Tumbling waters wedding photograph of bride and groom on bridge in wollongong

How to pose hands

3 APRIL 2017 – Learn – by Lucas Kraus

When posing couples, either for a wedding or an engagement shoot, one of the most important things to make sure hands are not idle. When hands and arms are hanging down and serving no purpose, it can totally change the feeling of the photograph. In this article, we will discuss some of the positions you can have couples hands and arms.

On his chest

This pose is especially important for engagement shoots, as the female subject will not be holding her wedding dress of bouquet. Simply ask the couple to cuddle up. Naturally they will put their arms around each other. This is not ideal as it looks like they are reaching around and may give the impression that they are larger than they really are.

Instead, ask the female subject to place her hand on his chest and for the male subject to put his hand in his pocket. It is important that his hand is in his pants pocket and not his jacket pocket. Sometimes, the males pants will be too tight, and when they place their entire hand in there it looks stuffed and he may look uncomfortable. In this situation, I simply ask him to put his thumb in there, giving a more relaxed pose.

gold coast wedding photographer

Holding dress or shoes

Getting her to hold her dress or shoes is a great way to give a casual and fun feeling to the photograph. I mainly ask her to do this for walking/action shots. It is also a good alternative to holding the bouquet which can look a little stale.

When holding her dress or shoes, I always get her to relax her arm all the way down as opposed to bending her elbow. This will add to the photographs natural feel and will make her look more comfortable. For him, I either get him to put his hand in his pocket or in this situation, I asked him to take off his jacket and flip it over his shoulder.

Gold Coast Wedidng photographer

Hand on her waist; her hand around him

The photograph below is probably a good example of how posing couples hands plays an impact on the entire photograph. Can you imagine if both their hands were hanging down beside them, lifeless and without purpose?

For this photograph, I simple asked him to put her hand on her waist and for her to wrap her arm around her new husband. An added bonus was getting her to hold the veil at the same time. Doing this gives the photograph a more romantic and intimate feeling. It also gives both the subjects a nice shape to their body, allowing him to look more masculine.

Wedding in Hunter Valley

Her hand around his chin

So this pose can be tricky to pull off and does not work on all couples. He needs to be around 6 inches taller than his bride. If he was any taller, it would look like she was reaching up too much, and if they were the same height it would not be flattering to them both.

Alternatively if the female subject was to hold onto her bouquet and look over her shoulder at her husband this would also work. This is a great pose that looks great if done correctly and gives both subjects a nice shape to their body.

bride and groom on staircase at Gardens on Forest


Being able to pose hands correctly can take time and experience to master. You may feel a little silly asking clients to place their hands on their partners chest or chin, but this is one of things that can either make or break your wedding photograph.

When being photographed, clients expect a certain level of instructions or guidance from their photographer. Knowing what works and what doesn’t work can help you to guide your subjects and give them instructions on what looks good.

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