Often times our couples will request pictures of them dancing at San Francisco City Hall. This is especially true of our brides and grooms who actually do a lot of ball room dancing in their personal lives. In other cases, we will be the ones to suggest our couple go into a dancing type of pose. As with any action shot, the challenge of capturing a great image is to make sure the final result portrays movement. If you are reading this and thinking this should be easy, just realize that "stop action" shots should show movement but may not look natural. Sometimes an action will make it look like the subjects are moving, but other times it just looks like the couple is frozen in place. The key to showing movement in a still photo is to catch moments where something in the frame is out of place. For example, when you spin in a wedding dress, the train comes out and moves in the air. Catch that moment and you have a winning photo. The viewer of the image can tell that something is happening because the dress is not hanging down naturally. Hair or veils flying around will also portray this type of movement in a still photo. The key thing to look for before taking the picture is anything flying around that wouldn't normally be moving in a static image. Another way to explain this is that photos such as this should contain certain elements that defy gravity. A horizontal piece of hair is obvious the result of movement as one example. This is the key to succesful dynamic posing. It is not enough to take pictures of the couple moving, it has to show in the wedding picture.
The photo below is one of those rare city hall weddings where the couple have a complete wedding party. This is tough to pull off unless you are doing a reserved wedding. It should also be pointed out that this image was captured before San Francisco city hall started to enforce the 6-guest limit. As you can see, there are more than 6 people in the photo! Wedding photography at San Francisco city hall always presents new challenges, but most are fun! It is not too often that you will see this big a wedding party at city hall!
Full wedding party with multiple guests. No longer allowed at City Hall unless reserved.