We recently hosted Alan Law in the first of our monthly series of live webinar workshops (find out more and watch the playback here); Alan is known for capturing the non-contrived, and never deviating from that approach. For our webinar workshops you can submit your Q&A questions prior to day to ensure they get answered; a question that frequently arose was how he addresses the potential conflict between his ‘no pose’ approach and delivering ‘expected’ portraits of the couple, an element of the day which is by nature contrived.
Alan’s answer was two-part, and for the purpose of this blog post has been heavily abridged to some of the key take-always. The first part, and it’s a big one, is managing expectations. If Alan’s portfolio was brimming with photo’s of couples looking directly into lens, hanging off one another in a beautifully orchestrated tangle of limbs (of which there is a big market for) then couples would book Alan with an expectation of that.
Instead Alan’s portfolio is focusing on the natural interactions between his couples. Show the work you wish to receive more of and it will come. It may be semantics, but Alan only ever refers to what we know as ‘portraits’ as ‘couple time’ in his marketing material “portraits instills a very posed and still-life connotation, so I try not to use that word”.
The second part of Alan’s answer is the implementation. During ‘couple time’, and unlike the other aspects of the day, Alan will ask the couple to stand in a certain vicinity or with a certain backdrop and facing one another, and let them know to not expect any further direction from him, and from that point onwards he just wants to give them the space to interact naturally for him to observe and capture. “15 minutes max, be yourself and don’t have a fake professionalism – put the couple at ease”
You can watch an extract of Alan’s Webinar Playback below…