How to Pose an “Older” Wedding Couple

Just yesterday, most of America saw their grandparents. Many of you probably photographed them as a part of your photographer holiday tradition. Did you do anything different when photographing grandparents? What about an “older” couple, say, in their 40s?

From time to time, we like to go lurking about the online photography forums, in search of interesting discussions. Recently we came across this one, in which “Ashley,” a freshly-minted wedding photographer, set forth the following question:

“I have my first wedding coming up in early November. It’s a small, casual wedding. The couple is in their early 40s, both 2nd weddings. I just want some advice on posing an ‘older’ couple and shooting a wedding.”

older wedding coupleOne can certainly sympathize with “Ashley’s” dilemma! When shooting a wedding for a doddering, elderly couple with one foot each in the grave (say, in their early forties), is there a special approach you should take?

The gallery weighed in, and we thought we’d share with you some of the insights that “Ashley” was furnished by the assembled throng.

For the most part, the consensus seemed to be that she should photograph the oldsters the same way she would shoot spring chickens of a considerably less advanced age. “I don’t treat them any different,” observed Valerie. “Love is a wonderful celebration at any age.”  Crystal was in full older wedding coupleagreement: “I would do the same as you would for any couple.” Denise, herself a senior citizen, was able to speak from experience: “I’m planning my 2nd wedding and am in my 40s. I want shots of guests and of romance. For me and my groom, soft focus for sure.”

Sandy, in a slight departure, had this to contribute: “I always try to angle people as to not shoot straight on. If standing side by side, they should have an arm around the waist and standing in a ‘V’ so they are angled. Looks more posed to me.” We’re not sure if this advice was calculated to take years off the “older” wedding couple being photographed, or if it was just general advice applicable even to couples of more tender years, but it sounded good to us.

older wedding coupleRegistering a bit more harsh in his advice was Tom, who said: “Posing a wedding couple is essentially the same regardless of age. My question to you would be how many weddings have you done as a second shooter? If you have, then this shouldn’t be a problem, if you haven’t, I’d watch some wedding photography tutorials.” Ouch! Not afraid to take the gloves off, are ya, Tom? He concludes, sensibly enough, “Definitely talk to the couple to see what types of shots they want.”

Well, sure. We hear that this is a growing trend among wedding shooters.

We especially liked the contribution made by Hollie, who seemed to represent the school of thought that says you’re never too old for romance. “Pose an older couple just like a younger couple…it is still the happiest day of their life, they are still getting married, they are still happily in love, and they are still bride and groom. The best compliment to a couple is to make them look happy and young – make them feel as though they’ve gone back in time and are reliving the event every time they look at the photos.”

older wedding coupleIt begins to sound like shooting an “older” wedding couple … you know, past 40 and all that sort of thing… is pretty much the same as shooting a “younger” wedding couple…say, 38-ish.

After having absorbed the proffered wisdom of her peers, “Ashley” concluded with the following remarks:

older wedding couple“Thanks everyone! These answers really helped me. This will be my first wedding ever to shoot. I’m nervous, but excited. The couple has no idea what they want really, that’s why they hired me.” (Ah, we suspected as much.)

The takeaway is that, even if you’re shooting a wedding for a couple looking their expiration date squarely in the face, you should still be able to come up with an album’s worth of good, strong photos.

older wedding couple

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hmmmm – interesting to consider someone in their early 40s as an older couple – I’m 47 and don’t feel “old” enough to be posed as an “older” person as if I’m a senior citizen.

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