Wedding Photography Posing
20 DEC 16 – Learn – by Lucas Kraus
Wedding photography posing is one of the most difficult aspects of photographing weddings is being able to pose subjects correctly. It has taken me years to learn the various techniques that I have today, and to be honest I am still learning. I personally believe that once you tell yourself there is nothing more to learn in photography, then you will stop pushing your boundaries and therefore stop growing as a photographer. Posing is defiantly one of the aspects of wedding photography that takes continued practice in order to perfect. Here are some of the poses that I have developed as a Brisbane wedding photographer.
Let’s talk about posing for wedding photography. Often at times I am told at wedding photography consultations that the couple don’t like posed shots and only want “natural” wedding photographs. This creates a little bit of a problem for wedding photographers. In fact, one of the most skilful things about being a wedding photographer is posing couples in a way that makes them look their best and creates an aesthetically pleasing photograph.
If a wedding photographer documented the day from a distance, you more than likely wouldn’t get wedding photo’s that you see below.
Everyone is different. Everyone has different body shapes. My job as a wedding photographer is to highlight your best features, make you look great and to do it in a way that feels natural. During your location photos, I will roughly set you up in a pose that is comfortable. I will then ask the bride and groom to have a bit of fun, do a bit of a snuggle or simple for the groom to give the bride a kiss on the cheek. I very much forgo the “cliché” poses unless requested by the bride and groom. These poses I count as dips, jumping in the air, groom holding brides dress etc.
Looking at camera
I always start off with this pose. It is a nice and simple pose that can act as a foundation into other, more creative poses. This pose is also one of the bread and butter poses that is usually expected from a wedding photographer and is usually the first to be printed off in their album and put on the mantle piece or given to family members. It is very simple to direct. All you need to do is ask the subjects to cuddle up and look at the camera. At a wedding, the bride will be holding a bouquet and I ask the bride to simply hold the bouquet over her stomach, as this will give her a nice bend in the elbow.
The photo below is actually an engagement shoot at a Brisbane location, hence why there is no bouquet. It is important to have the subjects hands doing something. It is common from inexperienced wedding photographers to have subjects arms and hands hanging down beside them which is never good. In this situation, I asked the female subject to put her left hand up on her partners chest and for the male to put his thumb in his pocket, which also gives him a curve in the arm and a more masculine look.
I always get the female to simply bring her left foot forward which will also give her a more curvy around the hips and making her look slimmer. If the bride is in a wedding dress that comes out from the hips then I do not worry about doing this, however in tight fitting wedding dress and engagement shoots I always make sure to do this. I also make sure that the subjects are not looking at the camera directly i.e. symmetrical and will get them to turn their heads in a little bit and look at the camera with just their eyes.
Looking at each other
Again, this is an extremely simple pose that builds on from the last. Looking at each other creates more chemistry between the subjects and allows for a more intimate wedding photograph. The most important thing for me is to not have their bodies facing each other directly, but having them turn out towards me more and turning their heads to look at each other. When you have two bodies facing each other directly, it looks a bit flat and 2 dimensional.
Having their bodies facing up like a V allows more detail to be seen on the dress, suit and creates a more aesthetically pleasing photograph. Like the original pose, I always get the female to bring her left foot forward and bend her knee as this will create more curves in the body which is always best when photographing a female subject. It is also important to fan out the brides wedding dress if possible.
Kissing on cheek
This is where wedding photography posing gets a little more complicated, however if done properly can yield some great results. I am not a huge fan of kissing (on the lips) as I believe its a bit cliché, couples feel awkward kissing in front of someone and can muck up the brides makeup. Instead I find a kissing on the cheek to be much more romantic. This again can be build on from the last pose. The trick to this pose is to have the bride looking down at her shoulder and having her free hand doing something. In the photo below I simply had her hand up on her partners arm and had her hold her veil at the same time.
If the groom is much taller than the bride, this shot will not work as the groom will need to bend to much. Instead, I will have him kiss her temple which also creates the same feel. When brides a kissed on the cheek, usually the natural reaction is to smile, if not I will ask the bride to give a big smile and close her eyes. Again, have their bodies faced like a V and have the groom place both his hands on the brides hips. This is perhaps one of my favourite poses for wedding photography, but needs to be implemented correctly for it to work.
Bride looking at camera over her shoulder
This is a great pose that is really simple to setup. All I do is ask the couple to turn around, hold hands and for the bride to look over her shoulder at the camera and give me a big smile. It is important to get the bride to turn her entire shoulder towards the camera, otherwise she will be turning her neck to far which will look a bit strange.
I have the groom step away from the bride to create some space and turn into his partner and look at her lovingly. This is also a great way to show off the back of the brides wedding dress. This pose can easily form the foundation for other poses, such as walking away from the camera or the bride looking at him.
Him behind her, looking at each other
This pose is a little more tricky. When photographing weddings in Brisbane, I always try to implement this pose as it creates a beautiful shape to both subjects. It gives the bride a lovely S curve and allows the groom to look masculine. I simply ask him to stand behind the bride and place both hands on her hips.
I will get the bride to place her inside arm up around his chin and for them to look at each other lovingly. If the bride has her bouquet with her at this point I will ask her to have it hanging down by her side, if not I will get her to place her hand on his hand. Again, bringing the inside leg forward for the bride allows her body to have a nice curvy S shape to her body.
The walking shot
One of my favourites for wedding photography posing is the walking shot. It allows for big smiles, movement and gives the photo a nice, natural feel. I get the bride and groom to place their arms around each others waste and to simply walk towards the camera, looking at each other with big smiles. This is when I might take 10+ shots just to ensure that the shot is in focus and that both the bride and the groom have flattering looks.
For the groom, I ask him to put his other hand in his pocket, and for the bride to either hold her bouquet, dress or veil. I always get bride and the groom to walk slowly as it will be easier for my camera to track focus in AI Servo. This poses allows for a variety of different compositions. It looks great either as as portrait, tight landscape shot and looks good either with a long or wide lens.
These are just some of the wedding photography posing I implement at a wedding. I plan to do another chapter which outlines some of the more complicated wedding photography posing and how they can be orchestrated at a wedding. If you are looking for a Brisbane wedding photographer, please visit our Contact Page. If you are a wedding photographer and would like to contact me directly about posing, please feel free to email me at [email protected] You can also see more information on tips for effective wedding posing here.