How to Pose like You Know What You’re Doing in Your Wedding Photos from an Experienced Photographer
We totally know your dirty little secret is sitting online and scrolling through thousands of wedding photographs, whether you’re currently wedding planning or not. How are we so sure about this? We do it, too; yes, just for fun! With so much great content out there it’s hard not to be inspired and the romance captured in the poses is usually next level. You want to emulate it, we get it — esp. if you’re on your wedding planning journey and will be getting hitched soon! So to give you the scoop on couples poses for wedding portraits, we got with our new bestie, the fabulous and genius Tia Goff of Cameron & Tia Photography because she’s kind of like a savant when it comes to guiding her couples and getting the photos just right. We’re talking intentional posing and why it matters, how to do it naturally, the secret sauce to those perfect kissing photos, how to get the coveted “dip” photo and the “dress admiration” photo, oh and of course we’re going to reveal the most popular pose e-v-e-r (seriously)! So let’s jump right in….
Intentional posing… it just sounds dreadful, we know, but the results are totally worth it. In fact, Goff says it’s what takes wedding photos to the next level. “It's all about creating those picture-perfect moments that make couples look and feel amazing on their big day. Posing not only enhances the visual appeal, but also portrays the emotions and connection between the couple.” This way your love, joy, and intimacy will shine through in your photographs, she explains. “It's about capturing those genuine, heartfelt moments that tell their unique love story and evoke powerful emotions when they look back at their wedding album.”
Now, on the topic of your wedding album, it will totally thank you for following this kind of guidance and instruction with your poses, because as Goff explains, you’ll be guaranteeing yourself a diverse set of images. “With intentional posing, photographers can create a treasure trove of images by using different poses, angles, and compositions. From romantic and dreamy shots to playful and energetic ones, intentional posing ensures that the couple’s photo collection is a delightful mix of stunning moments, capturing the essence of their special day from various perspectives.” More so, Goff suggests, “By blending intentional posing with a keen eye for those spontaneous, ‘caught in the moment’ shots, photographers create a well-rounded wedding album that reflects the true essence of the couple’s love story. It’s about weaving together the perfectly posed moments and those unexpected, heartwarming captures to create a complete narrative of their special day.”
But fear not, because with the right photog you’ll get all the guidance you need. So, yes, even if you’re camera-shy you can do this! The clear instructions and friendly atmosphere, will no doubt help you feel comfortable and at ease, which will in turn boost your confidence, allowing you to relax, be yourselves, and let your genuine personalities shine through in the photos, Goff explains. “It’s all about capturing their authentic beauty and creating a fun, stress-free experience they’ll treasure.”
Did you pick up on those three little words: “stress-free experience”? Weddings can be stressful, planning definitely is, but the day-of certainly shouldn’t be. One big reason stress can enter the equation on the wedding day relates all to timing. You’ve got a tight schedule or wedding day timeline and you’ll more than likely be ushered around from place to place for most of the day. But when it comes to your photographs, intentional posing makes the whole process more efficient. “Time is indeed of the essence on a wedding day, and intentional posing is like a superpower in maximizing the use of time. By having a repertoire of poses and clear guidance, photographers can work efficiently, ensuring that they capture a wide range of beautiful images without compromising on quality or feeling rushed. It’s all about making the most of every precious moment and delivering a stunning collection of photos that the couple will adore.”
So one second you may be asked to laugh or smile and another you may be promoted to kiss or make a serious face. It’s all in the name of beautiful imagery, though. And above all, even with these intentional poses, you are able to express your emotions and facial expressions naturally, Goff tells us. “This could be by guiding one person into surprising the other with a huge bear hug from behind or a fake drop during a lift to whispering vegetables in a sensual voice. We are trying to get them to do silly or surprising actions that evoke natural emotions,” she explains.
Tips for Posing Naturally
Straight from the expert we’ve got Goff’s 5 tips for posing naturally — and you’re certainly going to want to check them out.
