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I capture the unspoken — the glances, the silences — drawing from New York's pulse and the richness of global cultures. Every wedding is its own intricate narrative. Rooted in theatre and life's everyday rhythms, I document moments both transient and timeless. 

Hey, I'm susan!

The Art of Personal and Emotional Couple Portraits

When you look back on your wedding day, the photographs will stand as timeless reminders of your love and connection.  Capturing the true essence of your relationship in these portraits requires more than just a camera; it demands an understanding of your unique story and the ability to translate that story into stunning visual memories. This blog delves into the art of personal and emotional couple portraits, ensuring that each picture is as heartfelt as the bond you share.

colorado destination wedding dramatic portrait with fire

Understanding the Couple’s Story

The journey to creating meaningful portraits begins long before the wedding day. For me as a wedding photographer, connecting with the couple is key. It’s about listening to their stories, understanding their dynamics, and recognizing the nuances of their relationship. These meetings set the foundation for photographs that resonate with personal significance.

Whether I get to know you via zoom, phone calls, an engagement session, or even over a shared meal, understanding who you are helps me understand how better to document you as both an individual and as part of a couple.

bride and groom in chinatown vintage cab nyc wedding

Choosing the Right Setting

The backdrop of a couple’s portrait significantly influences its mood. Whether it’s the cozy café where you first met, the serene park where you shared heartfelt conversations or the bustling city street where you realized you were meant to be, each location tells a part of your story. Choosing a setting that holds sentimental value adds layers of depth to your portraits.

I love consulting with clients to determine the best places to take their portraits.  Do you want to do all of your portraits at your venue?  Do you have favorite locations there?  Would you like a list of recommended spots I’ve photographed?  Do we want to leave the venue and go to a local park, landmark, or special location for you?  Having these discussions with me (and your planner) makes putting together your timeline easier, and makes your portrait session even more special for both of you.

bridal portrait st thomas destination wedding

Timing Is Everything

Lighting can dramatically alter the mood of a photograph. The soft, golden hues of sunrise or sunset wrap around couples, creating a romantic and ethereal atmosphere. Midday sun can be harsh but beautiful.  If your wedding is in the winter months and the sun is setting early in the day, nighttime is a wonderful time for intimate images.

If you have a specific time of day or look to your images that you are interested in, I always want to know.  This can help me (and/or your planner) craft a timeline to make sure your portrait session is when you’d like it to be.

wedding day portrait couple under arches bethesda terrace central park

Guiding the Couple

A significant aspect of capturing emotional portraits is making the couple feel at ease. It’s about creating an environment where they can be themselves. While some guidance on poses is necessary, the magic often lies in the candid moments of laughter, tears, and tender glances.

two brides in silhouette with veils flying in the wind

I’d say about 90% of my clients express worry, especially when it comes to the portrait part of the wedding day. I hear things like we have no idea how to pose for photos or no but seriously, we take awful photos together.  Trust me, I get it, the photos that I have of my partner and I (largely on our phones) aren’t maybe the most flattering.  But there is a huge difference between selfies and being photographed professionally.

I promise to make this part of the day feel calm and easy.  Posing shouldn’t feel like work, nor should it feel unnatural in any way.  I want you to remember this part of the day as the time that you two got to be alone together, and the photos should reflect the way you felt.

two grooms della terra chateau colorado destination wedding

The Power of Storytelling Through Details

Emotional storytelling extends to the finer details. A close-up of intertwined hands showcasing the wedding bands, a gentle touch, or a shared look can speak volumes about a couple’s bond.

These details, though seemingly small, contribute significantly to the narrative of your relationship.

bride and groom together at the national arts club nyc wedding

Embracing Emotions

Encouraging couples to express their emotions openly leads to powerful and moving portraits. It’s about capturing the tears of joy, the bursts of laughter, and the quiet moments of introspection. These are the images that resonate with raw emotion and tell the story of your love in its truest form.

Please don’t feel like you have to hold back with me!  If you cry, I’ll probably cry, too.  If you want to laugh, please laugh!  The portraits should accurately reflect you, tears and laughter and all.

first look with motion blur hotel dupot grand staircase


Your wedding portraits should be as unique and heartfelt as your love story. By focusing on personal and emotional elements, your photographs will not only capture the beauty of your special day but also the essence of your journey together.


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