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Posing Deep Dive: The Key to Successful Posing

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Posing is no easy task. Even harder than posing one subject is making sure that multiple subjects look their best in an image. Along with mastering the pose, it is crucial that you examine their expressions as well! Sometimes, the most challenging of part of posing is ensuring that the expressions match with the pose. You may have a great pose, and in order for it to be a stunning image, you need a strong expression as well.

In our Posing Critique Webinar with Roberto Valenzuela, photographers from all over the world submitted images to be reviewed by the posing guru. Taking time to learn how to properly pose is important, and you can free up some of your time by outsourcing your images to a wedding photography editing company. Today, we’re continuing our Posing Deep Dive series, which is geared to help photographers create the best wedding images possible. If you have missed the first 3 installments of the series, you can access them here:

#1: Why Body Language Matters

#2: Contrasting Colors can Make or Break Images

#3: Can Lighting Dictate the Pose you use?

This week, Roberto shares a key to successful posing that will improve every photo you take!

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Today’s image was submitted from KDalton Photography, located in Cincinatti, Ohio. Overall, it is a beautiful black and white photo that captures an intimate moment between the couple.

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Highlights

Framing the image

The composition of the image was very well done. The photographer took time to scout out a location, and then strategically place the bride and groom in a place where they would be surrounded by shrubs and trees. He also included a nice depth of field by walking further away from the couple, so he could frame them between the leaves in the foreground. This is a great use of framing, because it gives a visual entity that draws your attention to the center of the image to the bride and groom.

Positioning of the Couple

Overall, the couple is posed in a position that creates a connection between them. The bride is the focus of the image, with the groom reaching around her from behind. His hands are nicely placed on her waist, and her hand is gently touching his face, showing engagement between the couple. The bride has her face angled towards the groom, which creates a positive energy between them. By having the bride close her eyes, it shows that she is truly embracing this moment. She is not allowing any outside factors to distract her from this time she has with the groom.

Additional Insights

Posing the Groom

While the bride is beautifully positioned, there are a couple of ways that the groom could be repositioned to make him look more engaged. In this image, the groom is slouching, causing his neck to disappear. By having him stand straight up and then slightly tipping his face toward her, his neck would be visible. This would also allow him to be receptive to her excitement, giving the same energy levels in the photo as she is.

Related: If you’re not posing the groom with these 11 tips, your images may be suffering

When examining the groom’s eyes, it seems as if he is unclear on where to look. The bride has created this beautiful moment with her eyes closed, and if the groom had his eyes closed as well, it would have added to that moment. In a pose such as this one, when the groom seems unsure of where he should look, instruct him to close his eyes, breathe in, and kiss the bride. This will help him to look more relaxed, and it will also add to the movement of the image as he goes to kiss her.

Looking for Interactions

The bride and groom are positioned in a great pose that shows their love for one another. An area that could be improved on this is the interaction. In their current state, the pose looks too contrived, almost as if the bride and groom were standing in this position for too long. To achieve the natural interaction between the bride and groom, you need to break the pose. Start by showing the couple the pose you would like them to be in – tell them where to place their hands, where to position their heads, and where to look. Then, have them take a few steps apart. From there, naturally have them come together and create the pose. By doing this, you will create a natural movement to the image, and it will increase their engagement and interaction.

Examining the Expressions 

When photographing your subjects, it is common to be shooting someone who is not interested in being photographed. In this image, the groom’s attention is elsewhere, and his body language shows that he is not as excited as the bride to be there. Remember, expression is key when it comes to posing!

“The expression of the subject is part of the pose.”

Once you have the couple positioned properly, it is important to focus on their expressions. Without genuine expressions, the image will not be as strong. Because this photographer was so far away from the couple, it may have been difficult to communicate with them and help bring a natural energy to the image. In this case, you need to raise your voice and say phrases that will instantly trigger an emotion from the couple. For example, with this photo, the photographer could have enthusiastically said to the groom, “Smell her eyebrow!” Since this is an unusual phrase, it will make the couple react, and the photo will come alive.

Related: Speed through shooting the wedding party with these 7 tips

In this image, the pose is already there; there just needs to be the expressions and interactions between the couple. This is the key to successful posing – if you can get genuine expressions from the couple, your images will stand out. As a photographer, you need to bring the energy in order to see that interaction and spark between the couple.

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Spend time working on how to achieve genuine expressions, especially when one of your subjects does not seem excited to be photographed. For more tips and tricks on posing, download our Posing for the Wedding Photographer Guide!

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