wp_head() Top 20 Cliché Wedding Photos « portraits without borders
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Top 20 Cliché Wedding Photos

Cliche photo by Ashton Boni

• Veil over the bride and groom kissing.
• Wine glasses intertwined as the bride/groom look on or kiss.
• Hands with rings over the bouquet.
• The “jump shot”.
• The couple in B&W with the bouquet in color.
• The bride sniffing her bouquet.
• Bride opening the curtains with her arms apart, with backlighting.
• The “dip and kiss” with the bride’s leg sticking straight out.
• The guys all walking in a line towards the photographer.
• Rings sitting on top of the invite or a bible.
• Bride/Groom laying down, groomsmen/bridesmaids holding him up like a corpse.
• Dress hanging in the dressing room.
• Bride looking out the limo window.
• Couples holding up their ring fingers.
• The photographer Photoshoping a second image onto the first, ie; wine glasses with an image of the couple kissing.
• The bridal party walking across the street a-la the Beatles Abby Road.
• Shot of just the bride’s shoes.
• The overhead shot of all bridesmaids holding their bouquets all together like one big blob.
• Groom or bride smashing cake in the others face.
• The entire bridal party staged “randomly” across a grass area.

I opened this topic to wedding professionals all across the country. Honestly, this list was originally called “Most Popular Wedding Photos”, but I would imagine you wouldn’t have visited my blog if it was. For most people “popular” and “cliché” are interchangeable. The reaction to this subject was heated to say the least. Instead of taking what they said and paraphrasing, I thought it would be best to just quote them.

“I mean really; weddings are nothing but fairly cliché moments, and the challenge as a photographer is to either find the things that are unique, or find ways to make cliché moments original/honest.”

“Each of those may be something you’ve shot or seen a hundred times, but you’re in the wedding business. To each of the couples it’s their special moment in time and they want you to preserve as many seconds of it as possible. That is how they will relive it. We had a cousin’s hubby who took photos years ago, before I knew anything about weddings. We have awful images and the only one I really like is this hand over the bouquet shot that I use for my logo. It was one of the newer shots back then, but I still love it years later.”

“The couple wants to remember the things they saw that day: the dress hanging up, their hands clasped together sporting the rings now, whether on the bouquet or not, and their friends dancing, as well as the group shots. I know a couple that were so glad they took some traditional shots, because a member of the family was gone the next week. It was the last time they had a family shot opportunity. Had those traditional poses been opted out for only artistic vision, that final opportunity would have been gone.”

“I hate Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, and I could live a fully happy life without hearing that Canon ever again, but for many couples it wouldn’t be a wedding without them. Same with those photos that they’ve always seen in their mind when they imagine their wedding….”

“I think it is how the photographer takes the picture that makes it cliché or not. I mean we are photographing the same event over and over again here. So if you think that any picture of the bride and groom cutting the cake is cliché, then wedding photography as a whole is nothing but cliché. Which it sort of is. But life itself is nothing but clichés when you look at it from the perspective of a list of actions. However, within those cliché moments there is real honest life and emotion, which is never ever the same. You could argue that any picture of the ocean is cliché. And a whole lot of them are but it’s not because they show the ocean, it’s because they aren’t saying anything other than ocean. There’s a select few pictures of the ocean that wind up saying a lot more than that, are able to communicate emotion, ideas, states of mind, etc.”

“I agree that in general it’s all about how you take it, even if there are a few that will look cliché or 80′s no matter how hard you try! I get a shot of the rings at every wedding, but I do my best to find something unique and different every time – not the hands over the bouquet or even the rings in the bride’s flowers unless they specifically request that, of course. I do have to constantly remind myself that I may have seen a million weddings but this is their only one (hopefully) and it’s all new to them. Same thing when I get sick of a popular engagement session location. Just try to look at it a different way and incorporate their personalities.”

I know I can speak for the rest when I say it’s ultimately the bride and grooms decision whether It’s cliché or not. If the bride wants a specific shot I know I will shoot it for her. We all try to do our best to be creative and original because originality is one major way to set ourselves apart from the sea of photographers out there, but I will happily sacrifice my constant need to be original to make a person happy. That’s the bottom line.

Written by Ashton Boni