April 13, 2022
One of the most common phrases I hear from my clients on their wedding day is that they aren’t sure how to pose themselves. This is understandable considering most couples I work with haven’t worked with a professional photographer before. Inevitably, they’ve seen all those beautiful, magazine-worthy wedding poses on Pinterest and have put the pressure on themselves to achieve similar results. The truth is you have enough on your plate, and it’s part of your photographer’s job as a pro to guide you into all those amazing, swoony wedding poses without you even knowing you’re doing it.
As a person who perhaps hasn’t worked with a photographer before, the intuitive thing for couples to do is engage in what I call “micro-posing”, analyzing every detail of someone else’s image from hand placement to facial expression to get what you hope is the exact same image with you and your partner in the other couple’s place.
There are two issues with micro-posing. One — while trying to get that perfect positioning, you end up overthinking the whole thing and you can tell you are thinking, not flowing, in the image. Two — it’s someone else’s image, not yours, and we all know what they say about trying to be someone else.
So how do good photographers guide you into those amazing, editorial wedding poses? The answer is both simple and fun: prompts.
In my years as a wedding photographer, I’ve learned that prompt-based wedding poses are a fantastic way to deliver beautiful, natural images and keep the couple comfortable and confident. It’s my deepest philosophy that if you are relaxing and having fun during your time with me, it will shine in your images.
Here are my top 5 favorite prompt-based wedding poses.
For this one, I have one partner take a few paces back and then give them the simple instruction to “scare them with your love”. The goal of this prompt is to get some kind of hug or wrap-around and big smiles. Just knowing you are going to be snuck up on with hugs and kisses is enough to get you laughing most of the time.
This one is an industry favorite. Lots of wedding photographers use this prompt to get the cute, nuzzled wedding poses. Variations of this can include different food groups and different voices (like Cookie Monster, Batman, or Dracula).
I always like watching couples look confused about what I mean when I toss this one out and then nail it. These result in faces getting really close and genuine laughter at how silly the prompt is.
This one is good after a series of more complex wedding poses. I usually tell the couple that I’m going to stop talking for two minutes while they press together and try to synchronize their breathing. Sometimes I’ll even turn on some slow jams and let the couple sway with the music. Not only is this a fantastic way to mellow out the session, it has also led to some of my most favorite images.
Wedding dresses are so pretty and I love to show them off with a term I like to think I coined — the Swishies. It gives you something to do with your hands while you walk and looks super natural. For couples without a dress or for engagement sessions, I’ll prompt you to walk in a curvy pattern — going further apart and coming back together — and bumping hips in the middle.
As you can see, an experienced photographer should be able to guide you into modern and emotional wedding poses with ease. Good wedding photography — and good photography in general — is about capturing the beauty in things as they are, coaxing forth those things that are naturally inside you so the camera can see.
If you want to see more of these weddings, you can view these couples – and more – on the blog. Check out Sarah and Jeff’s Wedding where we did photography and videography or Kenya and JT at the Lanning Farm.