The human body can be directed and modeled to achieve shapes that will look spectacular in a photograph. Many photographers have fallen into the error of approaching our subjects in the same way. Poses help to project an intention in a much more effective when this sort of acting is executed.
Poses can become a key and fundamental action behind the success of a photograph. Working with people who have experience in posing is a delight, and it is really those people who must have to be credited for since they make the work of the photographer very simple. But, things don’t always work this way, especially at weddings. Usually the protagonists of our wedding photographs, are people without a modeling or acting training, and are not so skillful to pose. This problem can be overcome if you are a kind director when asking them to perform the poses you want to portray.
Every niche in photography has its intricacies, and wedding photography presents many indeed. The final results may contain candid and posed images, mixed in a beautiful storytelling album. The great responsibility of every wedding photographer is simple to define yet complex to fulfill, “documenting one of the most important days in a couple’s life”. A huge responsibility indeed.
The good thing here is that we can invest a lot of effort in practice, and this will result in good photographs at the moment of truth. Here are a couple of important things to keep in mind when making a portrait session at a wedding are the following:
- Know how to quickly choose a location with good light
- Practice how to capture the couple in a flattering way
And speaking of flattering, you have to find a way for the couple to look good together. Here are some classic wedding photos poses:
- The V-Up
Here you’ll have to direct the couple to touch their hips and to keep their hands from lying still at their sides. The couple could be watching each other or not, it will depend on the photographer’s style.
- Opened up
Present the couple with their legs relaxed and join them at the middle with their hands.
- Back hug
Here you usually will want to have the groom at the back of the bride, holding her tight from the back with a very romantic and passionate expression of love. Try to make this one particularly not to be an “aware of the camera” pose.
- The Swing
Here you’ll direct the groom to lift the bride, and she’ll lift one or two legs in a very romantic manner. Just remember that not all grooms will be fit to do this one.
- Meet in the Middle
Place your couple facing each other and leave a good amount of space between them, have them meet their bodies just with a kiss.
These are simply some of the traditional poses that can fit with the style of each photographer, the key is that these poses adapt to the personal style of the wedding photography that you do, and not the other way around. Remember that the style you are building is part of your brand, and it should always be well recognizable.
It is our responsibility as photographers to act as art directors in this regard. If we don’t have the skills for directing, we can always leave it to the pros. Have an art director in your staff, this will help separate the roles, and focus more efficiently on our role as photographers.
All the poses that are made, whether you work alone or with an artistic assistant, have to go in the line of our own style. Planning is important for not leaving things to chance. The more careful we are when it comes to planning after meeting the couple and knowing about the situations of light and location that we will have in the big day, the better the poses that we’ll achieve. Here, improvisation must have a very little participation.
The purpose of this article was to show the importance of poses, but more importantly, to recognize how these can be adapted to a particular style. Many times the wedding photographs fail, by relying on the makeup, the outfits of the couple and the beauty of the bride and groom. But if we are not careful with the poses, we can unpleasantly portray a couple that is beautiful in real life.