So, you’re about to get married and have no idea what the best wedding poses are for photos or poses for engagement photos.
99% of couples (bride and groom, bride and bride, or groom and groom) don’t know how, and it’s a big cause of stress!
Here’s what I hear from my couples:
- “We love that you told us exactly what to do.”
- “Thank you for being so detail oriented. Loved that I didn’t have to think about anything”
- “It was awesome that you made us laugh and feel comfortable”
- “You understood my body, and you made me look my best. I can’t thank you enough.
Some couples worry posing may sound a little nerve-wracking and I could tell you not to worry, but you wouldn’t believe me. Here’s where it comes down to: Find a photographer you trust.
For photographers, posing doesn’t need to be difficult, but like all things, it takes some studying. Not all poses work for all couples (bride and groom, bride and bride, or groom and groom) (bride and groom, bride and bride, or groom and groom) and body types. Not all jokes will work to make people comfortable.
On a wedding day (and in life, really), time is your most valuable asset. With only so much time at your disposal during weddings, it’s important to find a photographer who can give posing guidance and direction quickly and effectively so that everyone can feel (and look) comfortable!)
TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS ON HOW TO POSE COUPLES FOR YOUR WEDDING POSED PORTRAITS
IDENTIFY THE BEST SIDE
One of the face sides may be more photogenic than the other, whether because of nose placement, jawline, etc. Most people’s faces are not symmetrical.
Fun exercise: Grab a friend who knows how to work even just a phone and have him/her/they snap dozens of photos from multiple angles – tilt your head down slightly for one angle, then up; rotate left and right.
This is important for posed portraits, but for 95% of the day, it’ll be candid photography, and in my opinion, the pure candid emotions are more important than the “better side.”
CHANGE FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
Your wedding day will be one of the happiest days in your life. But that doesn’t mean you have to wear the biggest grin through every second of wedding photography.
In between poses, close your eyes and let your lips relax and fall back into place; this way they’ll get some rest before continuing on with wedding photography.
I, like many other wedding photographers, will often ask ask brides and grooms (or brides and brides / grooms and grooms) to take breaks to relax their cheeks, stretch it out, make funny fish faces, etc.
Just smile (and then not smile) like you would in real life. Relax your face and think of something that makes you feel happy, that way it would look more natural. It’s your wedding day. Hopefully feeling happy won’t be too much of a stretch!
ARM PLACEMENT MATTERS
Shake out the arms.
Relax them out.
Slight bend at the elbow.
LOOK FOR INSPIRATION: HOLLYWOOD RED CARPET
Here’s a little secret from the red carpet: Practice this Hollywood pose.
- Turn your hips away from the camera at a 45-degree angle.
- Try shifting your body’s weight on your back foot.
- Slightly bend your knees, your front foot pointing towards the camera.
- Placing your hand on your hip
- Show your beautiful smile.
You are sure to create beautiful wedding pictures by angling your body this way… or you’ll look like a funny stick figure! Again, doing this on your own is pretty hard. This is why you hire a photographer who can give you lots of direction for wedding photography poses.
Wedding photography can take inspiration from fashion, and something that Hollywood does extremely well is present body language.
ENJOY THE COMPANY OF THE PERSON YOU’RE WITH
Don’t be afraid to get silly at your wedding photoshoot. Have the groomsmen take goofy poses or have everyone looking towards each other for a more authentic and fun photo session
Don’t spend your big wedding day worrying about getting that perfect picture!
If you’ve hired a wedding photographer you trust, feel free to exhale, trust, and have fun.
15 BEST (AND THE SWEETEST!) WEDDING POSES FOR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
As you are driving to the venue, taking deep breaths, and remembering all of the details that this couple has told you, it hits you: You’re in charge of preserving this sacred day. That’s a big responsibility!
It’s important that before your arrival at the wedding scene, you have determined which poses could best capture these moments for years down the line.
It’s good to have a list of wedding poses planned out (either written down or in your head) so you don’t get overwhelmed with the pressure beforehand. Again, not all body types respond well to the same wedding pose, so it’s important to study up!
I’ve created this helpful list to give you an idea of some of my favorite wedding poses for wedding couples (bride and groom, bride and bride, or groom and groom).
THE “FIRST LOOK”
The first look is one of the more classical couple (bride and groom, bride and bride, or groom and groom) moments to capture. Traditionally, this moment will be the first time that the couple will see each other.
This is less of a wedding pose, and more of a staged series of moments.