No. 1 Relax and Be Yourself
“The key to posing naturally is to relax and be comfortable in your own skin. Embrace your true self and let your genuine personality shine through. Remember, the camera is there to capture the real you, so don’t be afraid to show your authentic emotions and expressions.”
No. 2 Movement and Action
“Instead of static poses, incorporate movement and action into your poses. Walk hand-in-hand with your partner, dance together, or engage in playful interactions. These dynamic poses not only create visually interesting compositions but also help you feel more at ease and spontaneous.”
No. 3 Focus on Each Other
“Forget about the camera for a moment and focus on your partner. Engage in conversations, share intimate glances, and enjoy each other’s company. By connecting with your partner, you’ll naturally exude love and affection, resulting in authentic and beautiful moments captured on camera.”
No. 4 Embrace Imperfections
“Remember, perfection is overrated! Embrace your imperfections and unique features. Let go of any self-consciousness and embrace the beauty of your individuality. Confidence in your own skin translates into natural and effortless poses.”
No. 5 Have Fun and Enjoy the Moment
“Remember that your wedding day is a joyful celebration of love. Have fun, laugh, and enjoy the moment with your partner. The more you relax and immerse yourself in the joy of the occasion, the more natural your poses will come across in the photos.
“There will definitely be winners and flops throughout the process and that’s okay. Once flops are identified, no need to go back. There are plenty of poses in the world to just focus in on those winners that truly feel like you and has you looking great.”
Kissing for the Camera
Capturing a kiss on camera can be tricky. Indeed, many beauties are a result of a purely candid moment, but for those picture-perfect (read: posed) kisses, Goff suggests, “couples smile the whole way in, almost like their teeth are about to hit. When they kiss, it’s just a light press of their lips and then they separate and hover one-inch apart like ‘dang, that was the best kiss ever!’”
How to Get a Dip Photo
Again, this is so good we’re going to give it to you straight from Goff (YW!):
Step 1: Start in a Close Embrace
“Begin by standing face-to-face with your partner, close together and in an embrace. Hold each other securely, with one partner (typically the one with more upper body strength) taking the lead.”
Step 2: Establish a Solid Base
“The partner who will be doing the dipping should slightly bend their knees to create a stable base. This will provide support and balance throughout the dip.”
Step 3: Arch Your Back
“As you lean backward, gently arch your back to create a graceful curve. This elongates your body and adds elegance to the pose. Be mindful of your comfort level and only arch as much as feels comfortable for you.”
Step 4: Keep Eye Contact
“Maintain eye contact with your partner throughout the dip. It adds a connection and intimacy to the pose. This is especially important for capturing the genuine emotions and chemistry between you.”
Step 5: Coordinate the Kiss
“As the dip reaches its lowest point, pause for a moment and coordinate a kiss with your partner. Tilt your head slightly for an aesthetically pleasing angle and capture that romantic moment.”
Step 6: Rise Back Up
“Once you’ve shared the kiss, the partner who initiated the dip will gently and gradually help the other partner rise back up to an upright position. Maintain balance and coordination as you return to the starting position.”
How to Get a Dress Admiration Photo
Let’s keep this one simple, shall we? Goff says you really only need to do one thing when one partner is rocking a dress and you want to show your complete and utter adoration for them and it: keep your chin lifted and drop your eyes (not your face).
The Most Popular Pose
We kid you not, this is the most popular pose, we see it in nearly every gallery we look at. Are you ready for it? Drumroll, please… The “butt shelf” as Goff affectionately calls it.
So what exactly is the “butt shelf”? “It’s a simple lift where the couples faces belly buttons towards each other and one partner picks up the other by wrapping their arms around below their booty and making a butt shelf. They lift them just above their face so that they can smile down toward each other and kiss,” she explains.
Sounds dreamy, right? It is! Even Goff admits, “It’s SO dramatic and romantic and it’s on SO many of our couples’ save-the-dates and prints they make huge in their homes.”
Other Pose Ideas
Photos and video courtesy of Cameron & Tia Photography