Wedding photographers have a big job ahead of them. Not only are they usually involved in multiple shoots with their subjects (engagement, save-the-date, actual wedding day, wreck-the-dress…the list is long), they are also charged with capturing the best side of the couple’s friends, family, and guests. It’s a tall order — and one that’s greatly aided by an eye for which poses work, when. Factoring in lighting, body types, situation, and composition, photographers have to walk their subjects — who are not professional models — through the process in a way that’s both instructive and fun.
It’s a lot. But it is possible.
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In ShootDotEdit’s most recent guide, which is all about wedding posing, top photographers share their best advice for how to capture beautiful wedding photos that are perfectly posed.
Here are a few of the tips their experts offer:
Be aware of your surroundings. You might find yourself so focused on the couple that other elements may escape your notice — which can ruin an otherwise perfect pose.
“During the shoot, pay attention to every detail, from the poses to the background, to ensure that the images you provide are flawless,” according to ShootDotEdit. “Look for anything that is out place – especially the position and placement of the hands, arms, and legs. View the frame from your camera and be sure that there are no objects in the background that could create a less than perfect image.”
Know that you’re part of the picture. As much as wedding photographers may wish to remain in the background on the big day, there’s a part of you and your interaction with the couple that will be captured in the images. Remember: Your subjects aren’t professional models, and a big part of getting the perfect shot is guiding them toward it.
In the ShootDotEdit guide, award-winning wedding photographer and CreativeLive instructor Roberto Valenzuela advises photographers to think about how they themselves factor into the photo.
“Spend more time working on posing, expressions, and creating an energy between the couple and you,” says Roberto. “They need to feel the energy that makes them react. Remember, reaction is part of the pose.”
See your couple’s individuality. “I realize that some photographers have a set of standard poses they use,” says coveted wedding photographer Jasmine Star, “but I prefer to approach each couple with a clean slate and a willingness to push myself to try something new.”
If kissing on camera just really isn’t comfortable for your couple, try something more playful. If your couple really can’t stop staring at each other, find creative poses where they can maintain eye contact while also delivering different angles to the camera. Every couple is different, and every couple has a story. Rather than sticking with a rote list of go-tos, try to approach each shoot as a new experience.
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