I typically put one person facing away, and then instruct the other person to walk up behind him/her/them, tap on the shoulder (or do a butt grab), and then capture all of the beautiful moments that unfold naturally.
THE FOREHEAD KISS
One person slowly moves in and gently kisses the other’s forehead. This wedding pose is a sweet, low-stress way of reaffirming your love for one another on this special day.
It’s important that the couple are connected somehow so hold hands, link arms, or touch in some other way while kissing the forehead. I like it when couples have their eyes closed, but sometimes laughing ones are always cute, too!
It’d be pretty weird if they were 4 feet apart, and he leans in uncomfortably for a forehead kiss!
After this one, I usually say…
THE CHEEK KISS
because it’s just natural progression. Kiss all over the place.
KISS WHEREVER YOU WANT
On the noses, ears, neck, lips, kiss wherever. Every couple is a little different with how they show affection.
THE MIDDLE SCHOOL DANCE
Facing each other, the couple awkwardly [places their hands on each other’s shoulders and waists. After they’ve had a quick giggle, you can ask them to scoot closer to each older, and hold each other in whatever way feels comfortable.
This setup has the couple facing each other. It often works well and shows a connection between them that can be felt. Lean in close or stand closer together!
I love this because it’s great for wide photos (full body, head to toe) as well as closeup!
THE CAKE TOPPER
Holding hands with your partner as you stand close to each other, side by side. It’s important here to give them something to do or talk about, else most couples just weirdly stare at each other.
WALK TOWARDS THE [TREE, DOOR, MOUNTAIN, ETC]
I love incorporating motion into a wedding pose. I love seeing backs of dresses, red soles, etc.
Sometimes I’ll ask couples to look at each other as they walk away from the camera so that I can sneak a bit of profile.
I find that the “walking away” is an interesting perspective in which to show off gown trains!
and then… since the couple has moved 10-20 feet away from me, I then ask them to…
WALK BACK TOWARDS ME
I ask the bride and groom / couple to look at each other, talk about a specific topic, etc.
I always try to get them to laugh!
THE VEIL WRAP
If there’s a long veil, I always like showing it off!
The cheesy wedding photographer way: Take a step back and hold hands with your partner while draping the fabric over both of your heads. The smiles (or a kiss) will be seen through the veil!
I personally love hugging my friends and family, so if my couples are huggers, I think this is a great pose to show connection.
Hugging can sometimes feel more intimate than a kiss, so this pose is a good one too. Make sure to direct the couple to wrap your arms around and give their partner a big squeeze.
THE HAND KISS
This is a sweet and fairytale-like shot.
THE CANDID LAUGHTER
I have lots of secrets to getting wedding couples to laugh. They mostly involve me babbling or really ridiculous jokes. I even know a wedding photographer that makes funny animal sounds to get a funny wedding photo reaction!
Depending on athletic ability and outfits, this can make for a beautiful wedding photo.
It can look like Dirty Dancing, piggy back riding, or other lifting poses!
Carrying his/her/their partner over a platform, say a church, or through a picturesque outdoor scene is another all-time favorite wedding pose.
THE HUG FROM BEHIND
Sometimes this can look odd or feel uncomfortable, so use accordingly!
A traditional classic, that can end extremely poorly if the person being dipped isn’t supported.
There are so many ideas for this pose: anything from close-up shots, to further away. You can go in close with your hands near your partner’s face or wrap your arms around their neck.
Let your imagination run wild and don’t forget to have fun on such a joyous day as you say “I do.”
Hopefully, this article has given you a few new photography ideas for wedding poses.
I hope these tips will inspire photographers who are looking for creativity when photographing weddings – even something as simple as trying different types of poses can help make photos memorable!
Experiment with the different wedding photography poses! Find new exciting ways to show how much you love one another.
There’s no limit as long as you really capture what makes this special day and stand out from all others: You two together, celebrating forevermore.
Check out some of the wedding photography I’ve done!
Do you have others wedding poses you’d like to add to this list? Please let me know! I’d be happy to add your favorite wedding pose to share with others!
Note: If I use terms like “bride and groom” in this article, please know that I do mean wedding couple. We are an inclusive team that very much supports the LGBTQ+ community. We know that gender is not binary and are respectful of pronoun preferences. Please forgive us if we use the term “bride and groom” on our website and blog or in verbal conversation. Know that we are working hard to remove terms like “bride and groom” from our vocabulary so that we can be more inclusive.