As Sydney wedding photographers, we have been privileged to shoot various wedding poses at several stunning locations, both familiar and new, always with one aim in mind, to take beautifully elegant, light and airy photographs that will showcase the bridal couple in the best light possible for amazing wedding photography.
Now that all sounds simple in theory, yet when the dayeth, has cometh, no matter the planning beforehand, the stress and speed of a wedding can overwhelm your senses and you can easily forget the most basic of tasks, which is to pose your wedded couple.
We may be seasoned professionals, but our couples have probably only done this once, and yes, while the newer generations (we’re talking about you Gen Z) are more accustomed to being photographed on the regular at an early age, a wedding is still far from a selfie on an smartphone and they are bound to get just as nervous and will continually look to you for your guidance.
In an earlier blog post we discussed WEDDING POSES AT SYDNEY LANDMARKS which talked about how to pose your couple in front of Sydney’s most famous and photographed locations and how you can pose a couple that doesn’t feel like every other touristy photo. We wanted to go one step back from this and talk about our workflows as introverted photographers, and how we go about posing our couples on their wedding day.
START FROM A DISTANCE
Lets face it, by now you and the couple are probably pretty friendly with the many correspondences over the months or years leading up to the wedding. But don’t let that fool you, no matter how much you know someone, sticking a big fat 24mm or 35mm f/1.4 in someone’s face at the start of the day will make for a very uncomfortable beginning.
We recommended that you start further back, use those wider lenses for room shots, and maybe use a 50mm or 85mm and get some shots from further back. It won’t take long before the bride and her bridesmaids to forget you are there and you can start to slowly close the gap.
TOP TIPS FOR WEDDING POSES FOR INTROVERTS
Educate your clients along the way, tell them not to duck or apologise for getting in the way of a shot, tell them you are there for them, make them feel at home.
Tell them about your lenses, if you’re using a big lens up close, explain that its actually wide, you’re not capturing their skin pores, most people see a big lens and think it must be zoomed.
If you are up close taking photos of their bow tie or lapel, explain to them “you’re not getting their face, so just keep your chin up” they will feel so much better knowing they don’t need to smile awkwardly.
1. BRIDE AND HER BRIDESMAIDS ON THE BED
Getting things started with some casual fun of the bride and her bridesmaids. Best to tee up this shot ahead of schedule by asking if the bride and bridesmaids have bridal gowns, if not, it’s best skip this photo unless they all match. If she does, these are great (and sometimes perfectly awkward) photos to take to get familiar with the camera.
There really is hardly any posing to be done here, its either “lay on the bed facing forward” or “jump around and have a pillow fight”.
Caution: Don’t jump on the bed if there is a fan above, especially if its turned on!
2. BRIDE AT THE WINDOW
At this stage your bride should have had several photos taken while she has her makeup applied. However, this isn’t time to think she is comfortable in front of the camera just yet, far from it. This is still a time to position yourself far enough back not to impose into her personal space. The easy way to achieve this is to put her in front of a window and snap away. Firstly, the natural light will be pleasing to the aesthetics of the photo and secondly it’s still an opportunity to take candid photos without the bride having to stare down the barrel of a camera. Remember she is nervous, let her be calm and soak it all in.
3. BRIDE WITH HER BOUQUET
After a few of the formalities with her bridesmaids are over (and maybe a champagne or two later) make sure to take a few photos of her with the bouquet. The best bit about this photo is that usually the brides emotions are genuine. Not only is its the first time she is admiring her bouquet up close, but it’s the fact that she has something in her hand so she doesn’t sit their awkwardly, not knowing where to position her body.
For nervous people, holding onto any item is a great way to feel calm and composed. Just have her sit down on the edge of a seat or bed and take a photo with her gorgeous bouquet of flowers, positioning her eyes either down at the bouquet or up at the camera.
If you want to learn more about shooting bouquets, check out our blog on HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH A WEDDING BOUQUET
4. GROOM ADJUSTING HIS CUFF
Just like above with the bride, when you’re dealing with the groom, have him also use his hand by adjusting his cuff, watch, bow tie, all-of-the-above.
During these shots, we look to shoot crops as we find guys aren’t as comfortable in front of the camera as the girls. But let it be known, generally we haven’t had the same time to warm up with the boys as we have had the girls, so this is a quick, easy ice breaker to get started.
And damn, don’t they look GQ ready!
5. BRIDAL PARTY WALKING
This one is easy and requires hardly any setup, just keep the bridal couple in the center and walk towards the camera, thats it! Mix it up with everyone looking forward and laughing and also between themselves.
