As the wedding day approaches, you prepare by charging your gear, formatting memory cards, and scouting the wedding location. Another essential thing to work on before the day is posing for the wedding portraits. In the past, we’ve talked about posing the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family formals. Today, we are focusing on how to master wedding couple poses for the bride and groom pictures to ensure you nail the shot every time.
Bride and Groom Pictures
In a Posing Critique, hosted by posing expert Roberto Valenzuela with ShootDotEdit, a professional photo editing service for wedding photographers, Roberto shared tips, insights, and best practices on how to make every couple look stunning in their images. Here are the top 5 tips from Roberto help you with your wedding portrait poses and wow your clients.
1. Critique the small details
As you shoot the wedding, it is important to constantly check for any small details that may offset the photo. By taking a few seconds to examine your frame, you can correct any mistakes and remove distractions on the front end. Everything from the bride’s hand placement to posture matters. As a simple trick, right before you photograph the bride, have her breathe in – this will naturally tighten up her waist and straighten her posture, making for a more flattering figure. Check to make sure that no one is slouching, everyone is looking at the camera, and they are all close together with their hands and arms touching.
2. Focus on Proper Angles for Arms
Continuously look at the angles and shapes that are made with each pose. Harsh straight lines can be distracting to the main focus of the image. The more diagonal lines you have, the better. When it comes to arms, as a rule of thumb, avoid having straight arms in your images. You want the arms to look natural, so help the couple find a comfortable position that allows them to relax and enjoy the shoot. Always question what the arms are doing and what they add to each image. If they are distracting, find a way to reposition them so they enhance each image, not bring emphasis to this body part.
“You have to give the arms an excuse to be where they are – body language is so important.” – Roberto Valenzuela
3. Create interaction between your couples
On the wedding day, there are many opportunities for you to capture the bride and groom in beautiful images that represent the emotion of the day. When it comes to posing them, remember that you’re the pro, and your couple looks for you to make them look stunning. Pose your couples in ways that create interaction between them – have them interlock hands, place her head on his shoulder, or have him wrap his arms around her.
Sometimes, couples can be a little nervous in front of the camera, resulting in stiff photos (similar to what often happens in the engagement session). In every photo, the bride and groom need to have the same energy when posing together. To help achieve this, tell them exactly where to place their hands, where to look, and then break the pose and have them do it again in motion. This will make the pose look more natural and give the image a sense of movement.
4. Pay Attention to Expressions
During a session, you have all encountered this at one point or another – someone who is not into wanting their photo taken. It may not be that they are unhappy to be there (it is their wedding, after all), but they may just be uncomfortable in front of the camera. When it comes to wedding day poses for the couple, capturing the right expressions is just as important as the pose itself. You can have the best pose, but if the expressions are not there, the image is not going to be as strong.
Remember, the couple booked you because they trust you and love the images you create. It’s your job to create a comfortable environment for them to get that spark that makes a pose come alive. Create an energy that is infectious and will give the bride and groom reasons to smile and laugh through the shoot. The more comfortable they feel, the better poses and expressions they will give you.
“Spend more time working on posing, expressions, and creating and energy between the couple and you – they need to feel the energy that makes them react. Remember, reaction is part of the pose.” – Roberto Valenzuela
5. Examine the Background
When it comes to proper posing, there are several elements to consider each time that create a successful image. As you are directing your subject to achieve a certain pose, it is your job as a photographer to constantly look at the rest of the scene to see how it interacts with the pose you placed your couple in.
If you want the focus to be on the bride’s face, take a look at all of the other elements in the image. Do all of the lines direct you to her eyes? Ensure that there are no other body parts in the foreground or background that compete for attention and divert the viewer’s gaze away from the main focus of the photo. By placing the bride in front of a background that is a similar color to what she is wearing, this can help to draw emphasis to her face.
The most important thing to remember is that posing should be fun for your couples. Always create poses that allow them to look as natural as possible. This is the most important moment of their lives. When you understand the important aspects of posing, you will create beautiful images for every wedding. To learn more about creating flattering poses for the bride and groom pictures, and add to your wedding photography poses list, click on the banner below to download our Posing for the Wedding Photographer Guide!