blossom and hold it in front of the lens. I don't have to rely on the branch or twig to be in the right position. I can pick a small part of it and place myself wherever I need to be. You can even try lens walking by removing your lens and angling there onto the body of the camera toe light leak into the sensor. Google that one for more info if the location lends itself well to keep an eye open for reflections. But that's windows, mirrors, polished floors or water, you can find some interesting shots by experiments in when natural and glass reflections that can really make an image special. 10. Wrap up: So I want to thank you for taking the time to take this course and hear my tips on preparing, approaching and nailing the art of wedding portrait. It's, I hope you found the course valuable and a plenty of takeaways to note down and add to your notebook for tips and tricks. I appreciate you investing in learning and improving yourself through this course. Everything I know I've either let online or by trying and failing to get out there and start implementing some of this advice and all the best for your future weddings.