6. BRIDAL COUPLE WALKING
A nice little segway from the bridal party walk is shooting the wedded couple walking hand in hand. These also don’t need any setting up, just take them in between location shoots.
Generally the couple are largely relaxed and talking / laughing amongst each other which make for candid photos with relaxed smiles.
7. BRIDESMAIDS IN A HUDDLE
This wedding pose bodes well for two reasons; firstly, its a great way to get the bridesmaids together and secondly you can use this opportunity to get in closer and take photos of the bouquets all lined up.
Don’t be shy with this one, have the girls get in close, have them keep their bouquets leveled and their smiles will do the rest.
8. GROOMSMEN IN A HUDDLE
A favorite of ours with the guys is to stagger the groomsmen behind the man of the moment. We recommend using shallow depth of field (F/1.6 – F/2.8) to bring attention to the groom when taking these and also feel free to stagger the groomsmen how you see fit behind them.
We tend to keep these casual, throw in a little blue steal or hands in pockets.
9. BRIDAL COUPLE STANDING UP CLOSE TOGETHER
When posing the bridal couple, we suggest keeping it simple at first, just have them facing each other closely, arms around each other.
With this pose you can then play with their hand and facial position by having one look away or at each other and also holding hands or hands in pockets, or adjusting his bow tie.
We recommend holding this pose for a while, you can use different focal lengths and move to different angles to capture vastly different photos from this single pose.
10. GROOM (or bride) HOLDING THE WEDDING DRESS TRAIN
Like the walking photos, instead of having a bridesmaid take the reigns of the the wedding dress train, have the newly married groom do that instead!
11. BRIDAL COUPLE HOLDING HANDS APART
This one always makes it’s way into our shot list, it’s a simple yet artistic photo that always fits well within their wedding album or gallery.
Like above, you can have the couple smile at the camera or look at each other or even look away, each giving a different feel to the photo.
12. GROOM (or bride) KISSING BRIDES FOREHEAD
While the couple are close to each other, take the opportunity to throw in a gentle kiss on the forehead. Sometimes a kiss on the lips over and over again can begin to look repetitive. A cute gesture of affection is a simple kiss on the forehead for that ‘awwww’ moment.
13. BRIDAL COUPLE LOOKING AWAY
You are probably catching on by now that for every pose there are multiple outcomes. This one is no different to the above, except that you change the dynamics by having the newly married couple look away and admire a view or sunset which can bring such a different feel to the photo.
14. BRIDE LOOKING BACK
This one is all about the eyes. Lets take our hats off to the hard work the make up artist has done here by putting all the attention onto the brides eyes.
An easy way is to capture this moment is to have the couple walk away and then have the bride turn back and look over her shoulder with a smile, or keep it simple and have the bride look over the grooms shoulder.
15. THE CROP IN
We could (and will) have a whole blog post on the perfection of a cropped photo. While yes, this can be done in post at the sacrifice of a few pixels. We prefer to get this shot done on the day as intended. There is no end to what sort of crops you can achieve, just make sure you have plenty to use for their gallery or album.
We love them as they make your eyes discover new elements to the photo you wouldn’t necessary look for. We as humans will always search for the eyes, but by cropping in, you need to find your own path to what the photographer is trying to express and the details you may otherwise have missed.
16. USING THE VEIL
We feel the veil isn’t utilised as much as it should. It’s largely forgotten after the ceremony and usually taken out of her hair for the key photos.
So before that happens, make sure to use the veil to frame your bridal couple, or if you’re daring, put them under it for some seriously adorable photos!
17. USING SCRABBLE TO SAY ‘I DO’
If you’re looking for some fun photos by the use of props, get your hands on some vintage scrabble pieces. Easily accessible from your pocket, you can use these for ‘i do’ or spell out ‘L O V E’ by replacing the ‘O’ with the brides diamond ring.
18. GROOM PICKS UP THE BRIDE
If he has the muscles, pick her up and spin her around!
19. THE PROM
Its so regal, yet it works so well, this pose can be used anywhere and everywhere, it’s the simplest pose that any bride and groom can do, faultlessly.
20. THE REVERSE PROM
Easily our most favorite pose of all, this pose is one of the last you pull out of your shot list. By this stage everyone is clearly comfortable in front of the camera and you can get away with a lot more. Have the bride come in from behind and have the groom lean back a little. Its quick, its quirky, its super awkward and thats why its so cute, we love it and will continue to keep using it!