Get gorgeous portraits of every couple with these tried-and-true wedding photo poses. These tips and techniques will make your clients jump for joy!
The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Poses
When it comes to wedding photography, there are a lot of things you need to know. There is everything from familiarizing yourself with your camera system, to the creative art of photographing an event. As a photographer, you must come up with creative wedding photography ideas for couples. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to posing for wedding photos that you can keep handy on a wedding day.
Wedding Photography Poses Checklist
This list of wedding photo and pose ideas will be a great addition to whatever you’ve got in mind for your couple. Coming with pose ideas handy can show your bride and groom that you’re resourceful and ready to go.
As a wedding photographer, there is a lot to cover on the wedding day in terms of photography. It can be hard to remember all the wedding poses. If you keep this pose list up on your screen, it’s sure to help jog your memory. Let’s dive into how a couple can pose for their wedding photography.
Traditional Wedding Photography Poses
Let’s start off with some traditional wedding photography poses for the big day. These classic pose ideas for wedding day pictures will leave your couples so happy. One important thing to consider is that traditional poses will ensure that you get the shots at the right time. If this is your first wedding or your 100th, traditional ideas will ensure that you work your way through your shot list.
The First Look
The first look is an absolute essential when it comes to many weddings. Not every couple decides to do the first look. For those that do, this is an especially important moment to photograph. Coordinating this time of the day is a big job for the photographers.
Be sure your digital camera is ready to go for the photography during this event. Do some test shots with the partner that is waiting. Then, when the other walks up, you will be ready to take your digital photos. Check on your shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings.
Once you capture these two seeing each other for the first time on their big day, you can head right into their portrait session. That way, you don’t have to pull your couple away from their cocktail hour. You can ensure that they have their moments alone before the ceremony. This is also a great opportunity for your couple to become comfortable with a lens on them before the rest of the day.
The dip is an epic shot where one partner dips the other. If you are working with a bride and groom, for example, the groom will typically dip the bride. When it comes to weddings, pictures like these can make special memories for the bride and groom. It will also give them a big moment, as if it’s photography from a TV show or movie.
Holding the Bride
There are many ways for a partner to hold the bride. An example would be the groom carrying the bride over the threshold. This is a throwback to ancient times when people were married by capture, so the bride wouldn’t willingly enter the home. Nowadays, it’s a fun wedding photography pose that also shows off the bride’s beautiful wedding dress.
There are so many ways to capture intimate looks on a wedding day. For example, the bride can stand in front of the groom, while the groom hugs the bride from behind. These poses are beautiful, romantic moments that your couples will like a lot. Think of ways that your couples can interact with each other while posing for wedding photography.
Another great example is the forehead rest. Have them look at each other while holding hands with their heads together. You can also have your couples kiss beyond just the lips, like a forehead kiss or a hand kiss.
Unique Wedding Photography Poses
You’ll want to be creative when you’re photographing a wedding. Search your photos for unique posing ideas. We’ve also got some fun thoughts to help you along. These ideas might let your wedding couple be a little rowdy on their wedding day.
Trash the Dress
If you’re photographing an elopement, sometimes couples like to trash the dress. Brides who are trashing their wedding dress are done with their fancy outfit, and now want to have some fun. Trash the dress shoots usually occur after the main celebration is finished, and they can now have fun in places like the water or mud.
The Running Shot
Have your couples to run towards your digital camera. Have them standing far off and then run towards your lens. This will bring some life and action into their fun wedding day photos.
Lying in the Grass
Some brides may not like this idea – grass can easily stain a wedding dress. For those who are feeling adventurous, lying in the grass is a fun wedding photography pose. This can create a magical and intimate moment for your couple.
Have your couple take a selfie on their wedding day! Photograph them while they’re taking a selfie. This can help your couple make a personal memory they can look back on immediately after the wedding while they’re waiting on their photos.
Beach Wedding Photography Poses
If you’re shooting a wedding on the beach, there are lots of posing options for your couples. Beaches provide lots of opportunities for lovely wedding photos. For example, the classic coastline shot is something that couples in areas with beaches will appreciate.
The Walk-on-the-Beach Shot
You should have your couple takes off their shoes for these beach wedding poses! The walk-on-the-beach shot is exactly what it sounds like. A romantic walk along the beach is perfect for a sunny wedding day.
The Breathtaking Sunset Shot
Near the end of the day, make certain to capture the breathtaking sunset shot. This is a shot you cannot forget if you’re having a beach wedding. Silhouette your couple in the sunset, and take advantage of the golden hour lighting. Your couple will cherish a sunset shot forever, as it will be their movie moment.
The Splash Shot
Have your couple splash around in the water! Capture birds flying in the background and create lots of action with this shot. You’d likely be trashing the dress at this point, which some couples find worth it for the shot.
How Do Brides Pose for Wedding Photos?
These poses work great for couples, but you may be wondering how to pose brides on their own. Bridal portraits are a crucial part of a wedding day. The magic of digital photography is that you can take as many shots as you need, to ensure that you take the right shot. So, how do brides pose for wedding photos?
Friend or Family Member Doing Up Dress
Have a family member or someone from the bridal party help do up the bride’s wedding dress. This is a very significant part of the day. It captures an emotional moment and shows the bride that she is loved and supported.
Looking out the Window
Window light is a very flattering pose to anyone having their photo taken. Make sure to snag a photo of the bride looking out the window. This can signify waiting for her partner to arrive in the broader wedding story.
