Posing for wedding photos

From a wedding photographer


Posing for wedding photo

from a wedding photographer

How to pose for wedding photos.

The concept of posing may sound nerve-wracking, and we associate it with wedding photos from past generations, you know, the ones with the awkward dip or the intense staring into the eyes of each other.
Back in the days of film photography, posing was essential; couples needed to hold a pose, often awkwardly, for the photographer to get the shot.
Nowadays, we use digital cameras, and photographers take thousands of photos. Posing is nothing more than receiving a little direction and structure from the photographer.

As a wedding photographer, I want shots that aren’t forced and feel natural, so I see myself as the art director of the day. I’ll gauge whether my couple needs more or less guidance throughout the day.

During portrait time on wedding days, we often move between candid and directed scenes. The most important thing to know is, don’t end a natural moment too soon. I tell my couples that if they feel inclined to do something or move a certain way, don’t stop; keep going. Often couples smile and laugh perfectly on their own; they suddenly remember I am there and stop to check that they are doing the right thing. Just keep going! If you don’t look good, I’ll tell you!

A question I get asked a lot is, “where do I put my hands?”. It's easier than people think to keep your hand busy. If you’re not using them, put them away. Hold your partner's hand or arm; with the other hand, you can hold the flowers or the bottom of your dress. Use your hands to enhance the mood, touch your partner's face, run a finger down their arm, hold the flowers and if none of those feels right, stick one in your pocket (if you have them) and use the other to hold your partner's hand.

Usually, what doesn’t work is when people stiffen up, they move their arms more robotically, pulling their arms in tight with their body which for girls can make the arms look less flattering.

Candid photos that capture natural expressions are gold but don’t always happen on their own. Producing gorgeous, natural poses like laughing in front of a beautiful sunset and giggling with each other in the perfect light can seem unattainable for some couples. Still, with a few fun tricks and a little direction, they are much easier than you might think.

Tips for posing naturally

Most awkward feeling photos happen when the couple are acting stiff and unnatural. It can be difficult to pretend there isn’t a camera following your every movement, especially when some photographers say, “just pretend we’re not here”. Recognising when a couple is acting unnaturally, I often engage in some storytelling, distracting the mind and allowing the body to act normally again. I'll ask them about how they met, whether there was an awkward first date, where was the first kiss and who made a move. Those stories in themselves are often quite funny and have the couple laughing.

Aside from that, here are a few things to avoid while snapping.

Close-eyed kissing-
Couples often forget to close their eyes while kissing for whatever reason, perhaps nervousness. Usually, a simple reminder fixes the situation!

Too much kissing-
Sometimes it's hard to keep couples off each other. And fair enough, it’s your wedding day. Keeping kisses quick and clean looks great on camera. Try not to dive straight in; move slow, get close, and tease the kiss before it happens by touching foreheads a little. The subtle movements and gestures before a snog make for a great candid moment, like bringing a hand up to your partner's cheek or neck.

Moving too fast-
Walking photos are the easiest and best way to start a portrait session. But for whatever reason, couples launch into a marc. Slow down, right down. To slow couples down, I often ask one of them to count their steps and whisper a nice compliment on every 3rd step. People then slow down, giving themselves more time to think of something nice to say! Also resulting in smiles and giggles.

Not Telling your Photographer about your Preferences:
Some people have a preferred side or something they are self-conscious about that isn’t always apparent to the photographer. It's best to share these early, so you feel more comfortable, and the photographer can work toward making you feel comfortable.

Wedding Pose Mistakes to avoid

Finishing the Vows-
During the getting ready phase, some of the most beautiful and sentimental moments are the soon-to-be-wed finishing their vows. They're a great way to snap the getting-ready outfit, jewellery, and details whilst this very special moment happens.

Putting Jewellery on-
Capturing the small details of a wedding day helps tie the day's story together. A flat-lay photo of jewellery, shoes and flowers is nice, but capturing those details as you use them creates a stunning image and strong narrative. Also, it helps capture beautiful candid portraits without posing.

Use the Veil-
A veil should never go unnoticed—or unphotographed. Position yourself with the light filtering through the fine material (for glow), and your arms bill it out for extra shape.

First Look-
The wedding day's first look is one of the most important photographs, but couples shouldn’t even think about the photographer. Instead, let the moment unfold while genuinely embracing the emotions (tears and all), knowing the photographer will capture every detail along the way.

Kiss on the temple-
One of the most photogenic kisses is a soft peck on the temples. Photographers commonly ask for at least a handful of these sweet poses during portrait photo sessions.

Twirl the Dress-
Wedding dresses look beautiful from every angle but come to life while twirling. In this pose, the bride twirls around, almost like a ballerina. The final photograph is dazzling and full of movement.

Laughter and Natural Expressions-
Genuine laughter always looks great on camera. Photographers tend to find ways in conversation to draw out these natural smiles and laughter. Just asking for a smile rarely produces the real thing.

The anticipated Shot / Moments in between-
It's all about the build-up. As you get closer and closer to touching lips, an entire story of emotion is played out on your faces. The best wedding photographers are quick on the shutter speed to capture every chapter as it unfolds.

The Follow me-
Holding hands and walking toward a new future together is a metaphor not lost on wedding photographers. These brides replicate the pose from the side, while another iteration has one partner, slightly in front of the other, leading their spouse toward the camera.

Sharing Secrets/ Compliments
What's cuter than a shot of you whispering sweet nothings in each other's ears? While these candid moments are endearing, we've heard plenty of anecdotes of couples following the photographer's instructions and reciting silly sentences on cue.

The Bear Hug
Forgetting all that’s happening around you, a tight, intimate hug makes the world disappear, leaving just you and the one you love in a beautiful embrace.

Dance like no one is watching.
While it may be difficult to forget that there's a photographer in your midst, it's nice to get lost in the moment and relish each other's company. Perhaps you'll find yourself dancing to a silent tune only you know. It's also an excellent chance to practice the first dance.

Here are some Memorable wedding day moments that make for lovely candid moments