Same-sex weddings are on the rise and wedding photographers are getting more and more inquiries from LGBT couples. Below are 15 posing tips from numerous photographers to help you pose same-sex couples with ease.
Ashley Lynn Firth from Ashley Lynn Photography in Boston, Massachusetts, shares her advice for posing same-sex couples.
When photographing a couple both wearing dresses, it is easy for the couple to wind up looking like a big, white blob. Allow some separation of the bodies to allow for the detail of each dress to be seen. They each picked out their dream dress; let them show it off.
2. Have Alternatives
While many traditional wedding poses rely on public displays of affection, some same-sex couples may not feel comfortable with PDA, especially in front of their guests. Be prepared with alternate poses or scope out private locations in case your couple feels this way. On the other hand, many couples are enthusiastic about showing their affection at their wedding and don’t care who sees them. Discuss their comfort level before you begin and pose them accordingly. Offering an engagement session or just talking to your couple ahead of time is a great idea so you can be prepared on the wedding day.
3. Read the Family
At some same-sex weddings, some family members may not be fully supportive, and it will show in photos. Although you may attempt traditional family poses if Grandma or and Uncle seems uncomfortable, consider scrapping those poses. Discreetly let your couple know what is going on and that you are on their team. Looking at photos with uncomfortable family members may be painful for them later on.
4. Be Traditional
Remember that many rules of posing apply to everyone and are important for same-sex couples as well. Use poses that flatter the couple’s body, angles, background, lighting, etc. As with any wedding, simply asking the couple to interact will usually allow the love to shine through!
5. Pose with Care
Although in many heterosexual weddings, brides get more attention from the photographer, in same-sex weddings, you should be careful to treat each person with the same amount of attention and care. Photograph each of them getting ready if you can, and be aware of moments that would not occur at same-sex weddings, such as grooms straightening each other’s ties or brides helping one another with make-up.
Michelle Lacson from Michelle Lacson Photography in Southern California shares how she poses same-sex couples below.
6. Let Them Pose Themselves
Most posing guides will tell you how to pose the man and the woman but these traditional gender roles often don’t apply to same sex-couples. So, instead of dictating which member of the couple should rest her head on the other’s shoulder, give general directions like “I’d love if one of you could dip the other and then give each other a kiss,” and allow them to figure out the rest.
7. It’s the Same
In general, many poses that are used for heterosexual couples can be used for same-sex couples as well. So, if you have favorite go-to poses for weddings, keep them! The only thing you need to do is change how you direct your couples as described above. Also, avoid using gendered terms where possible. For example, refer to the wedding party instead of the bridal party.
8. Be Equal
A great approach to ensuring that your couple is comfortable and that you are not imposing any gender-roles on them is to pose them in a way where each member of the couple is of equal importance, and one person does not appear dominant over the other. Holding hands, hugging, walking side by side, standing on either side of the doorway, and similar poses where both members of the couple are doing the same thing at the same time are a good bet.
Maggie Gaudaen from Pop! Wedding Co. in Washington, DC has some suggestions for poses to try with any couple.
Skipping is fun pose for three reasons. First, because it is a moving pose and couples tend to act goofy and giggle. Second, in the moments after skipping is finished, there is usually a lot of genuine smiling and happiness to capture. Third, the action of skipping relaxes people, setting the stage for additional photos with happy, natural reactions.
10. Hey, Look Over Here
Couples often give sweet looks when they look back over their shoulders. A great way to get this pose to work is to ask the couple to walk away from you and look back when you call to them or when they get to a certain point. If the couple is in motion, the pose feels less forced. This is also a great pose to show off the backs of outfits and works especially well for showcasing two wedding gowns at the same time.
11. Cheek Kisses
The best part about cheek kisses is that the person who’s being kissed always lights up. This is nearly guaranteed at a wedding since the person is being kissed by their favorite person in the world. This pose lets the couple forget all about the camera for a moment and focus on smooching – while still giving a clear view of their faces.
12. Epic Jumping
The “Just Married Jump” pose is a classic. Asking couples to do an Epic Jump is, well, epic. Everyone does epic jumps differently and catching couples mid-air will showcase their personalities as well.
Weddings are all about happiness, joy, and dancing — and this pose is pure fun. Ask couples if they have a favorite dance to do together to get the funniest results. If they don’t have a favorite dance, ask them to make one up on the spot. They may have a great time dancing but if they seem uncomfortable, don’t worry, the laughing photos after they dance are usually just as good, if not better.
Photographer Maresa Patterson from PatterPics in Washington, DC married her wife in 2008 and has some advice based on her experience both as a bride and a wedding photographer.
14. Just Ask – Before the wedding
Ask any questions you need to in order to feel comfortable before the wedding. Once the wedding day arrives, keep in mind that first and foremost, you are photographing two people very much in love on one of the most important days of their lives, and it is not the time to start asking questions about your couple’s lifestyle.
15. Remember That It’s a Wedding just like any other
Remember that you are a photographing a wedding, not a “gay wedding.” If you treat your same-sex wedding clients differently, they will feel it. Do what it takes to get your couple amazing wedding photos regardless of their gender.
At the end of the day, remember that you are photographing love, pure and simple, just as you would with any other wedding.
Check out Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop for more ideas for poses for couples in love.
CREDITS: Photographs are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist(s).
Jamie Davis Smith
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