Wedding Posing Tips
Monday, October 17th, 2016
The word "posing" strikes fear in many hearts.
Instantly, the words "stiff", "uncomfortable", and "unnatural" come to mind. However, posing need not be the elaborate ordeal that people think it is. Instead, committing a few tips to memory can serve as a low key way to empower yourself to look awesome in all photos - not just those taken at your wedding. And after all, any activity that is cool enough to evolve into an 80s dance style called vogueing can't be all that bad, right?
Before I delve into pointers, I'd like to point out that I approach fashion posing and portrait posing differently. In fashion, the focus is on the clothing, and the models are essentially there to serve it. So that explains the not-so-natural, but elegant contortions that you see models take in fashion spreads.
When shooting portraits, the focus is on the person, and so the posing is softer and more subtle. It serves to flatter the individual, yet remains easy enough to allow them to stay relaxed. Nevertheless, there are still so many pointers that I could give you, but to keep things easy, I'll focus on the ones that make the most difference.
Without further ado, here are high impact, yet easy tips for portrait posing:
1) Posture, posture, posture! Don't slouch - you'll look taller, thinner, and stronger.
2) If you want to look thinner (and not everyone does), turn your body three quarters to the camera while sitting or standing.
3) You may have heard the saying "if it bends, bend it". Well, it's totally true. Angles (bent knees, elbows, wrists, heads) add shape to your figure, and as a bonus, make the entire photo more dynamic. Don't sit or stand in a straight line; break up your shape. Easy fixes: hand in pocket, hand on hip, knee crossed over leg.
4) Lower your chin (especially important if your photographer is shorter than you!). This will define your chin. If you find your chin squishing against your neck, bring it out a little while still keeping it lowered.
5) Smile with your teeth! It defines your chin and helps you look relaxed.
6) Squint/relax your eyes when you smile ("smile with your eyes"). This is the key to making a smile look natural by helping to avoid the deer-in-headlights look.
Can you spot the angles? No straight lines here.
For couples posing:
1) Lean into each other! (Unless your photographer is going for intentionally artsy shots where you're far away from each other.) Common examples: cheek to cheek, kiss on forehead, hand on shoulder, head on shoulder. The more connection points, the better the photograph will look in general and the more natural the posing.
2) Keep in mind that your photographer may ask you to naturally interact with your partner (I call these "staged candids") - in this case:
-Get into the general pose (whether it be sitting down with arms around each other or standing up while holding hands)
-Then solely focus on your partner (talk, whisper, laugh). Now it's all about authentic interaction, so no need to think about the facial posing tips noted above.
Snuggle up! How many points of contact do you see here?
Staged candid using a relaxed sitting pose.