Do a Lot With a Little Time: How To Pose a Bride with Vanessa Joy
When you’re photographing a bride, there’s a lot to encompass: you’ve got a beautiful background, ideally, but you want nearly all the focus in the photos to be on the bride herself. She’s got hair, makeup, the dress, and often her bouquet—all points of focus that can draw the eye, so you’re adjusting throughout the session to get the ideal look. Here’s how I make a bridal session efficient without leaving out any of the flattering and fun photos that a bride wants to find in her album.
Get Your Bride’s “Spot” Ready
You’ll help your bride look her best by having her lean on one leg, creating that beautiful “S” shape that accentuates a bride’s beauty.
When brides naturally hold their bouquets, they often splay an arm to the side and cover the entire front of their dresses. You’ll want to have her lower her bouquet and find a new “spot” for it that keeps it, ideally, from distracting the gaze away from her face or the bodice of the gown, since a lot of visual detail tends to be there. Often you’ll want to ask the bride to pull her arms back a bit, since that look comes out quite elegant compared to having arms fully out to her sides.
Once you have her pose, you’ll start varying your crops and taking the most common pose you’ll want for every bride.
Master the Quick Six
While you’ll have some shots that vary with every bride, a great place to start is with the “Quick Six.” This set of shots begins with:
- A shot of the bride looking down at her flowers.
- A shot of the bride looking into the camera.
- A shot of the bride looking out to the side, “into the future” as you might say! You’ll often have this shot set so that she can look into where the light is coming from.
You’ll then do those same three shots but closer in or farther away. You’ll want two different distances to get more of the details of the environment in one set, and more details of the dress and the bride’s face in the close-in shots. So, down at flowers, into camera, and out, but in both close-up and full-length—that’s the quick six!