Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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Are there any tips, techniques, or poses I can use to embrace/handle a height difference between the bride and groom? He is approximately 6' and she is 4'11".

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Unless you want your clients to look like dwarfs, skip this pose. – BioGeek Sep 2 '12 at 12:45
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Staircases are your friend. You can include them in wider angle shots for added interest, and you can have the bride and groom stand on different steps and take closer-in portraits while eliminating the height difference. Don't make them the exact same height as that will look weird; the bride should still be shorter than the groom (in this case).

Also consider seating. The couple can sit next to each other and pose in a pretty similar way from the waist up as if they were standing - heads leaned together, kissing etc. Either half of the couple can also stand behind the seat and lean over, embracing the other, for example.

Or you can use forced perspective, Hobbit-style...

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During your conversations with the bride and groom, did they express an issue with the height difference? Did they indicate they want to look closer to the same height?

I'm 6'1" and my wife is 5'2". In our wedding photos, it looks like I can rest my chin on the top of her head. And guess what? I can! :) If our photographer had used tricks to make our heights appear closer to each other, the resulting photos would just look weird to us.

As a wedding photographer, I've photographed couples with varying height differences. I've yet to run across a couple that is concerned with the photos reflecting anything other than reality.

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First of all, ask your clients if they have any problem with their height difference being portrayed. As Eric said, forcing tricks of perspective on the couple when they neither wanted them nor even considered their different heights to be "a problem" that needed solving, would not be a good idea.

Second of all, you could shoot the couple on a staircase, with the shorter person a step (or two, or three) up and the taller person on the floor/lower tread of the staircase. It worked for Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and would surely work here. (Even though when they are both on the same level, the difference between Chuck and Di wasn't that much in the first place, but there's no accounting for royal ego.)

Thirdly, you could employ the classic poses that don't show height, or obscure it, such as the "her arm draped around his neck" pose, or the "he stands one or two paces in front of her" pose, or the "she sits further away from the camera than he does, and probably slouches a little as she does so" pose.

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