Ah, the first kiss.
Quintessentially one of the most breathtakingly beautiful, cinematic, real moments of any wedding day.
The catch is, it’s actually easy to make things awfully tricky for your photographer, but by the same token, just as easy to make sure he/she can capture that kiss in all its show-stopping glory.
In the movies, that first kiss is in slow motion; there’s a lead up, the camera is straight in front of the couple at eye level, and it goes according to plan (and according to script!).
What happens at a real wedding is one of three things:
1.) The officiant says ‘you may now kiss the bride’ and the couple give each other a knowing look. About 120% of the guests hold up cellphones/iPads/cameras and start snapping away. The bride and groom lean in for a picture perfect moment. This is the photographer’s dream: it gives us a clear cue to get into the right position so we can capture the very best angle, and allows us the time we need (just a second’s warning is enough) to get the focus bang on.
2.) The officiant delays for a sec, usually looking for his/her place in the program/glasses. The couple suddenly think ‘oh, this is the part… where we kiss, right?’ and to the surprise, and amusement, of the crowd, they lean in. Lightning fast, they kiss. (When I say lightning, I’m talking time stamps on the photos that show the kiss lasted less than a quarter of a second). This is of course so sweet to watch, but not as easy to shoot. It’s sort of like shooting a fast moving news event: we’re on our toes, and we’ll capture it, but it might not give us the chance to get that cinematic picture perfect moment.
3.) The officiant says ‘you may kiss the bride’, we get into position, and then the bride or groom swing their partner around and briefly away from the lens. In this split second they kiss, and after we’ve hightailed it over that gorgeous metre long train of lace, that kiss is just ending. Again, beautiful moment, but we can’t quite get it as well as we’d love to.
Ultimately we just want to capture your day the way it happened. To do that, we’ll need to be in the right place at the right split second. If the first kiss is an important shot to you (and understandably it is to most) remember these three things:
a) Wait for the officiant’s signal that it’s time to lock lips
b) Give the photographer a chance to jump past the three bridesmaids and around the flower girl currently sitting on the floor diligently putting the petals back into the basket
c) Try not to spin around so that you or your new spouse suddenly has their back to the camera.
So easy right? Now go practice kissing, you know you want to 😉