Posing during the wedding day can be challenging to master. Because you do not always have control over the situation or location, how can you capture the images your couple hired you to take and do it confidently?
In our Online Training: How We Pose Our Clients: 10 Tricks We Use in Every Shoot, Justin and Mary Marantz shared their personal insights into how they pose during every wedding day. They also shared their free eBook, The 5 Best Business Decisions We Made, which you can use to make decisions for your business. Here are the top 5 tips for posing with confidence from Justin and Mary’s Online Training.
“How do we start taking pictures of people, and stop taking pictures of poses?” – Justin and Mary Marantz
1. Use Their Names
One of the main objectives for you during the wedding day shoot is to ensure your couple is comfortable with you, and in front of the camera. When you use their names often, you give them a reason to trust you and have confidence in your abilities. Your couple will know you took the time to learn their name, and you care enough to use it often during the shoot. The trust they have in you helps them open up and share their story.
Image Compliments of Justin and Mary Marantz
2. Use Gentle Language
The wedding day shoot can be hectic and overwhelming for everyone involved. As you work with and coach your couples through various poses, use gentle language. Your couple is likely already nervous to be in front of the camera. With the language you use, you can make them feel more at ease. Rather than saying, “Stop slouching” or “Stand up straight”, say something more gentle, such as “I’m going to have you open your heart up.” Use gentle language that avoids negativity to receive the results you desire.
Tip: Be aware of your tone during the shoot. With your tone, you can affect the emotions of your couple. If you are nervous or stressed, they will feel the same. Use a tone that emits the energy you feel, and you want your clients to share through their poses.
3. Keep Talking
Communication is a simple way to ensure your couple remains calm, and the poses you set showcase the proper emotion. Make sure to keep talking throughout the shoot. When you stop talking, the couple will be conscious of it and may think they are doing something wrong. Ensure you keep them engaged throughout the shoot, and maintain the tone you know will help keep the right energy at the shoot. When you continue to talk to your couple, they will know what you want from them and continue to feel relaxed.
4. Be Specific
Most of the couples you work with are not initially comfortable in front of the camera. As you talk with them and coach them on how to pose, be specific with your directions. When you want the bride to move her arm, tell her specifically, “I want you to move your right arm.”
If you are not specific and your couple moves the wrong way, it will give you the wrong result and it will shake their confidence if you have to correct them. The more you can give specific commands, the easier it will be for them to feel more confident. When they are confident, they let their guard down and allow you to capture their genuine emotions.
Tip: Another way to help be specific is to use commands, not questions. These sentences start with their name or a verb, and tell your couple you are confident and in control.
5. Maintain Professionalism
Your couple chose you to be their photographer for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is because you are an expert in all things weddings, and they have confidence you will capture their images amidst any crisis. Even if the light is changing or is not what you want it to be, or the timeline is drastically behind, or you know someone is missing from the shoot, you still have to maintain your professionalism and take charge.
This means that on the outside, you are calm and collected so your couple still feels comfortable. Chances are, your couple is unaware of the struggles you have with the light or other elements. While you work on the logistics in your mind, continue to maintain the proper facial expressions and tone to let you couple know you have control over the shoot.
BONUS: Have Go-To Poses
There are plenty of ways to pose your clients during the wedding day. Sometimes, though, it can be challenging to know exactly what to do when you are in a high-pressure situation. This is why you should have 4-5 go-to poses you know will work in any situation. Even if you forget every pose you wanted to try, these go-to poses are perfect to use while you think about what you want to do next. Plus, the poses show your clients that you are quick on your feet and remain confident in your abilities. Also, with your go-to poses, make sure each of them has variations you can use.
Posing with confidence is key to your success on the wedding day. The more confident you are, as well as your couple, the easier it is for you to work together to create memorable images (ones you can send over to a wedding photo editing company!). As you continue to practice your skills, start to think about the way the light affects your poses (and vice versa). Our free Guide, Pro Photographer Lighting and Posing, has actionable tips and tricks from top photographers on how to advance your images to the next level! Download it today.