Does wedding photography need a sense of humour?
How many wedding blogs make you laugh out loud?
What do you want from your wedding album – a beautifully styled and presented coffee table book? …
…Or a feast of memories of you with your friends and family, laughing, smiling and doing all the wonderful and crazy things you love them for?
Perhaps a bit of both.
The wedding industry is guilty, to an extent, of portraying weddings as perfectly unattainable dream days. We share swoon-worthy images of styling and design, fashion and beauty, with couples primped and pampered to perfection – more like a vision of heaven than real life – and there’s a danger we’ll lose focus and forget what weddings are all about.
Because don’t you think a wedding is a day to just love to bits? To fill and overwhelm your world view with happiness and companionship and a rollercoaster ride of emotion so bright you’ll remember it forever?
Wedding photography evolves. Every year a different ‘style’ leads the way – right now, it’s fine art photography you’ll see on the top wedding blogs. It’s beautiful – don’t get me wrong: I adore the style and swoon over all the images like everyone else!
But it lacks personality, and when it comes to choosing a photographer for your wedding, you should be looking for something else.
If you want those images which will bring back the day as if it were yesterday, make you laugh and cry and grin and truly, heartfully enjoy your wedding memories, then you should be looking for wedding photography with a sense of humour.
Here are some of the most brilliant examples, backed up with brilliant quotes from some of my favourite wedding photographers!
“For me, wedding photography is about emotions, feelings and connections. To be really drawn into an image you have to feel close to the subject(s) and this comes from having something to latch onto beyond the superficial prettiness of an image. Great photos draw you in and make you feel part of the moment. If you take this a step further, laughter (humour), as Victor Borge quoted is ’the shortest distance between two people’, and for me is just another of the essential emotions that pull you into a wedding image and make you feel like you were part of the moment.
At a wedding we go through a rollercoaster of emotions, from stress, to nerves, to fear, to elation, to sadness, to happiness. Humour is just another of the emotions of a wedding day and if the photographer has captured that emotion, they’ve done a great job in encapsulating the narrative of the wedding day.” – Damion Mower Photography, Buckinghamshire
“Humour is integral to our photography. Our couples often book us on our humorous imagery and it is simply how we see the world. People often focus mostly on the prettiness of weddings but to us the best thing about a wedding is everyone coming together and just having fun and joking around together. We see funny and comical moments at every wedding and try to make those the lifeblood of our images because if we can capture that sense of fun, of everyone having a great time together with a little spark of humour and spontaneity we can really capture the heart, feeling and soul of the wedding.” – York Place Studios
“You have to stay true to the day, capturing the moments as the wedding story unfolds. There will be moments of emotion: laughter, tears, awkwardness and humour – and as a documentary wedding photographer I capture all of those. It’s important for me to be open minded and to shoot unobtrusively through moments which can even be a little uncomfortable – because this means the images will give a true representation of the wedding with everything captured: sense of humour included.” – Benjamin Toms, Kent
“Personally I think wedding photography with a sense of humour is the best kind of wedding photography – it goes beyond prettiness, details and portraits to another layer of narrative that reveals the genuine joy and quirks of the characters that make your day unique to the two of you.” – Jordanna Marston Photography
“Humour is present at every wedding, whether it being something gentle like the Bride and her entourage sharing a giggle, or the Groom laughing hilariously from his roasting by his Best Man.
These moments being obvious happenings that only need an attentive photographer with quick reactions to capture. Higher levels of humorous refinement can then be explored according to your photographer’s particular ’taste’ in humour. Capturing a picture that contains sarcasm or irony, from inappropriate signage, inappropriate behaviour, or a clever choice of composition and angles framing the subject. There are so many things can inject humour into an image.
A shared taste of humour is often something that attracts clients. Those that don’t take themselves too seriously, along with those who see their entire wedding guests as being fair game in font of the lens when capturing their wedding day story.
One of the most common pieces of marriage advice I hear is to marry someone you can laugh with. This couldn’t be more true! Many people envisage their own version of a perfect wedding, but perfection just doesn’t happen. Life gets in the way, us humans all being imperfect – unplanned things happen and a good sense of humour keeps the day flowing! Anything can happen within a wedding, the wedding has its own life force: having photographers present means it’s all fair game.
If you can laugh at anything and everything, your wedding is going to be a cracking day rich in colour and depth. Capturing it will be fun, creative and a pleasure for a photographer sharing a similarly wicked sense of humour!” – Linus Moran Photography
“As a photographer I’m always looking for those little moments that make your day unique, and the funny moments that you’ll look back on and laugh at for years to come! One of my brides recently told me that she loved this shot from their wedding gallery – it was the hottest day of the year and catching the groom’s mum spraying cooling spray in his face just after the ceremony really made them laugh out loud!…
…This was also a funny moment from this wedding back in 2017 – there was a back story in the father of the bride’s speech involving her being spat on by a llama – then these llamas appeared behind her!!” – Becky Harley Photography
“Having a sense of humour is essential as a wedding photographer for many reasons. As a documentary photographer you need to be totally absorbed in the day, to be a part of it, to appreciate and recognise those humorous moments, perhaps even before they happen. A wedding should always be filled with fun and laughter, and the best way to capture this in my mind is by being in the middle of it, and encouraging those moments along. When guests see you are having fun too, they will often be even more playful.
There are of course other reasons why having a sense of humour is so important, for the times when things at the wedding aren’t going quite to plan on the day for whatever reason: perhaps the wedding party is stuck in traffic, or it is pouring with rain and parts of the day are curtailed. As photographers, we just have to accept things often run behind, or don’t quite work out, and it pays to keep smiling, laughing, and encourage the day on. I always see the positive side, and often there is still fun and laughter to be found if you look for and encourage it, and the wedding party will be encouraged by the advice and positivity of an experienced professional. Some of my favourite photos have been taken in such conditions!” – Robin Goodlad Photography