Knowing, how the pose your wedding couple, especially when you just starting out in wedding photography, can be a little intimidating. It is especially hard to add real feelings to your wedding pictures. Wedding photos are worth of something if your viewer feels something. Images without real feelings are insignificant. Also, it is very helpful for wedding couples, brides and grooms to have a feel what a photo session really looks or feels like. Below, I want to share with you how I shoot and what my favorite wedding poses I use.
First of all, I love to make my bridal photo sessions, engagement sessions carefree, fun and relaxed. I love to keep the feel of it this way otherwise my bride and groom are going to be really stiff and really nervous. I don’t want them to be nervous when I’m shooting their wedding photos. I want my couples to be relaxed. I ultimately want them just to forget that I’m even there with them and I want them to focus on themselves.
Facing forward pose.
One of my favorite poses is the “facing forward pose”. The pose looks like this: bride and groom standing little bit farther apart from each other, holding hands in the middle. This one is very useful at the beginning of you photo session because the bride and groom typically shy at the beginning. At the opening you want them to loosen up a little bit and get used to be in front of the camera. In addition, it’s not a hard pose to do. This pose is a good base for others, from this pose you can go a lot of different variations.
After taking a few shots, I usually ask them to turn towards each other. And that’s always great because they get to look at each other. All of a sudden, they feel more comfortable. They’re smiling, they’re laughing and having fun. This is what I want to happen. I keep shooting without warning them. This is when you can start getting some awesome candid photos. I want them to forget me. After that I make them stand a few feet or a meter apart from each other while kissing in the middle. This one makes for a nice romantic shot with no effort.
This is the phase when I start introducing elements into the photos. Wedding venues, parks, gardens and general landscapes are great supplements at your location. Couples choose a wedding venue most of the time because of its look and feel. They pay extra for its features so it is a great idea to incorporate the building, landscaping, etc into your photos. Building entrances, large objects and landscapes create a nice symmetry with my bride and groom in the middle. Makes sure you take the photos so they stand out from the backdrop. I personally a very logical person, so I like having the symmetry of the couple standing in the middle of their environment facing each other, holding hands or standing separated. One thing I always pay attention is to always create a connection between the couple. Touching, holding hands or just facing each other slightly. They should always look they belong together.
At one point I always ask the groom to twirl the bride. He grabs her arm and turns her around. I highly recommend this when the bride has a light dress and she is comfortable in her high heel shoes. This emphasis the beauty of her wedding dress and shows her body shape. The dress will flow around. In addition to this, this pose also makes my brides and grooms to focus on each other and they forget that I am there. They feel a little bit awkward at the beginning, a little bit funny. They usually will mess it up the first time for sure. That is fine. You want that. I am not better than them, either. By the way, as a wedding photographer, have you ever tried to do the poses you ask your wedding couples to do at their weddings? You may be surprised how many of them you can do flawlessly. You make your couples to do the twirling pose for a few times to catch great moments and emotions . Also, they loosen up further more. They laugh a lot. You capture it. This way you get those nice, true emotions. I usually don’t just stop when they’re twirling, but as well keep shooting afterwards because a lot of times the reactions after the pose can often be the best.
I want my wedding couples to have fun. I generally love having very natural candid wedding photos. Furthermore, I want there to be excitement. I don’t want everything to be super posed, really stoic and just dead, I want more movement. I mostly, ask my bride and groom to hold hands, walk towards me. But while they’re walking towards me, I always ask them to look at each other, talk to each other or kiss each other. I’ll continue to keep focusing as they’re moving towards me. They start walking towards me at a regular pace and then you get those nice, relaxed, candid shots of them just smiling. They are laughing together, just having a good time. Sometimes, I introduce more excitement. I ask them to run towards me. Those make the best photos.
Look back photo.
You can do a nice variation of the walking shot where you had them walking forwards past you. You can add a real feel to the shots. So you ask the couple to walk past you. Then after few seconds, the bride only looks back and looks into my camera. It’s really nice because it gives that kind of can a little sneak peek for the viewer. Ask her to smile when she’s doing that. You get really nice wedding photos.
You are going to ask the bride and groom to face each other, get really close to each other and just wrap their arms around each other. Often you can have the bride wrap her arms around the groom’s neck and hold the bouquet behind. Here you really want them to get really close to each other, maybe even put the their heads together. I usually ask them to close their eyes. Not al the time, but closed eyes make the photos more intimate and dreamy. After I take a few shots I try to move back to make some wider photos to include the foreground or background. Once I’ve got those shots, then I go to the side and I take a shot of the bride and her face and her reaction. And then I take a shot the other side of the groom and his face and his reaction. This creates more variations.
Holding him from behind.
The groom faces sideways and then you’re going to have the bride come from behind and just wrap her arms around him Always a nice, safe, intimate feeling for the bride. It’s really nice, intimate shot. And it’s really comfortable for the bride and groom just to be close to each other.
Lean on shoulder pose.
I have the groom face totally sideways. Often I have him looking 45 degrees into the distance somewhere, and then I have the bride just come and put her arms around the groom’s arm and then she’s got to lean her head on his shoulder and just look at me. You get really nice, soft, intimate photos of the bride at this moment, just like she’s just relaxing and just experiencing the love from her groom by leaning on her.
Leaning on the shoulder.
You’re going to have the groom standing behind the bride and you’re going to ask him to hold hands of the bride and as well you’re going to drop the arms around her. Make sure the groom’s head is not blocked by the bride’s head. It helps if the groom much taller then the bride. If your groom stands to the side a little bit, you can see both of their faces from there. You can ask the groom then to whisper something romantic in your ear, make her laugh. These are great wedding photo opportunities.
Lifting up the bride.
This can be a great pose, but also it can be disastrous, as well. First you always evaluate the situation and make sure that the groom is able to pick up the bride. You would not want to embarrass the groom, make him feel weak if he can’t pick his bride up and you definitely don’t want the bride to fall. It happened a few times many years back that my bride really wanted a particular lifting photo but my groom just couldn’t do it because of the past back surgery. The way you do it is to ask the groom to put his arms around her and lift her up. He can spin her around her dress is just going to flow around. They’re going to laugh and feel awkward. That is what you want. They forget you and they really laugh from their hart! So make sure that you keep shooting after he puts down the bride. You shoot while they’re spinning but you don’t stop after they stop. Get bigger cards for you camera! You will thank me!
Very classic pose. Not everybody likes it but probably the most timeless wedding photography pose. You are going to have the groom hold the bride from one side slightly behind her and he’s going to just dip her down (and give her a kiss). You can do this at the end of the wedding at the formal exit or at the end of the ceremony when the wedding couple walks back towards you. I am an Indian wedding photographer. I would try to avoid this pose with Indian brides and Pakistani brides. The reason is that their bridal lehenga (wedding dress) can be hard to handle for the perfect dip kiss pose. I would probably try with the Indian reception outfit but not the wedding dress.
I hope you have enjoyed the quick blog post about wedding photography poses. Please, check out my wedding photography portfolio or comment below your favorite pose. I’d love to hear. Feel free to suggest any other poses that I didn’t mention. This way we, wedding photographers, can learn from each other. Have a fantastic week! Happy shooting!