Hanging Out with Bridesmaids
Hanging out with the bridal party is a big part of a bride’s morning. Get a photo of her relaxing with her beloved bridesmaids. You can assemble them to pose for a classic photo on the bed in their robes, or do a big “cheers” moment.
Facing Away from the Camera
Have your bride pose with her face away from the camera. This will show off the beautiful details of her wedding dress. It will also allow for a great shot of her styled hair. Have her turn towards the camera and smile for some of the photos.
A classic shot of the bride is to catch her smelling her bouquet. This photo pose will show the beautiful flowers that the couple has chosen. You can also get lovely details of the makeup when you get close for this type of photo.
Wedding Poses for Groom
Are you wondering poses for a groom’s photo being taken? It can be difficult to figure out what to do with a groom for a photo. They often don’t have as much styling or getting ready time as brides do. But we’ve got some poses for you to get grooms in a photo.
Make sure to catch a photo of the groom standing by himself. Grab details like the suit, pocket square, boutonniere, tie or bow tie, and so on. This wedding pose is a simple photo that any groom can feel comfortable in.
Looking at Watch
Have your groom look at his watch. This is a timeless wedding photo pose, especially if he’s got a fancy watch for the occasion. This will go well in the story of their wedding photo album as well. In the greater narrative of the big day, this is the moment he’s waiting to marry his partner.
Hanging Out with Groomsmen
If your groom is getting ready with his buddies, photos where the groom will pose with the groomsmen will be a lot of fun. Have them strike some poses as a group. These will be fun and meaningful photos for any groom to look back upon. Have the boys get the groom to laugh for some good times.
Wedding Party Photography Poses
On the actual wedding day, there are some classic photo poses to keep in mind. You must get these photos to help your couple remember the love and support they had. When they can look back on a wedding picture like any of these, it’s something to remember. They’ll even want to put these photos on their wall or in their album.
Tossing the Bouquet
Tossing the bouquet is a timeless tradition on a wedding day. The bride will typically toss her bouquet and whoever catches it is fabled to be the next one to marry. Any bouquet toss is a ton of fun, and makes for a fantastic photo. Just be sure to have your shutter speed where it needs to be to freeze a moment such as this one.
Circle of Friends
Have your couple surrounded by a circle of their friends. Show the love and warmth that they were overwhelmed with on their wedding day. Gather up the couple’s friends, like the bridal party, for this type of shot.
Jump for Joy
Have the wedding party jump for joy. Make sure to take several snaps for this photo. Having everyone jump at the same time can be so difficult! Ensure that you’ve got a few frames with all members of the party in the air.
The Sparkler Sendoff
The sparkler sendoff is a beautiful wedding photography moment. This is any photographer’s dream to capture. Have the guests at the wedding line up with sparklers to send off the couple. Make sure you have an appropriate lighting setup to capture this nighttime moment!
Confetti All Around
Biodegradable confetti is the perfect option for couples who want a classic confetti shot. Have the couple get confetti ahead of time for this amazing wedding photography moment. The photos you take of your bride and groom surrounded by confetti will evoke so much joy in them when they look back.
What If They Don’t Like Being Photographed?
For many couples, the wedding day is their first experience being professionally photographed. This is why you should always have a conversation beforehand with your couples. Check in with them on how comfortable they are with cameras. Talk to them and see what their fears are with having wedding photography done.
This is also a perfect opportunity to offer up an engagement session. Engagement shoots are perfect to help teach your marrying couple how to pose. Their wedding photography shouldn’t need to be the first time they learn to pose! Get to know your bride and groom in advance, and ease their fears.
How Do I Make the Wedding Pictures Not Awkward?
If your bride and groom do not like having their photo taken, they may not be as receptive to your posing ideas. You must help them along as their professional photographer. Their wedding day is about making wonderful memories. They should be able to go through the wedding day without being camera-shy.
The most important thing you can do is to be a reassuring presence. Hype up your couples and be sure to never criticize. Do not say anything negative about the photos or poses, even if they are not looking great behind the camera. Don’t ever show them a bad photo of themselves if they are camera-shy.
Make Anyone More Photogenic
There are ways to make anyone getting their wedding photo taken more photogenic. Help your couples along and give them poses and tips to improve their wonderful selves. When they are doing wedding poses, offer them some of these poses tips.
In any of the wedding poses, remind your subjects to stand up straight. Having your shoulders back and head high with this pose will instantly make any photo look much better. Your couples may not remember as they might be used to slouching. Give them a gentle pointer that the wedding poses will look fantastic if they hold themselves well.
Think Happy Thoughts
Remind them that it’s not just about wedding poses – it’s their wedding day! Your bride and groom should be able to think happy thoughts in the photos. This will easily translate on their faces and in their body language.
Smile from the Eyes
Smiling isn’t just about your mouth—smiling with the eyes is important too! Remind the couples that when they do poses, they should be smiling too. You’ll want to find ways for your bride and groom to laugh and smile naturally. Don’t be afraid to be silly with them on their wedding day!
Most importantly, practice when it comes to wedding poses. This is why engagement shoots are so important. Having your couples practice their wedding poses will make the wedding photography infinitely better. Plus, the engagement session will give them an opportunity to look back and see what they might want to change about their poses.
Wedding Photography Is Both an Art and a Science
When coming up with wedding photo poses, remember that wedding photography is both an art and a science. You must be sure to be creative, but also capture the shots right. If it’s your first time shooting a wedding, make sure to take a moment and get to know your camera. These are lifelong memories you are capturing for your bride and groom.
Megan Breukelman is a Brooklyn-based photographer, marketer, and host of the Photo Opp Podcast. She aims to eat cupcakes and help photographers build on their passions.