A wedding portrait is a young couple’s first image as a new family. It’s a memory that lasts a lifetime.
Wedding poses can make or break the couple’s first portraits. A great pose should flatter each individual while showing the connection between them. But how do you create great wedding photography poses in the limited time available during a wedding?
Here are 17 wedding pose ideas and several essential posing tips to get you started.
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How to Master Natural Wedding Posing
Posing is an art form. It takes practice to master. It also requires knowledge of a few fundamentals. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to couple pose ideas. Before you move into wedding photography, study posing basics for couples, men, and women first.
Master How to Pose With Individuals
Unlike working with individuals, posing a couple is about showcasing their effortless connection. It’s impossible to achieve that if you have never photographed individuals. So, start small. Work with one person. When you’re confident, start working with couples.
Respect How the Couple Interacts
Couples don’t need to recreate the passionate kiss of a romance movie to showcase an intimate connection. Follow the couple’s lead. Be observant of the body language. Make a note about what stands out in their candid interactions. Never force poses on a couple. That just results in awkward images. Encourage them to follow their instincts.
Create a Friendly Rapport
For a good shoot, you need to have the right energy. You can do this by staying relaxed and being receptive to the couple. If you can, meet the couple before the shoot and get an idea of how they imagine the wedding shoot to play out.
Photograph an Engagement Session for Practice
If possible, photograph an engagement session before diving into weddings. It is an excellent opportunity to shoot couples without the time pressure of the wedding. You need very similar posing ideas for an engagement session as you do for the wedding.
Get Inspiration From Our 17 Best Wedding Poses
One basic pose doesn’t mean one image. Adjusting the couple’s hands, expression, and where the couple is looking can create multiple shots and add variety to the wedding photo album.
The same posture can also appear very different by adjusting your composition. This includes effective cropping, great angles or even the correct lens.
In this way, 17 poses can become dozens of different shots. Every detail matters when it’s about the big day!
1. Standing Side-by-Side
Many couples start with standing next to each other for an image. Create a physical connection between them. Ask the couple to gaze at each other. Make them hold hands. Perhaps even wrap an arm around each other, or playfully touch each other’s cheek.
These are some ways to warm them up and tweak a basic pose into more creative ones.
2. Facing Each Other
This set up has the couple facing each other. It often works well and shows the connection between them. Direct the couple to stand closer together or lean in towards each other.
The couple can look at each other or at the camera. Encourage them to hold hands or caress the face. If they want instead to hold the waist or plant a forehead kiss, let them. Follow the couple’s lead.
3. Locking Arms as They Face Each Other
This is also a classic pose. It works best with the couple’s arms looped together. Ask them to look at each other or kiss.
This idea is simple but it’s good for adding variety or perhaps showing the details at the back of a bride’s dress.
4. One Spouse Standing Behind the Other
The pose where your clients are standing behind each other can also be significantly varied. They can give kisses on the cheeks, or place their hands on each other.
If the couple is playful enough, they make take the chance to whisper into each others’ ears. So be ready to take sweet and funny candid shots!
Another variation of having the bride or groom behind the other is a reverse hug. I like to have the bride stand behind the groom. To mix things up, I ask either the bride to stand on higher ground, or the groom sit down so that the bride is taller.
Then I’ll ask the bride to wrap her arms around her new husband in a hug. This posture is endearing and always works, no matter who gets the hug!
5. Holding Hands
An easy classic, there are many different ways to create this pose. If the couple is shy about posing, ask them to simply hold hands and walk with each other while ignoring the camera. This can be an excellent ice-breaker. The natural posture relaxes them and gets them into the mood for the wedding photoshoot.
Walking side-by-side is the most common version of the pose. But you can also have the bride or the groom walk a few steps ahead, leading the other person.
After I shoot a portrait of the couple walking towards me, I often ask them to turn back and shoot the same thing from behind. The bridal dress often has interesting details on the back. And this is an easy way to showcase this.
Another variation of this pose is simply a closeup. You can express the love the couples share in your photographs by showing details.
6. Seated Couple
Seated poses can look more comfortable and less staged. Make sure to choose a clean and dry spot for these poses.
