In this guide we will go over the four main fundamentals for posing in photos: your eyes, your smile, your posture and your hands. Amazing wedding photos are a MUST for my couples! As a wedding photographer, not only do I want to capture the most flattering images, I want you to know what to expect so that you can be at ease and feel relaxed and, most importantly, have fun!
Before we get into the structure of posing, let’s understand why knowing how to pose for your wedding photos is important. Posing is a crucial aspect of creating stunning photos. Every couple is different, so knowing how to pose each couple in a specific way is the key to capturing photos you will love, share and cherish forever! Let’s be honest your weddings photos is what will make you relive this very important moment of your life for years to come, so having a great photographer and having a good understanding of the basics of posing is important.
According to Forbes magazine nearly 90% of couples who got married hired a professional wedding photographer and based on other internal studies of over 27,000 couples who got married in 2019, the average wedding photographer cost was around $2,400. With that being said, hiring a professional wedding photographer with expertise in posing and that has a keen eye for detail that can ensure that all elements within the photo—the lighting, the composition, the subject, and everything else in between—work together harmoniously to convey the right vision or message and who can capture and deliver the most natural, honest, emotional images of your once in a lifetime wedding day is a must!
(And that’s me! I’m that photographer!) 🙂
So let’s get into it!
Nothing can communicate emotion like your eyes can. Often, in trying to accentuate their eyes, brides will try to open them as widely as possible. In the process, they raise their eyebrows and unwittingly create a startled look and a wrinkled forehead. Instead, remember to keep your eyes and forehead relaxed. To emphasise your eyes, rather lower your chin a fraction. This will effectively bring your eyes closer to the camera and make them appear bigger. Lower your chin too much and you run the risk of causing a double chin, so use this trick sparingly and practice! As an aside, looking directly into the lens takes confidence but creates a dramatic image when the right emotion is behind those eyes. Looking down slightly will create a more demure effect, whereas lifting your eyes and chin up to the sky will give the impression of confidence.
Forcing a smile never leads to a good photo. The “say cheese” kind of option only creates a tense, fake smile and unemotional eyes. Instead, think a happy or excited thought (you should have plenty of those close at hand with your beloved nearby!) While this may sound trivial, it works. If you are thinking and feeling sexy and confident it really will come through in your expression. Keep your smile and eyes soft and confident. Of course, someone who makes you laugh is always good. Natural laughter always makes a great photo, even if your face is a little scrunched up. Nothing will make you look more beautiful than a genuine smile, but that’s easier said than done if you’re nervous about being photographed. If you have trouble smiling naturally, a fake laugh almost always brings out a real smile. Another great tip is to push your tongue against the back of your front teeth to keep that smile bright and natural looking.
People tend to tighten and raise their shoulders when they are nervous and this causes a couple of problems. It makes your shoulders appear narrower and your neck shorter. But worst of all, it creates a look of tension. Hunching your shoulders is often an unconscious action. A quick way to combat this is to deliberately pull your shoulders up as high as you can and then drop them – you’ll notice immediately how different this feels. Simple relaxation techniques like breathing properly will not only guarantee better looking photographs, but will actually make you feel less nervous. Having a photographer you can trust implicitly will also make you feel more at ease. Sometimes a pose can feel odd in “real life”, but will look great in photos. But if you feel that you cannot trust the photographer’s directions, the effect will be ruined and you will appear uncomfortable in the shot.
One of the most common questions that clients ask me during a shoot is, “What should I do with my hands?” On your wedding day, you will often have something to hold (whether it’s your bouquet or your new husband) and that helps a lot. But it’s still important to be soft and natural with your hands even if you do have something to keep them busy. Think loose, think relaxed. If you feel your hands tensing up, shake them out and start again. Relax your arms, shoulders and hands and move them where it feels natural. A slight curve of the fingers always looks more flattering and natural too. Many times, brides look as if they’re hiding behind their flowers. The bodice of your wedding gown is beautiful, so why obscure it with your flowers? Holding your bouquet too high will also place your forearm in a horizontal position to create a line that visually cuts your body in half. Rather rest your wrists on your hipbones lightly to create a pleasing 45-degree angle that makes your body look longer and leaner.
A great wedding photographers should have a unique style, and should be great at communicating and directing couples to deliver amazing photos. Working out all the details with the wedding photographer before your wedding or hiring the same photographer for your engagement shoot will definitely loosen up any nervousness on your big day and you might feel a little silly taking this bit of advice, but the best thing you can do before the photo shoot on your big day is to practice! Believe me, it really pays off. So take the tips and tricks I give you in this guide, stand in front of a full-length mirror
and try them out.
The best way to guarantee lovely photos is simple: RELAX! Pretend the camera is not there and just have fun!