Post # 1
I am interviewing photographers. There are so many choices. I have met with a couple and viewed tons of portfolios but it seems that photographers show their work containing the most attractive people. It’s hard to know if you like the shot or the style of the shot or you are just drawn to it because the people are so dang attractive and it would look good anyway. One of my friends gave me advice and told me to look at more complete albums with more average people. In honesty, she said “make sure they know how to shoot fat people”. She was unhappy with her photography because she felt that they didn’t know how to pose awkwardly shaped people or disparate sizes in the couple. There is a skill and a difference in how you pose someone with more lumps and bumps or wrinkles. My fiance and I are also an “older” couple with me being 37 and him 44 so the young, dewy nymphs in the portfolios do not represent us. I want to know if you have representations of work from photographers that show the less young or less thin and beautiful people? Any examples of work? If you see yourself as unphotogenic and had great pictures, please share who you worked with.
Post # 2
It’s standard when hiring a wedding photographer to ask to see a full wedding shoot so you can see all of their shots, not just their portfolio pieces. I suggest at the same time you ask to see an album of people they have photographed of approximately your size and age (or as close as they can get) and ask them to explain how they would showcase similar brides and grooms in the most flattering light possible. Some standard techniques are shooting from above (to minimise double chins), having the people stand on a side angle (helps people seem more slender), and positioning one person partially in front of another. Also useful are veils (softens shoulders and arms) and holding arms slightly away from the body to minimise any arm pudge. Bouquets are perfectly designed for this.
A photographer who knows what they are doing will be able to rattle off these kinds of solutions, and should also be able to demonstrate good technique and flattering photos at your engagement shoot. If they cannot give you their standard techniques, have no examples or don’t perform well at the engagement shoot, dump them on the spot. Any photographer worth hiring should know how to make larger clients look good, it’s really not that hard (and most of the population are not models but still deserve stunning wedding photos).
Post # 3
We met with a lot of photographers (A LOT – like 6 or 7, and that’s not including all the ones I emailed), and they always brought an album or two and we asked for a few online galleries to look at. And the way I picked our photographers was that one of the galleries they showed us was of a very….average couple. The guy was overweight, the gal had not the best skin and thick glasses – but at the end of the day they still looked happy and in love in all their pictures.
I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say to a photographer “we really like the work that you’ve shown us so far, but are concerned that these clients don’t look like us. Do you have any work showcasing your posing with a larger couple that we can see?”.
Also, ultimately, you have to remember – it’s a photograph capturing a moment in time, not a miracle working. My H has a double chin sometimes, and yup, it shows up in some of our pictures because they are candid or he was laughing or whatever. My arms look a little thick when they’re against my sides (like everyone’s), and there are some pictures where that’s clear, or where it looks like I have an overbite because I was laughing, or whatever. But those little quirks are what makes our photographs real, and not some stylized model shoot.
Post # 4
Yeah I want us to look like us. I don’t expect magic but just to know that they know how to work with people that don’t take the best picture and get us in our best light. We’ve only met with photographer companies so far, the kind that have teams of photographers and they show you their brief little portfolios then want you to pick one. That’s part of the reason we don’t want a company, we can’t meet the photog before the shoot and can’t see a complete album. We are meeting with private photographer/owners now so I can ask to see more variety. The last few photos my fiance and I took, he looked like he was taking a poo. lol We just want someone to be able to work with us and get us comfortable so we look our best.
Post # 5
Why not check out some of the photographers featured on this site: http://prettypearbride.com/ (tairlored for above average brides). If you see a style you like, and photos of people you empathize with, you might find the perfect photographer for you! Good luck!
Post # 6
crzyorchid: When looking through portfolios pay close attention to photographer’s blogs and facebook pages. I know for me personally, my website gets updated before the beginning of each season but it’s normally just a few shots from different weddings. My blog/facebook is where I do larger previews from each wedding. Not every wedding ends up on my website, but I do blog/preview each wedding I shot – regardless of the couple or location.
Don’t be afraid to be honest with the photographer. If you aren’t comfortable enough with them say “I’m conerned about my size and that we aren’t as young as most couples you showcase, do you have any weddings from plus size or older couples you can share with me?” they probably aren’t the photographer for you.
I would encourage you to focus more on independant photographers instead of photo companies, as independant photographers tend to be more invested in their business and tend to have more experience. I treat my plus size (and older) brides/grooms no different than any other couple I work with. Here’s the thing, regardless of size or age, not every pose works with every person. It really has to do more with the personality of each couple. I’ve had the most photographically stunning couples who were just so awkward that no matter how I asked them to stand or interact, it was just never natural.
In my entire carear as a wedding photographer, I’ve only had ONE wedding where I truly struggled with posing a couple as a result of their size. I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings so in all of those only having 1 be a strugle due to size is not bad odds. In that case the couple was more than plus size, and physically couldn’t get that close due to their size. I tried everything, but at some point it became out of my control. I still did as much as I could, but there was no way to get them snuggled up together because they phycially couldn’t reach each other. That is an extream case and in no way represents the majority of our clients. I myself was not a small bride (I”m a street size 12) so I definitely get where you might be coming from – I tend to always dislike the way I look in photos so I definitely feel like posing is extreamly important.
Post # 7
crzyorchid: I think you should be looking at the quality of the photographs, not the models. How does their skin look? Are the photos too airbrushed looking? Do you like photojournalistic style, natural lighting? Think of these things.
A photographer can only make you look like you. If they are professional, they know how to get every bride’s good angles. You’ll probably see some images that you may not like, but so do all women. Just buy only the ones you like!
Post # 8
[content removed for privacy reasons]
Post # 9
I love love LOVE that you posted this topic! As a wedding photographer, part of my mission in life is to change the standard of bridal beauty. I never hire models for my website-I always use REAL couples, real weddings I have shot. Because I wager that a whole lot of folks getting married are not models! I would have an open and honest talk with your potential photographers about your expectations. Every bride deserves to feel beautiful and remember how she felt when she gets her photos back. You will need a photographer who knows the power of a bird’s eye angle, flattering body positioning and how to make you feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid to talk about this stuff-it is your day after all!
Post # 10
Are you getting professional makeup done? If so, you will probably end up looking about 10 years younger anyway. Don’t forget that most of the photos you are looking at will have brides in their wedding makeup (and yes, I was an older bride and this was defnitely the case. It wasn’t just the photographer, the makeup did the trick even in the cell phone photos people posted online.
Post # 11
I just have to say I kind of hate this idea that flattering photos for plus sized people are always recommend to be from above.
Maybe I’m alone here but I don’t want my wedding photos to be a bunch of MySpace angles. I’m fat, my FI knows I’m fat, my friends and family know I’m fat. It seems silly to try and hide it for photos.
You can have a flattering photo without trying to make your subject look thinner. I think that’s the mark of a great photographer, one who understands that.