Posing You is your Photographer’s Job!
Wedding posing is something that can be anxiety-inducing for bride and grooms to be and I completely understand why. My guess is that you are not a model, you might never have hired a professional photographer before and you possibly have never had any education or training on how to pose. If my presumptions are correct, you are likely over-thinking or stressing out about how you are going to pose on your big day.
Here is where your wedding photographer will be able to help you out, and this is one of the reasons I recommend hiring a seasoned and experienced one. One of the greatest skills that a wedding photographer has is knowing how to pose couples, individuals and groups of people in ways that look natural and flattering, and in a manner that utilises the available light in a complimentary way. If you are nervous or anxious about knowing how to pose for your wedding day, the good news is you don’t need to be. If you have hired an experienced photographer, they will be the expert here, and if you follow along with their instructions and cues, you will nail your posing without having to think much about it.
The Pep Talk
At the start of every portrait session, I give my couples a little pep talk. I basically say the following points:
- You don’t have to always look at the camera. In fact, it’s better if you look at each other most of the time and make this a special time to connect and be together in the moment.
- Maintain multiple points of contact – The more ‘touch’ points you have with each other, the better. Find as many ways to touch, hold, embrace each other as possible.
- Be close. Stay close to each other and don’t be afraid to be intimate.
- These photos are of you both. Make this session a time to focus on each other and be yourselves.
Poses Created by Giving Action Prompts
When starting off a photography session with couples, I find the best way is to start candid and fun. So walking together, dancing together, delivering prompts that involve an action is a great way to break the ice and make things feel fun, rather than stiff and awkward. There are a great amount of prompts that work for this. Here are some example that I like to use for my couples:
- Hold hands and walk towards the photographer
- Dance and twirl each other.
- Surprise one another from behind (with a bear hug, or a pinched bottom… be creative)
- Hold hands and run towards the photographer
- Kiss and dip
For this type of posing, you don’t really have to even think. It’s much better if you just go with the moments and enjoy yourselves. That way, the photos will capture the laughs, the cute looks you give each other and the fun you are having together.
More Intimate Poses with Some Direction
Once the ice has been broken, you will start to realise that this isn’t so bad, it’s actually fun and you are enjoying the session. At this point I like to start to move towards getting some more intimate wedding poses. These poses mean you have to get cosy and snug. And I recommend during these moments that you stay connected with each other and enjoy being close.
As the photographer, I like to work through a series of poses that places you side by side and then move you closer until you are chest to chest with each other. I never expect couples to know anything about what to do. But I will often give a brief instruction, see how you come together and then correct anything that isn’t working or looking right for the photos. Once in a pose, I will make small and subtle changes to create different looks.
Some couples come together for these poses and need very little direction, but almost everyone is going to need some expert advice to take the pose from good, to amazing! So again, this is the role of the photographer, to lift the look and make you both look amazing.
What Should I Do With My Hands?
This is such a common question. No-one really knows where to put their hands. For men, hands or thumbs in pockets works well. But the best answer, is to hold your partner. Hold their hand, place your arm around them, touch their face, their butt, whatever is natural. Touching and holding each other takes away the awkwardness of what to do with your hands and also makes look more connected in the photos – a win-win!
For the ladies, there is one thing I will say to not do, and that is press your arms against your body as this can create an unflattering look. There are a number of really beautiful and feminine ways you can use your hands to enhance the portraits. Use actions like adjusting your hair, or swishing your dress to create natural looking poses. Use your arms to frame your face, or showoff your curves by placing your hands on your hips. Place your hand on your other arm if you have one hand free and you don’t know where to go with it. And again, place your hands on your partner, hold their arm, lay your hand on their chest or their back.
Hands are probably the trickiest thing for couples to know what to do with. Again, this is the responsibility of the photographer to give you directions that will complement your look. So if you are feeling like your hands are awkward, just ask your photographer to help you out and they will.
Seated & Lying Down Poses
Sitting and lying down are great wedding posing additions that add variety to the gallery so that not all the photos look the same. That ultimately is the goal, to have photos that are each different to the rest. No-one wants a gallery of 100 pictures, all of the same pose and background. So sitting down, lying down, leaning on a wall, etc. are great ways to create this variation and achieve a different look.
I love to utilise items in the environment such as boulders or walls, sand dunes, seats, etc… to create different looks. What I recommend is much the same as above. Stay close and tight. Keep your heads close together, make multiple points of connection and be in the moment with each other. Make sure you are comfortable. The rest is up to your photographer who should help you to get into a nice position. Then they can correct anything that needs to be tweaked to improve the photo.
Some Wedding Posing Tips and Tricks
I would like to give you a few extra pointers that will make a big difference to your photos and just elevate them that little bit further.
- Empty your pockets! Phones, keys, whatever else. Take it out! I grab the items from my client’s pockets and keep them in my camera bag for the duration of portrait sessions normally.
- Shift your weight to one foot. This in turn looks more natural and flattering, especially for women.
- Be authentic – Try to be yourselves. You are wanting photos that capture the essence of your love, so who you are and that will be what is captured.
- Get close – Did I mention this enough times above? Get snug, stay tight, hold each other, touch each other.
- Kiss with your teeth – This is a funny concept. But when you kiss, don’t smush your faces together too tightly. Try to kiss with the edges of your lips, or try to kiss with your teeth.
- Don’t always look at the camera. As I mentioned above, looking at each other will help portray your connection in the photos, and it helps you to feel more natural.
- Encourage each other to laugh. Crack some jokes or tease each other. Fake laughs will do the job, but authentic laughs that are actually real will win the day!
- Include your couple quirks! If there are any funny quirks, hand gestures, cuddles, etc.. that you have as a couple, tell your photographer and get these included. This is your personalities and what makes your bond unique.
Wedding Posing – Final Thoughts:
My biggest recommendation is to trust your photographer and follow their direction and advice. As I mentioned, they are the expert and they have the wedding posing knowledge and skills to capture you in the best way. Don’t feel like you need to know anything about posing when going into the session.
Be yourselves, have fun. Tell your photographer if you have any insecurities. Tell them what you want out of your photos and if there is anything specifically that you want to have captured. And if at any point, something feels too out of your comfort zone, or it’s just ‘not you’ communicate this to your photographer and they can adjust the session to suit you. The main goal is to deliver you photos that you love, that speak of who you are and that you will be proud to share and treasure for the rest of your lives.
If you would like extra guidance for posing on your wedding day, there is an amazing Ap called Unscripted that is full of posing ideas and prompts to help you get amazing photos.
If you would like to take a look through my wedding and engagement galleries to see more posing inspiration, CLICK HERE.