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Wedding Photography Techniques: Part 1 (Posing)

The first thing to stress is that I don’t advocate a day full of posing people; and I certainly do not encourage excessive groups shots. Good photojournalism has its place for large parts of the day because a good photographic narrative of a wedding day is important.  So here I am discussing posing for the artistic shots with the bride (before the ceremony) and with the couple (30-45 minutes after the ceremony). These are the shots that dominate my portfolio (and many pro photographers struggle with!).


My main advice here is to NOT to look at bridal magazines. In fact do not look at typical wedding shots for inspiration. Most traditional wedding shots of the couple make them look awkward or embarassed (how many shots have you seen of the bride smiling inanely at the camera with the husband placed clumsily behind for example). Instead ditch the flowers for most shots and look at good editiorial and fashion magazines such as Vogue. Now what I am not suggesting here is that you start asking the bride to pout and perform model poses with which she is uncomfortable. You should be looking for ideas for poses that do not rely on the couple looking at the camera. These are the questions you may wish to keep turning over in your mind:

– Which poses flatter the couple/woman. Why?
– How does the pose help the couple connect?
– What type of mood does the pose convey?
– Under which circumstances (eg in front a church) might the pose work in a wedding context?
– What type of light do you need to model the pose and what image enhancement would you need? (more on this in forthcoming parts 2 and 3).


It is also important to assess realistically whether a particular wedding couple would be able undertake each pose. But with trust, a good wedding photographer should be able to lead the bride and groom into an exciting/emotional/dramatic pose with good explanation and gentle handling.  Wedding photographers are not really getting paid to stand the bride and groom next together and asking them to grin at the camera.

So in summary I would advise the need to constantly look for new ideas in the right areas; be ambitious; and keep practising (at home!).
You can see my latest article on wedding photography posing here.


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  • walstonphoto

    This is great advice, and I value the insight. It sounds like you are melding the strategies of a model shoot with photojournalism to create a unique wedding image that stands apart from the cookie cutter world of traditional wedding photography. I think this can be applied to family photography as well with lovely results. Thank you for the inspiration and tips.

  • Brandon Mulnix

    Your clients are lucky to have you as a photographer. Your work is crisp, bold, and beautiful. Thanks for sharing just a piece of your knowledge with your community.

    Great work!

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