Make sure to bring the bride has something to sit on because every little grain will be visible on the white dress.
The couple can sit side by side, or the groom can kneel behind the bride. Looking at each other enhances their closeness as well.
You can add a great variety to the seated poses. Ask the couple to sit back-to-back and lean on each other.
Also, you can use this pose to take photos before the first look. Cover the eyes of the bride and the groom, help them to sit down, and take a few peaceful images. Then ask them to look at each other and capture their reactions too.
7. Focus on the Ring
Have the couple place their hands (with the rings!) side-by-side. Place the focal point on the rings and use a shallow depth of field to blur the bride and groom into the background.
8. Kiss on the Hand
A kiss on the hand is a beautiful and intimate gesture, a sign of love. Body language tells a lot about a couple, and you definitely want to visualise their closeness.
Include close-ups of this pose in your wedding photography. It’s also a great opportunity to show the rings!
9. A Kiss While Standing on a Bench
This one is not a typical wedding pose. But helping people strike this pose is a lot of fun!
Find a bench or anything the groom or the bride can stand on. Ask them to kiss each other and freeze a fun memory from their wedding day.
10. Running Together
Running symbolises freedom. Ask the couple to walk, talk or simply start running. Keep in mind that the bride might need a little help with running, due to the bridal dress.
You don’t have to be at the beach. Any natural setting works well.
It’s not a typical wedding pose as it’s more candid and you can’t tell in advance how it will play out. But you’ll notice how this activity is going to perk the whole photoshoot up.
11. The Lifting-Up Pose
Ask the groom to lift up the bride. It’s an incredibly fun wedding pose and impossible not to laugh through!
Capture the whole process, and make sure to take candid photos. Encourage the groom to try different ways of holding the bride.
When they are comfortable and stable, you can ask the couple to kiss each other. It works great even with their eyes closed.
These images are going to symbolise their stability and how they can rely on each other.
12. Wedding Pose With the Veil
This is a classic pose that’s favourite with many wedding photographers. It’s even part of my own wedding album from nearly ten years ago.
A veil is a fun tool for adding diversity and interest to wedding poses. Pull a long veil close to the lens to create unique, intentional blur.
Ask the groom to get under the veil. It’s the bride’s accessory but the groom can interact with it too. This way, you can create fun and dynamic images.
13. Use the Wedding Dress as a Frame
Spreading the skirt of the wedding dress on the floor can be used in several wedding poses where the brides are sitting.
If you are shooting from above, you can use the dress to fill the frame. It’s going to highlight the couple and eliminate distracting elements.
14. Try Flat-Lays
As a wedding photographer, you are sure to have some really creative ideas in stock.
If you have the chance to shoot from higher ground, ask the couple to lay on the ground. Again, make sure to have a blanket for this wedding pose as you wouldn’t want to ruin the dress.
It can be a creative addition to your wedding photography repertoire. You can make it look like the pair is jumping or floating.
15. The Dip Kiss
A favourite pose of mine! In fact, my husband insisted on doing several of these at our wedding. A dip kiss is a fun wedding pose.
Before the kiss, instruct the groom on how to hold his bride. I find leaning that a 90-degree angle from the camera creates the best view of this movie-like kiss.
16. A Stolen Kiss in the Getaway Car
Poses should be inspired both by the couple and the settings. For couples with a unique getaway vehicle, photograph the two of them sitting in the car.
The car allows you to bring intimacy into your photographs and you get to use the rear-view mirror to capture a quick kiss!
17. The “We Won!” Wedding Pose
Wedding photography isn’t always about creating elegant and intimate images. So here is another energetic and fun wedding pose. Show how happy the couple is about celebrating their love and their wedding.
It’s better if it comes naturally but you can facilitate it with fun questions that get them excited. Don’t force it because it would look artificial, but if you see that they feel like they ‘won’ each other, use this idea!
There are a few essentials to capturing a complete wedding album.
The ideal wedding photography shoot involves in-depth knowledge of posing and showcasing the connection between the couple. Of course, the setting of the wedding will provide plenty of inspiration too.
While you may have some ideas ready, why not surprise the couple with ideas from our list of beautiful wedding poses? After all, it’s the celebration of a lifetime!
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