A wedding portrait is a young couple’s first image as a new family. It will be a long-lasting memory.
Wedding poses can make or break that couple’s first portraits. A great pose should flatter each individual while showing the connection between them. But how do you create great wedding poses in the limited time available during a wedding?
Here are 14 wedding pose ideas and several essential posing tips to get you started.
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Essentials For Creating Great Wedding Poses
Posing is an art form and it takes practice to master it. You also have to understand a few fundamentals. Knowing how to pose an individual is essential to creating flattering postures with two people.
Unlike posing an individual, posing a couple is about creating a connection. Lindsay Adler has an excellent suggestion in her book The Photographer’s Guide to Posing. She claims that increasing the number of points where a couple physically touches increases the connection the two have inside the image.
That concept of body language has made a dramatic impact on the quality of my own work. And I increased the variety of wedding poses I deliver.
But there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to couples pose ideas. Besides creating a pose that will flatter individual body types, photographers also need to respect how the couple interacts with each other.
Couples don’t need to recreate the passionate kiss of a romance movie to showcase an intimate connection. Follow the couple’s lead. You can create an image that shows their unique love and connection with each other.
Photographing an engagement session is an excellent opportunity to practice without the time pressure of the wedding. You need very similar posing ideas for an engagement session and for a wedding. The only exception is that you might need to adjust the posture for the formal wedding day attire.
You can get inspiration from other wedding photographers’ work. But make sure to personalize the ideas to fit the couple you work with.
Posing Ideas for the Bride and Groom
One basic pose doesn’t mean one image. Adjusting the couple’s hands, expression, and where the couple is looking can create a pose that better suits them. Or it can add variety to the wedding photo album.
The same posture can also appear very different by adjusting your composition. This includes how the image is cropped, the angle or even the lens.
This way, 14 poses can become dozens of different shots. And you can adapt these poses to the couple and your own photography style.
14. Standing Side-by-Side
Many couples start with standing next to each other for an image. Create a connection with physical contact. Ask the couple to hold hands, wrap an arm around each other or touch each other’s cheek.
13. Side-by-Side, One Reversed
This is a twist on a traditional pose. Have one of the clients standing facing away from the camera. This pose often works best with the couple’s arms looped together. Have the individual facing away from the camera turn to look at his or her new spouse. Or ask them to give a kiss on their cheek.
This mix-up is good for adding variety or perhaps showing the detail at the back of a bride’s dress.
12. Facing Each Other
Another classic pose with a lot of potential variety. This set up has the couple facing each other. It often works well and shows a lot of connection. Direct the couple to stand closer together or lean in towards each other. Distance doesn’t create that feeling of closeness in the final image.
The couple can look at each other or at the camera. Remember to create multiple points of connection. Try holding hand poses, one hand on the cheek, a hand on the waist, or a forehead kiss.
11. Bride Behind
Even when the groom is taller, having the bride behind the groom can create a strong pose. In this pose, the bride should be only a little bit behind the groom. Almost side-by-side but with one shoulder tucked behind the groom. This works well when looping arms.
10. Groom Behind
There’s no reason the bride has to be the one standing a bit behind the other. The pose works well with the groom too. This pose is the best with the groom slightly behind his bride and his arm around her waist.
If the groom is tall enough, he can stand almost directly behind his bride and kiss her cheek or whisper something in her ear.
9. Hug From Behind
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. But I ask either the bride to stand on something or the groom sit down on something so that the bride is the tallest.
Then I’ll ask the bride to wrap her arms around her new husband in a hug. This posture works well the other way around too.
8. Holding Hands
An easy classic, there are many different ways to create a pose holding hands. 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 groom walk a bit ahead, leading the other person.
7. Holding Hands and Walking Away
After I shoot a portrait of the couple walking towards me, I will often tell them to walk back and shoot the same thing from behind. The bride’s dress is often very detailed in the back. And a stroll together from the back is a nice way to show this in a couple’s pose.
Seated poses don’t always work for every wedding. Ball gowns can bunch up and create a more awkward look. But with some dresses – and an interesting, clean and dry spot to sit at the location – seated poses can work well.
The bride and groom can sit side by side, or the groom can kneel behind the bride.
5. Focus on the Ring
This pose is the wedding photographers favourite, both for engagements and wedding photo sessions. The entire focus is on the ring. You can even leave the bride and groom’s faces blurred in the background.
For this shot, I will have the bride and groom side-by-side, with their ring hands together. Then I will direct them to hold the hand with the bride’s ring out towards me.
I’ll place the focal point on the ring and use a shallow depth of field to blur the bride and groom into the background. This pose is more ring shot than couple’s pose. But it can help add variety to the wedding photos.
4. Poses Interacting With the Environment
During the formal ceremony, I have some go-to wedding poses that I use to add lots of variety in a limited amount of time. But, then I will also create poses for the particular location the bride and groom chose.
I’ll find posing inspiration from a bridge at a park, for example. Or inspired by a beautiful Catholic church, I would create a pose with the couple in the front and the wedding party in the distance on the balcony.
3. Pose With the Veil
This is a classic pose and many wedding photographers use it. 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. Try the tried-and-true kissing under the veil. Or pull a long veil close to the lens to create unique, intentional blur.
2. The Dip Kiss
A favourite pose of mine because my husband insisted on doing several of these at our own wedding. A dip kiss is a fun wedding pose.
Before the kiss, instruct the groom on how to hold his bride. I find leaning at a 90-degree angle from the camera creates the best view of this movie-like kiss.
1. Seated in the Getaway Car
Poses should be inspired both by the couple and the details of the day. For couples with a unique getaway vehicle, photograph the two of them seated together in the car. Or even in front of the car.
Understanding posing is essential to capturing a complete wedding album. This includes that formal shot that will grace the couple’s walls for years. Creating a couple’s poses is a mix of posing basics for individuals and creating a connection between the two of them.
Try adjusting factors like hand placement and switching from looking at the camera to looking at each other to a kiss.
Along with going into a wedding day with some go-to poses, be sure to find inspiration for additional shots in the surrounding venue and the details of the wedding day itself.
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