As a wedding photographer, posing is a crucial aspect of your photography, but can also be one of the most challenging to master. Even with perfect lighting and an ideal background, the poses you set must be strong. If your wedding clients look stiff or uncomfortable, it can translate into your images. When you create flattering poses for your clients, regardless of their body type, you create memorable images they will love.
Boudoir Photography Poses
To strengthen your posing skills, it can be valuable to learn tips and tricks from other photographers. Boudoir photographers, in particular, focus heavily on posing. They pose each part of the body, pay attention to small details, and help their clients create powerful poses to bring emotion to their images.
According to BrideBox Wedding Albums:
“‘Boudoir’ is a French word meaning a lady’s private dressing room or bedroom. In photography, boudoir refers to a style in which women pose for photographs partially clothed or in lingerie. The photos are tasteful and nudity is typically implied rather than explicit. They are sensual and sexy as well as classy and elegant.”
At ShootDotEdit, we provide photo editing services for photographers, so we have seen our fair share of boudoir images. And since we know how important it is to master posing for your wedding photography, we put together a list of 7 posing tricks from boudoir photographers. These tips can help you elevate your posing skills and produce unforgettable photos for your wedding clients.
1. Create Natural Confidence
Every wedding client you work with will have a different comfort level in front of the camera. You may have some clients who are comfortable or have been in front of the camera before. But, often times, your wedding clients are timid in front of the camera. This is especially true when they first meet you and work with you. The best poses come naturally when your clients feel confident and comfortable with you.
In boudoir, photographers focus on ways to build their client’s confidence to enhance the effect of the poses. One way to channel boudoir photographers while posing is to focus on ways to talk with your clients. Allow them to let go of any fear or doubt they have about having their picture taken by you. When you do this, you will make them feel more at ease. The more at ease they are, the more natural confidence they will feel. From there, you can do your work to produce boudoir photography poses that translate to your wedding photography.
Another way to create natural confidence is to prepare your clients before the engagement session or wedding day shoot. You are the expert in all things photography and for many of your clients, this may be their first time taking professional photos. Boudoir photographers, like Cristey Rowe of Couture Boudoir, create checklists or guides to help clients know what to wear or how to prepare for their sessions. You can do the same, especially when it comes to the engagement session. With more knowledge of how the process works and some of what to expect from the shoot, your wedding clients will feel more confident before arriving at the location.
2. Try New Poses
Even if you use the same poses for every wedding client, there will be times when those go-to poses are not enough. One thing you can learn from boudoir photographers is to try new poses which will flatter your clients and elevate the images.
Try poses that feel natural to your clients, and allow them to showcase their personalities. The stronger the pose you set, the easier it will be for your clients to share their genuine emotion with you. Plus, the new poses can help you be more creative and enjoy the shoot even more. Keep in mind, when you are inspired and excited to shoot, your clients will feel that energy. The energy you provide will translate into their body language and poses when you snap the photo.
In addition to new poses, switch up the locations and angles. This will help to add variety to the shoot and diversify your images. In boudoir photography, photographers pose their clients against the wall, with a chair, on a bed, and will use the floor to capture different poses, emotions, and looks. With these poses, boudoir photographers change their angles to capture different images that help tell an overall story. You can also use those techniques to create a variety of wedding images for your clients with different poses, locations, and angles.
3. Highlight Their Best Features
One of the keys to posing is to highlight your client’s features. Every client you have is different, which means your poses may change slightly on each shoot. For your clients, the wedding day is one of the most important days of their lives, so they want to look their best.
Boudoir photographers often look for poses that highlight their client’s body. They also look for boudoir photography poses that eliminate any issues from the photo, or hide any insecurities clients may have. This is another way to ensure your clients remain confident during the shoot.
Communication before and during the shoot is crucial between you and your clients. That way, you can get to know more about them and understand how exactly to use posing to capture the best of them. When you remove any issues your clients share with you and use proper posing, you can highlight their top features to make them look their best.
4. Show Them How to Pose
To help build confidence throughout the shoot, it can be helpful to show your clients how you want them to pose. Boudoir photographers do this with their clients to help them feel more comfortable. Since most clients are not used to posing in front of the camera, they may be nervous to try some of the poses you suggest. Help them relax and trust you by showing them exactly how you want them to pose. This gives them confidence in the poses you suggest, and they will know that you are there to help them.
