Most brides have never modeled and gotten professional pictures done before. So having your wedding day, which is one of the biggest days of your life, to be the first day you are in front of a camera can be extremely nerve-wracking. Especially if you don’t know what to do in front of the camera.
Sadly, a lot of photographers don’t understand that it’s not just about the beautiful compositions, backdrops, and even moments. Though those are all important, it is an absolute necessity to be a master in the art of posing to ensure the bride AND the groom look absolutely dazzling on the best day of their life.
I came across this study that mentioned that close to 40% of brides had regrets when it came to their wedding photos.
“Wow!” I thought to myself. I couldn’t believe that percentage was so high!
I started digging deeper to really see the reasons why these brides we’re unhappy, and this is what I found…
1. “Our photographer got drunk, and you can see the photos in the gallery getting blurrier and blurrier as you scroll through.”
2. “He just really didn’t seem to know what he was doing! He didn’t guide us during the portrait session and we were just standing there awkwardly!”
3. “She only captured moments of my husband and me, but not of our close friends and loved ones. That was really disappointing.”
And that was just the tip of the iceberg…
I take pride in my work, and after seeing almost half of brides out there being extremely unhappy with the results they were getting from other so called professional photographers, I couldn’t let my brides say the same negative things about their wedding photography experiences.
I’m going to share with you as much value in my expertise in posing wedding couples so you can ensure you look your best and have no regrets for your special day.
Posing is an ART.
But understandably it’s an art that a lot of couples are nervous about, and SADLY that a lot of so-called “professional” photographers actually don’t know how to direct correctly. So if you happen to have a photographer who doesn’t know how to pose you with expertise and intention, what are a few things you should remember?
I call these THE FOUNDATION of posing:
1. Imaginary String: First off you want to ensure that your spine is straight, but NOT stiff and unnatural. I often ask my couples to act as if there is a string on the back/top of their head pull up. Have a straight spine and natural curve in your lumbar (lower back).
2. Shoulders: Push your shoulders 1 inch back. This will further bring confidence and beauty to your pose.
3. Weight Distribution: You want your weight distribution to be uneven or else your pose will look unnatural. There are two ways to do this. Either cross one leg over the other or put more weight on your back leg.
I could write a book on how to pose hands and eyes… it’s the photographer’s job to not just “memorize” poses, but to learn how to “build” a pose for our brides and grooms.
But here a few pointers so you’ll know what to do on your wedding day.
The hands and arms can be used to lead attention to the right places. With this cigarette pose, it leads the viewers’ attention to the dress and also to her face that is looking at the distance. The pose itself can feel unnatural but is very natural and beautiful in portraits. With her other arm, we could either make it out of sight behind her or where it is across her waist also looks very natural.
When you hold something it naturally gives your hands something to do but also brings attention to that object. Here the bride is holding her dress which also is a beautiful way to lead attention and show it off.
In this pose, she is also doing the cigarette pose which for this particular case worked out beautifully. If there is nothing to hold and I see a pose may look better with hands and arms NOT straight down, you can place one or two hands at the waist.
Having your elbow at more than a 90-degree angle gives a more elegant pose than having it at 90 degrees or more.
Where you look can dramatically change the feel of the portrait. As you can see in the first photo I had the bride look away, giving an almost candid feel of the portrait. But no matter where you look, you want to avoid only seeing the “white” part of your eye.
If you pay very close attention to the movement of the camera you’ll get a portrait like so…
When you focus on something very hard, it triggers the Parietal Lobe in the brain. This brings out a VERY captivating look in the eyes.
Photographers who don’t know how to pose the hands and arms often give brides and grooms what is called the floating head (what you don’t want). It’s when you have a close-up shot of the face, but no hands and arms in the photo.
You can use hands and fingers to lead attention to where you want with a close-up. This can enhance a close-up portrait in a really beautiful way.
So you’ve just learned: The Foundations of Posing, How to Make Your Portraits NOT Cheesy, & Posing Your Hands and Eyes
So you won’t be close to 40% of brides who have regrets with their wedding photographer. The crazy thing is… at this point you may know more about posing than most “professional” wedding photographers out there lol.
As a bonus, I’ll teach you the correct way to WALK in front of the camera.
Remember how I talked about weight distribution for your portraits? It’s the same thing for walking. If you walk normally, it’s possible your portraits could look like a penguin walking.
So for the camera, what you want to do is walk as if you are walking on a straight line under you.
This will change the weight distribution in your hips making them look much more flattering in the portrait.