I’ve never done a tutorial before, because everything you need to learn, you can search from ze internet.
Even tutorials from other photographers.
Then I thought about my resolution to write more and share more.
Figured all I can share is my own experiences, which is different from tutorials, because there is no checklist or formula to follow.
So here goes.

This group portrait was taken yesterday, so the process is still fresh in my mind.

The time was 7.14pm, six minutes before the bridal party’s entrance to reception.
I remember because the groom nervously asked me to check the time.

It was not my first time shooting at Quat Quatta, but I knew it was the last portrait of the day.
Usually, I’d get everyone to stand in between the six pillars.
The ‘center’ box, if you would.
Then I remember the last time I shot here I told myself:
IF there’s a next time, I should utilise the whole area.
(I do this a lot, the ‘what would I do IF there’s a next time’ mental exercise.)

So I simply asked the bridal party to each pick a corner they liked.
Moe, the best man on the left initially stood far back because he knew, he was the tallest in the group.
The light couldn’t catch on to his face, so I advised him to sit down in between the two bridesmaids.
I didn’t even bother asking him to return the bouquet to the bride because real men carry flowers.
In hindsight perhaps having the other groomsman, Izzy, to hold the bouquet on his right hand will bring better balance to the picture.
(Perhaps not, who knows? Because then I might have to deal with Moe’s hands and his crossed legs. That’s what I like about posing: it’s all about problem solving.)

The rest of the bridal party were pretty much set on the get go.
One other thing you need to understand, is that I’d been shooting with them for the whole day, so at that point they were quite comfortable with the camera.
Mega brownie points to having a pre-wedding session as well.
Ideally the bride should stand slightly to the right (her left) to balance out the space, but moving brides is always risky, especially with six minutes to go, and there’s nothing wrong with the bride and groom standing slightly closer to each other.

As for the expressions, I simply told them to give me the ‘bitchiest face of the day’.
I think one bridesmaid heard ‘peachy’ so she was showing this wide confused smile before everyone corrected her.
Miscommunication is good in this case, because that gives a variety of expressions, which leads to contrast.
And that’s why I chose this frame as the hero shot because there’s something sweet about the bride breaking character while the rest of the party is so into it.

It was a cloudy day bordering on thunderstorm so ISO was set to 1600.
I thought I shot at f5.6 but exif says f2.8.

All of the above was achieved in less than 3 minutes, with time to spare for a few more goofy group shots.

Taking the photo took only 1/800 of a second.
What matters is everything else that led up to that moment.
And I’m glad I managed to achieve something different.


The behind the scenes stuff? The how did you get that? I love it.

[…] Posing your subjects for a photo – I’ve learnt that you really need to know how you want the photo to look before you take it! […]