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Posing Deep Dive: Can Lighting Dictate the Pose you use?

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As you shoot the wedding day, there are many aspects that you have to consider in order to get the perfect shot. Simply posing the bride and groom is not enough – it’s important for you to pay attention to the intricate details that make up an image. One of the most important parts of shooting is paying attention to the lighting that you’re working with. As you partner with a wedding photo editing company that takes care of your post production needs, you will have additional time to focus on your posing and lighting skills!

In our Posing Critique Webinar with Roberto Valenzuela, photographers from all around the world submitted images to be reviewed by the posing expert. Today, we’re continuing our Posing Deep Dive series, which is geared to help photographers create the best wedding images possible. In our first and second posts of the series, Roberto focused on the details of proper body language and how to use contrasting colors in your photography. This week, Roberto dives into the importance of lighting and how it can affect the pose you select.

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The image for review today was submitted by Dylan Burr from Aventura Photo Video. It features the bride and groom in a stunning location with golden lighting from the sun – thanks for the submission, Dylan!

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Highlights

Use of Natural Light 

This photo is filled with gorgeous lighting, and it is in a beautiful location. The photographer did a great using the light to his advantage in capturing the couple during golden hour. The location was also properly chosen, because the landscape turned a golden-yellow color as the sun set, giving this a warm, magical feel.

Position of the Bride

Looking at the bride, the photographer did a great job of posing her so she was facing the sun. The sun creates a rim light around her, which seems to caress her face. She is also angled in a way that allows the light to catch part of her veil. The bride and groom are holding hands, which creates a connection between them.

Related: Are you using these 3 tips for shooting in natural light?

Additional Insights

Feature One Person

When you have lighting that is highly directional (as it is in this photo), consider only featuring one subject in your image. Use the light to shower only the bride or groom, rather than trying to come up with a pose for both of them. In this photo, the groom is being backlit by the sun, with his face in shadow. This makes it hard to distinguish his expression and details on his face, especially compared to the bride who is facing the sun. Your eyes immediately are drawn to the bride because of the gorgeous light that highlights her. In this case, she was the only subject that needed to be in this image.

Related: Make sure you’re paying attention to the bride’s posing during her bridal portrait

Always take the lighting into consideration when posing your subjects. It is a balance between the lighting and the pose, and sometimes, the light can dictate the pose. Do not be afraid to try new poses that you think may work well with the lighting you encounter – sometimes, these can turn out to be your favorite images!

Analyze the Movement

Movement within posing is essential to creating memorable images, especially when you have a great location and lighting. In this image, the groom appears to have no movement, and does not seem to be looking at anything in particular. When this happens, it can cause your subjects to look bored, even if they are having a great time (it is their wedding day, after all!).

To combat this, tell the groom to twist his body slightly, or walk with his bride. Have them hold hands and separate the distance between them. From there, have them come back together. This gives a fluid movement to the couple, almost as if they are dancing. By doing this, it adds a natural feel to the image. In addition to this, coach them to direct their eyes to different locations. Have the bride look slightly towards the ground, and direct the groom to look at her. Continue to tell them to look in different directions to create subtle movements and a sense of candidness.

TIP: Don’t be afraid to coach your couple through the poses. Direct the bride and groom if you need to and make it fun! Not only will this help them pose better, but their trust in you will increase as well.

Create Diagonal Lines

Remember to always pay attention to the lines that each body part creates in an image. In this image, the groom’s right arm and the bride’s left arm are straight. The bride is almost touching her dress with her left arm, but rather than bending, it falls into a straight line. To add dimension to the photo, have the bride slightly bend her arm and pick up her dress. This would create a diagonal line, along with giving her more movement. Constantly ask yourself, “Can I create diagonal lines anywhere within this image?”

“Think about diagonal lines in every part of the body. The more diagonal lines you create, the better” – Roberto Valenzuela

Arms can be challenging, because couples may naturally want them to fall straight. It is your job to pay attention to these details, because they can dramatically change a photograph. You must give the arms an excuse to be where they are. When arms are hanging down, it can tell the viewer that there was a lack of interest between the bride and groom. Remember that body language is crucial, and you should have a plan for where to place each body part.

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Remember, knowing how to pose your couples does not happen overnight, especially when you start thinking how the lighting affects your images too! For more tips and helpful information on posing, download our Guide to Posing for the Wedding Photographer!

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1 Comment

  1. Dylan Burr

    Oh wow. Thanks SDE for sharing my image!

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