From Awkward to Awe-Inspiring: Posing Your Couples
1. Make Your Couple Comfortable
When you are in a situation where you have to pose an awkward couple, start with acknowledging the fact that things are awkward and uncomfortable. The sooner you say it out loud, the sooner your couple will be able to laugh about it. They might feel foolish or silly as they pose for you, but positive affirmations from you will help them gain some confidence and motivate them to give you their best couple poses Saying things like, “You guys might be feeling awkward, but you are doing absolutely great” or starting with “I know this is awkward for you. But trust me, we can get through this together. Just focus on having fun.” Different things work for different couples, so try to personalize this experience for your couple, especially if they are uncomfortable in front of the camera.
2. Don’t Push Clients to Behave a Certain Way
Forcing your clients to behave a certain way just because it will help you get that perfect portrait you imagined might make them feel even more awkward. And that is definitely not what you want to highlight through your photography. Yes, it’s great to get out of the comfort zone, but if you push an awkward couple who don’t indulge in any PDA to snuggle up for the photos, besides feeling uncomfortable, they might feel stupid too. When you have to pose an awkward couple, and you push them to be glam or sexy (even if it’s a part of your style) for the wedding photos, it might make them even more stiff and nervous. So your job as their wedding photographer is understanding your couple and finding different ways to show their love and bond. How you guide your couples through poses has to fit who they are and how they are together.
Assure your bride and groom that they don’t necessarily have to step out of their comfort zone or passionately kiss each other for their wedding portraits to look romantic. Some poses that you could work with when posing an awkward couple include standing nose to nose and looking at each other, cheek kiss, bride leaning back into groom’s chest, holding each other as they talk, whisper, and/or laugh.
3. Walk It Out
One of the best ways to pose an awkward couple, and many wedding photographers would attest to this, is by simply not posing them. Confused? Instead of giving your bride and groom a long list of poses, ask them to walk and talk to each other. This might help to loosen them up a bit, and in the process, help you get some amazing photographs too. For example, ask them to walk to a certain point, kiss each other, do a little dancing, and walk back to you. Don’t worry if they don’t remember all your instructions. In case of any goof-ups, they will just laugh it off, and even then, you get the good shots! So win-win for both parties.
4. Suggest An Engagement Session
Besides using an engagement session to celebrate a new milestone in life, many couples also think of it as an opportunity to practice for their wedding day photos. Even though an engagement session is nothing like the wedding day, it still requires the couple to be in front of the camera. So, if there’s a situation where a couple asks you for advice on how to get more comfortable in front of the camera, you could suggest that they start with taking engagement photos. Engagement sessions often help both parties (you and your couple) to get to know each other and establish a bond. This way, by the time you reach the wedding day (granted, it’s not a year from the engagement session), the bride and groom are already pretty comfortable around you.
Address the Awkwardness, Make It Fun
When you have to pose an awkward couple, it’s important that you address that awkwardness right in the beginning and move on from that. Try to make them feel comfortable and explain to them that their wedding photos (and day) are about having fun and taking pictures that they can look back on years down the road and relive that moment. And if it’s a fun moment that they get to relive, what could be better than that? So instead of forcing them into poses, give them the permission to be whoever they are and show their bond in a way that doesn’t make them uncomfortable. If you and your couple are up for it, try collaborating. If your couple doesn’t have any experience working with a pro photographer, you could also advise them to go for an engagement session as ‘practice’ for their wedding day photos.
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