Take a look at the video example below of photography duo Justin and Mary Marantz as they showcase how to use commands, not questions with their wedding clients. This is something boudoir photographers do with their clients to ensure they are clear and feel comfortable with the poses.
“When we are behind that scary black box of the camera, [our clients] need to know they can trust us in order for that confidence and comfortability to come out.” – Mary Marantz
For many of your wedding shoots, there will be props you can showcase and use to create certain poses. When there are props as a part of your shoot, make sure to also show your clients how to pose with them. Boudoir photographers often use props to help showcase a particular emotion along with the pose. For example, a boudoir photographer might use the bride’s husband’s t-shirt as a prop that she can wear and can move around to create a playful image that gives meaning to the couple. During the wedding day, there are several props you can use from the bouquet to jewelry and accessories, and more.
5. Focus on Each Body Part
Every client you work with will have a different body type. As their photographer, you are responsible for the creation of stunning photos. Boudoir photographer Jen Rozenbaum created the 8 Points of Posing to ensure she properly poses each part of her client’s body.
This means you should pay close attention to your client’s neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees, and ankles. When you feel comfortable posing your clients in a way that flatters each part of their body, you will have an easier time creating poses throughout the shoot.
Jen also uses something she calls in body and out of body posing. According to Jen:
“In body (posing) is when the woman has her arms within the lines of her body (torso) which mimics and accentuates her shape. Out of body posing is when the woman has her arms outside the lines of her body (torso) which allows us to see her shape without blocking it.”
When you focus on each body part, don’t forget to highlight the details. In boudoir photography poses, photographers will often highlight the smallest details that make for memorable images. This includes wedding rings, jewelry, shoes, or the intricate details of the dress. When you highlight the details, you give more meaning to the photos and share more about who your clients are. They did, after all, plan the wedding and choose the details that are a part of it.
6. Create Lines for Interest
As you focus on each part of the body, you create lines and interest for the image. If your clients have poses which are stiff, the overall impact of the images may suffer. Your client’s body parts should flow together when you pose them, which is something Boudoir photographers do with their clients. When you pose your clients, especially their arms and legs, make sure you create lines to draw the eye in a positive way.
Keep in mind, after you receive your images back from a wedding photography color correction, you send them to your clients. You may also share them on your website, blog, and social media platforms. Make sure the poses you set create lines for interest, so you can attract more ideal clients to your business.
8. Tell Stories with Facial Expressions
As you work with your wedding clients and find the best poses, it is crucial for you to focus on their facial expressions. You can have the most flattering poses for your clients, but if their facial expressions are lacking, it can hurt the overall story. Find inspiration from boudoir photographers, who focus on telling stories with their client’s expressions.
Since Boudoir photography is often stripped down, the emotion on a client’s face is an important part of the pose. Use this as inspiration to work with your clients. A quick way to create more emotion is to ask them questions about their relationship. When they start to think about each other, rather than the poses, their genuine emotions will help tell a story.
To assist with facial expressions, have the bride and groom interact naturally with one another. This will make it so they forget about the camera and poses, and they can focus on one another instead. You will capture genuine expressions from them and you are sure to highlight some unforgettable moments between them.
Gain Inspiration Outside of Wedding Photography
As a wedding photographer, it is important for you to take the time to perfect your skills. One way to do that is to study other photographers and gain inspiration from their work. This can be the most helpful when you look outside of wedding photography. When you study other wedding photographers, especially ones in your local market, you may find yourself comparing your work to theirs instead of finding inspiration.
That is why it can be valuable to gain inspiration outside of wedding photography. Many boudoir photographers study painters or artists from different art movements to gain inspiration for poses, facial expressions, and emotions for their photos. You can do the same for your wedding photography.
Look at non-wedding photographers, like portrait photographer Jeremy Cowart or underwater, landscape, and lifestyle photographer Sarah Lee. Though your style will differ from theirs, it can be helpful to study different photographers to find motivation for your portfolio.
When you take the inspiration from boudoir photography poses and apply them to your images, you have a new way to approach the wedding day. What else can you do to create strong poses during the engagement day shoot or wedding day? Click the banner below to download our Pro Photographer Lighting and Posing Guide to discover how to set proper poses and use lighting to highlight them!