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American documentary photographer Dorothea Lange once said, “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” What it simply means is that everything you capture in an image is saved to cherish forever. And to create stellar wedding photos every time, two of the most important aspects of photography that you should master are lighting and posing. If any of the two isn’t well taken care of, the visual quality of your images could be compromised. That’s a scenario you’d want to avoid at all costs. Therefore, in this blog, we’ve shared the top 5 lighting and posing tips that you can resort to in your upcoming shoots.



Infographic stating pose your couples right to create incredible wedding portraits

If your couple is posed awkwardly, you’d invariably run the risk of ruining even your most creatively taken shot. But when you know what you are looking for, you can always make your bride and groom strike a pose that looks flattering on them. To know what makes a good pose, you can follow these three rules:

  • A good pose allows your subject(s) to look as good as they do in real life, if not better. Every time you look at an image, ask yourself if your clients look just as good or better. For you to achieve the best poses possible, communicate with your clients to discover what they envision for their wedding photos, and focus on their inputs to create the right poses and set proper lighting for your shot.
  • A good pose creates interest. To enhance your composition, look for leading lines and negative space. This will not only help you add an element of interest to your images but also make the pose more lively, highlighting the overall story of your image in the best way possible.
  • A good pose will convey the mood you desire. If you want to showcase a light and happy mood of your clients, use poses that showcase their laughter and joy. When you want to convey a more serious mood, adjust their poses and facial expressions to suit the theme. Remember that your couple’s faces (and eyes) can be a powerful medium for conveying a certain mood. If that is what you are looking for, try to pose them in a way that accentuates their features and expressions.

Related Read: Portrait Poses 101: How To Pose Your Brides, Couples, & Their Families


A bride and groom posing for a kiss with a backlight backgroundImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

Oftentimes, lighting can be difficult to predict. There are many obstacles you may face, from harsh lighting to low lighting, to an overflow of lighting. The most important thing for you to focus on is ensuring your clients are always the main focus of the image. If the light is too bright or covers parts of their faces, it can hinder you from showcasing the scene or your couple’s story effectively.

To combat harsh lighting, move your clients to a location where there is enough shade or use techniques to diffuse the light. In low lighting, adjust your camera settings or take advantage of your off-camera flashes (if the location allows it). When there’s an overflow of lighting, use backlighting techniques to create separation from your clients and the background. Each of these would help you to overcome lighting issues and highlight the poses you set for your clients.

Related Read: How To Diffuse Light In 4 Easy Ways


Infographic stating capturing your couple’s genuine emotions will contribute to the overall story

When you’re working with your clients on their wedding day, it’s necessary to light and pose them properly, but it’s also important to capture their genuine emotions to contribute to the overall story. You can ensure capturing a display of emotions on your camera by focusing on their faces. Also, pay attention to how you pose them, and what’s the direction of light, so that you can easily capture how your couple is feeling at that point in time, and they get to cherish it when they look at their images later.

If your couple is experiencing wedding jitters and is having trouble being comfortable in front of the camera, help them relax. Strike a conversation with them to calm them down and ask them to think about something specific in their relationship. When they do that, you’ll easily get those emotions on their faces that you want to showcase through your photography. This will also help them enjoy the shoot and express themselves genuinely.

Related Read: 4 Secrets To Capturing Emotion


A bride and groom posing on a large couch placed in front of a blue colored wall

Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @lovebyjoemac

With every pose you set, look for proportion. When you pose your clients and position the light to match the pose, take an initial image. Look at the photo in-camera to see if you properly posed each part of the body. When you view the pose, make sure it is a continuous circuit. Think about it this way - when you walk into the room and flip the switch on, you complete a circuit and that is what makes the light turn on. When you shut off the switch, you break the circuit. Lighting and posing work the same way. If you have arms that are not doing anything or have a light that is unflattering, it breaks the circuit and causes a disconnect in your image. To create a continuous circuit starting with the arms, you can move them away from your client’s body.


Infographic stating consider using the 8 points of posing to ensure the poses look flattering on your couples

Just like some of the other photography professionals, you can also use the 8 points of posing as a guide. The 8 points are head, chin, shoulders, arms, hands, waist, knees, and feet. To use this technique optimally, scan the features and make sure each of the points looks good. If they do not, make an adjustment so that the pose is flattering for your subject. The idea is that once you set the body according to the 8 points, you can shoot the same basic pose from different angles and still showcase a strong pose.


When you use proper lighting and posing techniques on the wedding day, you increase your chances of creating stunning photos that your clients will love. What other techniques can you practice to advance your skills? Photography composition techniques, bridal portrait posing techniques, and many more! If you want to deep dive into all things photography, you can check out our other blogs.

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about sharing tips, tricks, and ideas that can help wedding photographers like you to grow as professionals and business owners. One of the other ways we love helping you is by providing professional photo editing services to free up your time - the time that you can dedicate toward scaling your business or enjoying some family time. To learn how we do it, check out our pricing plans.

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