One thing I talk to my wedding couples about when planning for their photos is locations and how rather than rushing around a dozen locations to get variety, I prefer to use just a couple of locations to their full potential and create a relaxed and laid-back experience from portrait time.
I remember when I first started out as a photographer I would often be shooting away then get a creative “mind-block” with my photos or setups and I would move on to a new location as a crutch because I couldn’t think of what to do next. Effectively I was using the change of location to provide variety to my images.
These days, having gained experience & training, I am definitely more intentional with location choices, looking for spots with beautiful, complimentary light and maximising these locations. I'd rather have one good location with awesome light, than half a dozen locations with mediocre light. Plus having to travel to each new location can eat into your timeframe really quickly.
Adding variety can be as simple as changing how my subjects are standing or getting a combination of wide and close-up shots.
For this whole series of images, Shanaye & Oscar were pretty much standing in the same spot!
We shot Bridget & Hamish's engagement session at the beach and these are just a handful of the portraits we created in the one spot!
I can also add variety to my images through changes in composition and gaining different emotions from my couples or subjects. From documenting romantic quiet moments to capturing bubbly laughter and fun. I love photographs with movement and connection so I am constantly getting my subjects to 'do things' whether that's simply walking, the flick of a wedding veil or just talking to each other. I know exactly how awkward it is to be stuck in front of the camera so I work really hard to remove that awkwardness for my subjects with relaxed direction and conversation.
The other thing about locations, is that one place or location can provide a number of ‘spots’ for photos. For example we might use a garden for photos and within the garden there are a number of different spots providing variety in backdrops. Peter & Donna did all their bridal portraits on one property in Arrowtown, we literally drove there, parked up and walked around for photos in a few different spots that I had scouted out the day before their wedding.
At the end of the day my photographs are about the people in them and while pretty backdrops are great for portraits, what's most important to me is documenting amazing memories & genuine moments for my clients and creating an awesome experience.