Couples say to me all the time that they don’t want posed shots, they want their wedding pictures to be spontaneous and fun and natural with real smiles and genuine emotion. And very early on, I realised that what they actually mean is that they want the photography process itself to be spontaneous, natural and fun. They don’t want to spend hours away from their wedding guests, in the company of a grumpy (or slow or uncertain) photographer, staring at the camera with a fake smile. So it’s not that they don’t want to be directed or told what to do by a photographer who knows precisely what he or she’s doing, it’s just that they’ve witnessed or experienced or heard stories of poor photography direction in the past, perhaps from previous weddings they’ve attended as guests. Fun and natural and spontaneous shots don’t just happen however. The number of times I’ve seen couples give all of their guests cameras and tell them to just click away throughout the day…the number of shots which are even in focus is always very low. Some couples ask their photographer to be a silent guest on the day – and preferably invisible. That just ain’t going to work – you’re standing around waiting for magical moments to happen and hope you’re in the vicinity (and ready) when it does. Nope. Lost cause. I’d say that 90% of my most fun and natural, spontaneous looking shots are entirely directed by me. One of the secrets is to shoot the ‘in between’ shots, the moments that happen in between setups. There’s lots of tricks of the trade to draw out those real emotions but for me, it’s all about experience first and foremost, confident communication, great people skills and loads of client empathy. Add to that an unrelenting supply of positive energy, you’re home and dry.