Edit: as requested, we added another tutorial on “Poses for the groom and groomsmen”, you can find it here
Posing is one of the most important aspects of wedding photography. You can have all of the lighting, camera, and post-production knowledge in the world but still end up with unhappy clients if you fail to make them look beautiful, comfortable, and happy. The following list of poses isn’t comprehensive; and not all of the poses will work for all of your couples. However, it is a good starting point from which you should make adjustments to compliment your couples’ features and accommodate their style preferences. (The following images are provided courtesy of Lin and Jirsa, Los Angeles Wedding Photography)
1) The Basic Pose
The basic pose is a must-have in wedding photography. Make sure the bodies are close to each other with no gaps; and make sure the hands are somewhere other than hanging by their sides. Either have them hold hands in the middle or have the guy place his hand in his pocket and the bride place her hand on her hip.
2) Sitting Basic Post
The most important factor with this pose is hand placement. Awkward hand placement can ruin a perfect photo. Have the groom place one hand behind the bride’s body, with the other holding the bride’s hand in the middle. The bride’s other hand should rest on her lap or over the other hand.
3) Hug onto the Arm
Have the bride hug onto the bicep of the broom and place the other hand on his shoulder. This is a more casual pose than the standard basic pose mentioned above.
4) Standing Forehead to Forehead
Forehead to forehead is an intimate pose without the kissing. Make sure their eyes are closed so it doesn’t look like they’re staring each other down. If there is a significant height difference, have the groom do the splits until they are similar in height.
5) Sitting Forehead to Forehead
Similar to the standing forehead to forehead, the sitting forehead to forehead is a very intimate pose.
6) Meet in the middle
Meeting in the middle is perfect for those symmetrical scenes. Have the bride and groom stand a few feet apart, bend at the hip with backs straight and meet in the middle for a kiss.
7) The Dip
The dip adds action to a scene. Make sure the groom is using his legs to dip to give him a sturdy base and have the bride either grab around his neck or have them hold hands as they dip.
8 ) The Casual Look
The casual look is great because it’s a more candid look that doesn’t seem as “posed” as some of the others mentioned. Have your couple hold hands and look at each other. From here, you can get playful and have them make faces at each other if you want to make it more fun.
9) Intimate Look
Bringing their bodies together (instead of apart as shown in the pose above) as they look at each other, creates a more intimate feel. Again, make sure there is no gap between their bodies and make sure neither of them is leaning back. Leaning back or tilting the head away can decrease the intimate feel of the pose.
10) The Sitting Look
Similar to the standing look, the sitting look is a great way to show interaction between the couple. Have them sit either side-by-side or have the bride sit on the groom’s lap.
11) Single Look
Having the bride (or bride-to-be) look into the camera and the groom (or groom-to-be) look at her is a nice variation to add to your poses. You can also reverse it, with the groom looking into the camera and the bride looking up at him.
12) The Kiss
Of course the kiss needs very little explanation. The two main things are closeness, bringing their bodies together without gaps, and hand placement, making sure the arms aren’t just hanging aimlessly.
13) The Sitting Kiss
The sitting kiss is an intimate pose that can allow you to utilize different backgrounds and foregrounds in your compositions.
14) Kiss On the Cheek
The kiss on the cheek is a classic pose. It’s somewhere in between intimate and playful, depending on the expression of the subject.
15) Looking Off
Don’t forget that your couple doesn’t always need to be looking towards the camera. Looking off creates a romantic, photojournalistic feel and highlights the scenery.
16) Hold From Behind
The hold from behind is also an intimate, photojournalistic pose that highlights the backgrounds.
17) Staggared Couple
The staggered couple highlights one of the two subjects. Don’t place the person in the background too far from the person in the front, as you want to make sure the person in the back is still identifiable. Also, have the person in the back look at the person in the front, rather than into the camera.
18) The Carry
The carry can be playful or intimate. In the following image, an intimacy is created with a kiss; however, if the subjects were smiling at each other, the mood would be much more playful.
19) The Swing
The swing, like the dip, adds action to a scene.
20) Sitting Headrest
The sitting headrest is a casual sitting pose. The idea is to convey comfort. The bride and groom should look very comfortable with each other, somewhere between casual and intimate.
As mentioned, these poses are just a starting point. From here, you can make small adjustments, take slightly different angles, use different lighting techniques and lenses, and more to create an entirely different look and feel to the image. We hope you learned a few things, and stay tuned for more wedding photography tutorials.
I would like to thank Chris creator of Designer Photography Bags and Editor of SLR Lounge Photography Tutorials for this great article and I surely hope we will have him again for some great photography tips
If you enjoyed this article make sure to check Step Into Wedding Photography part 2 : Poses for the groom and groomsmen