Wedding couples often ask this question. They tell me they are horrible actors and therefore would make terrible models. Photographers like asking this question because they often get trapped in that awkwardness of not knowing what to say or do such that their art direction is understood. So…
How do you actually direct wedding couples?
Felix & Joyce, Hong Kong, 2017
My Couples Direct Themselves
“They create their own story in a way they know best”
My way of doing it – I don’t direct my wedding couples. Yes, I simply don’t or rather I try my utmost best not to. As a matter of fact, my wedding couple direct themselves. Even if I do (direct), it’s only to get help them get pass that initial awkwardness. What happens after that as they always say is letting nature take its course. They create their own story in a way they know best. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re horrible actors because you’re not acting. It’s just self-expression.
Mint & Noelle, Singapore, 2017
“As a photographer, you just need the decency and instinct to capture that unique story the best you can”
As a photographer, you just need the decency and instinct to capture that unique story the best you can. I’ve always maintained the position that as a photographer, you’re merely an “observer” & “hunter”. That has always been my approach!
The Unscripted Way
“The simple rule is that there’s no script”
Anything too inflexible & rigid isn’t my way of doing things. It always starts of with an idea, an inspiration perhaps, but mostly I follow my intuition and instinct. I like to follow something I call the Unscripted Way. The simple rule is that there’s no script. To me, that’s the best kind of shoot – unique, unexpected and you never know when a surprise springs on you.
Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love. This is perhaps one of the most referenced film for Pre Wedding shoots. For this shoot, Yang Kang & Jessica literally got into the mood of love. During the shoot, they became Chan Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung).
A 100% Double-Exposure Experiment purely in Analogue Film. Every now and then, I get wedding couples who would dare it all. This series isn’t one of composite images but double exposure done in the true blue traditional sense – you hit the shutter twice (or more) on the same frame and pray it turns out the way you think it would. Is this a gamble? Hell ya!
The idea – a night shoot at the precinct of Tiong Bahru. The way we did it – we gave ourselves just an hour and all done in single takes. So, it was a very fluid and quick shoot relying purely on Deon & Sheila’s chemistry as a couple and my instincts as a photographer.
Would The Unscripted Way Work For Me?
Do you hate keeping still in front of the camera and doing awkward poses that’s totally not you? Do you have an appetite for something more unexpected? Do you like expressing your own story in a way you can appreciate? If your answer is YES to any of the questions, then the Unscripted Way might just be the thing for you.