10 Great Pose Ideas for a Bride & Groom with Vanessa Joy
We’ve all seen that one pose from wedding photography: the typical bride and groom looking at each other with some natural or architectural backdrop. Half of what we’re doing as photographers in a picture like this is just photographing the pretty background scenery. There should be more than just these two people looking at each other in our wedding photography portfolios.
There’s nothing wrong with that photograph—honestly, it is usually super popular with the couple themselves—but it gets kinda boring for you and your clients. Show off your abilities as a photographer and get the best shots possible—here are some options for how to offer something more, something different to your customers, switching it up.
Like the sides of a book, the shoulders of the couple open up in this pose. You can remember the “open-shut” because one set of shoulders is together, while the other set is on the outside, apart from each other. This pose keeps things interesting while allowing the couple to lean back a little. This pose, like many others, can be rotated, so you have them partially in profile or straight-on.
Yes, this pose can be great for slimming down the bride in the photographs, but this also works well for flipping the typical bride-stands-in-front pairing. You can get stand-out photographs in this position. Beware though: do watch out for the groom craning his neck to look at her. Find a way that doesn’t have him straining or looking awkward, even if that means he looks forward or right at the camera—grooms don’t usually look very groom-like with their heads craned like that.
Back of the Dress
Turn the bride fully away from the camera and really accent the dress, since there are often little details there that she wants to remember. I mean, everyone else gets to see the back of the dress, but the pictures let her see how good it looked too. Let her snuggle up facing toward the groom, and let the photo focus in on those details. Often, brides pick a dress based on some beautiful ribbon or lacework on the back. Make sure you get plenty of that lace-up back or flowing train—show it off!
Bride’s Back to the Groom
This pose brings them close together and lets them hold hands, wrap arms around waists, all of that lovey-dovey stuff. Make this a pose and you’ll help them calm down and feel less formal, even as you get both smiling faces at once. It doesn’t have to be the exact same as a traditional prom pose, and it doesn’t need to be awkward or stiff; to change it up, you can make her slightly off center, angle them in different ways toward the camera, etc. Experiment a little!
Having the bride and groom walk together is a great starting point, because they are accustomed to doing that. You can get great candid laughing and smiling shots when they walk, and holding hands makes for really beautiful pictures. These photographs may become some of their favorites, especially if you can get great atmospheric details around them as well. This is another great spot to get a back-of-the-dress shot, as they walk off into the figurative (or literal) sunset together, hand-in-hand or arm-in-arm.
You have the groom and bride posed anyway, why just take a full-body picture?
Try to get their hands with the rings, the bouquet, the lace on the dress, the funny socks in his dress shoes if they are peeking out! Make it your business to get the big picture and the small pictures—you never know what will show up during edits that you are excited to have captured. Zooming in can get you a photograph that you will be proud to showcase as distinct from the regular old portfolio of typical shots.
Get a Little Kiss-Creative
The traditional kiss on the lips…is usually a really smushed-face shot to some extent. You can’t see the faces very well! Certainly, do try the kiss as usual, since they probably want one of those pictures, but also try some of these variations to make for unique and more face-flattering kiss poses:
- Forehead Kiss: Very romantic but also perfect for a big height difference in the couple.
- Cheek Kiss: You get the girl or the guy’s full face, as well as the pucker-up face, which are both quite cute.
- Almost Kiss: When the couple is going in for the kiss, you get both an action-potential shot and still see the faces: very sultry without smashing the face together before the shutter snaps.
Practice That First Dance
Yes, you can get wonderful first-dance shots at the actual first dance. During a photoshoot, you can loosen up a bride and groom while getting great photographs by having them dance! They get to look at each other, which feels more natural than looking at a camera, and those big ballgowns look so good when being whisked around a dance floor. You also avoid the perennial “what are they doing with their hands?” problem, since they have to hold hands, usually, to dance together. Find some of the impressive backdrops you have available and have them sway a little while you capture the moments.
Nose to Cheek
Whether you have the groom’s nose in her hair or actually on her cheek, the profile of the guy and the smile of the girl really work. This pose is tender, conveying love from the groom and genuine feeling as well from the bride. Sometimes, this isn’t a pose that the groom and bride naturally assume, so know what I do to get a genuine smile? I ask the groom to whisper something dirty in her ear. It’s silly but it works, especially if your bride and groom have been smiling for a while and need something to prompt a little laughing.
Much like the walking poses, having the bride look back while they are holding hands can be a really cute shot. Say something to her so she turns around, and snap that immediate smile. Again, you’ll be happy that you tried something different, and the more different shots you try, the more likely you will find that magical look that makes this bride and groom look their best.
Ultimately, every bride and groom look their best and most at ease in a different pose. That’s why you need a wide variety of poses so you get a chance to see the moment when it really clicks. You also need to figure out a way to go through these as fast as humanly possible. After all, we almost never get enough time to shoot on a wedding day! Check out www.SpeedPosing.com for more on that.
You can even tell them this from the beginning: You are going to take photos in a lot of different poses so that they get the absolute best options, based on your experiences. This might help if they have just a couple of ideas in their head about what wedding photos look like.
I hope that you find these poses helpful in making your clients look their very best while getting a variety of photographs and expressing your own creative energy; soon, you’ll discover even more poses that become part of your own top 10!