One of the most common questions I get from couples is, “Will you take lots of candid photos because we don’t like posed ones? We feel awkward when posing for pictures.” My answer is always the same – “Absolutely, we’ll capture plenty of candid, documentary-style photos throughout the day. However, we’ll also do some posed shots because I can’t guarantee to take a picture like this (below) without some preparation first!”
While some of my favourite images are candid, captured without any guidance from me, there will still be an element of posing involved on your big day. But don’t worry! I don’t direct my clients in an overly detailed way. I want the photos to reflect their personalities, so I wouldn’t want to pose them in a way that feels uncomfortable. Instead, I use these seven simple posing tips to ensure they look amazing and natural in their wedding photos.
1. Keep your back straight
Good posture is crucial for looking your best in photos. Remember how your parents or grandparents used to tell you not to slouch? Turns out they were right! Keep your back straight and stand tall, and pay attention to your shoulders, ensuring they don’t hunch forward. Elongating your spine makes you appear slimmer and taller, and this goes for all your photos throughout the day, not just the posed ones.
It can get tricky at times, such as when the bride or groom is much shorter than the love of their life; there can then be a tendency for the other party to lean down to kiss them etc. My advice here is to try to make sure that any downward movement of the head is done as far as possible as a pivot from the shoulders. Keep the back straight and tilt the head. It’s not always practical, but wherever possible this should be your golden rule!
2. The Devil Makes Work For Idle Thumbs
Avoid having your hands just hanging by your sides, as it can make photos look staged and flat. Instead, find something for your hands to do, such as playing with your buttons or veil, leaning against a wall, holding a prop, or simply placing your hand on your hip or in your pocket. This not only adds realism and dynamism to your photos but also gives your body a more natural shape.
3. Soften Your Angles for a More Romantic Look
Wedding photos typically convey feelings of love, gentleness, and romance. Strong, rigid angles can detract from these emotions, so try to soften them when posing. For instance, if you’re resting your hand on your hip, drop it slightly and raise your shoulder a little to create a softer look.
4. Shift your weight away from the camera
Don’t shift your weight onto the leg that’s closest to the camera, as it can make your hips appear larger than they are. Instead, shift your weight onto the other leg for a more flattering pose.
5. Laugh – Lots!
You look your most relaxed and natural when you’re enjoying yourself, and genuine laughter and fun will come through in your photographs. I constantly try to make my couples laugh, pull funny faces, share secrets, or do something silly to capture those genuine expressions of joy. Whatever it takes to get that genuine expression of fun to appear, that’s what we’ll do!
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Affection
Wedding photos are a celebration of love, so don’t be afraid to show affection during your photo session. Hold hands, hug, and share tender moments with your partner. These moments will create beautiful, heartfelt images that you’ll cherish for years to come.
7. Trust Your Photographer
A skilled wedding photographer will provide some direction but also capture the spontaneous, emotional moments that make your photos truly special. That’s why it’s essential to choose the right photographer and build a rapport with them. Pre-wedding or engagement shoots are an excellent opportunity for this, and that’s why I include them in every wedding package I offer.
Remember, while there will be moments when your photographer gives you guidance on where and how to stand, it’s the moments that happen after that direction that truly make the photo. The true craft of a wedding photographer is spotting the exact millisecond to press the shutter to capture the genuine connection and emotion between a couple.
By following these seven essential tips for posing in wedding photos, you’ll not only look amazing but also feel more comfortable and natural in front of the camera. And when you’re relaxed and enjoying the experience, it will shine through in your photos, resulting in a stunning collection of memories that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
So, trust your photographer, embrace the poses, and most importantly, have fun on your special day. With the right combination of candid and posed shots, you’ll have a beautiful representation of your love story to look back on for years to come.
If you’re looking for a wedding photographer who will work with you to help you to feel comfortable in front of the camera on your wedding day, then look no further! Get in touch and see how I can help tell the story of your day. Moment by moment.