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Bride and Groom Seeing One Another

If the bride and groom have chosen to see one another before the ceremony, I take the lead in selecting where and how it will happen, and I use a bit of planned choreography to capture everything that I want. I position the groom in a pretty spot, preferably with nice, even light, and grab a few shots of him alone—it’s a great moment, full of energy and anticipation. I then position the bride some distance behind him and instruct her to approach him slowly. I move back in front of the groom and shoot him again while the bride moves toward him in the background; I also zoom in on the bride over his shoulder (Figure 4.14). When she’s about 10 feet away, I ask her to freeze for a moment while I quickly move around behind her; this way, I’m in position to capture his expression when he turns around to see her. At this point, I give him the go-ahead, he turns, and I snap away (Figures 4.15 and 4.16). Once I’ve photographed his initial reaction, I swing around to the side of the couple so that I can continue shooting them as they enjoy the moment.

This is definitely the part of the day where I’m giving the most very specific direction to the couple that—let’s face it—doesn’t feel completely natural. This is so different from my usual, as-unobtrusive-as-possible approach to the wedding day that I often acknowledge it. I let the couple know that I realize it may feel a little strange, but it’s worth it to make this moment of seeing one another a very special one and to capture it for them in photographs.

Figure 4.14

Figure 4.14. Step 1: Shoot the bride and groom as she approaches him from behind.

Figure 4.15

Figure 4.15. Step 2: Ask the bride to pause, and then move behind her so you can capture his expression when he turns to see her.

Figure 4.16

Figure 4.16. Step 3: Continue shooting this great moment, moving about as necessary.

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