The pose and expression are essential for portraits to feel authentic. In this video, I’ll be walking through a simple posing guide for “selling the shot” with realistic and convincing movements.

Video: Simple Posing Guide for Natural and Authentic Portraits

This simple posing guide focuses on the subtle tweaks to the body language as well as tapping into the true emotions present at the time. When done right, it should be easy to forget that the photos were posed at all. Let’s jump right in.

Place the Couple

I wanted to capture a sweet moment between the couple. To do this, I placed them beside a large door where most of the light is coming in from. Then, I placed the bride in the light and the groom in the shadow by staggering them.

Related Reading: Foundation Posing – What It Is and Why You Need It

Adjust the Body Language

simple posing guide hand placement
Simply adjusting the hand placement can make the image appear more natural.

If you notice that the photo feels off, you’re not alone. The hand placement is a bit awkward and they’re looking off in odd directions. My first adjustment was for the bride to “roll the wrist” and cup the groom’s face from underneath. This is an immediate improvement.

Next, when a person who is out of focus looks directly at the camera, the eyes will tend to appear strange. To prevent this, I had the bride look down and toward the light.

Dial in the Composition

We want the focus of the portrait to be on our couple rather than fighting with the background. I simply turned toward the wall on camera-left. When we do this, we see a perfect profile of our groom against the clean wall. I also asked him to slightly turn toward her hand, opening up his profile in a natural way.

simple posing guide composition

I love this example in particular because of the way the image is composed. Notice that the groom’s eyes leads us to the bride’s eyes which leads us to her arms and back to the groom. All of this keeps the viewer focused right on our couple.

Cue the Expression

simple posing guide cue action
Simple action cues can bring out authentic expressions.

To get natural movements, I asked the bride to pull the groom in for a kiss. This naturally draws out the perfect expression from the moment for a convincing and authentic portrait.

Final Images

simple posing guide

Check out our final images. We began this simple posing guide with an image that felt “posed” and ended up with a portrait that feels completely natural and authentic.


I hope you enjoyed this article/video! Posing is an essential part of portraiture. In addition to this simple posing guide, check out our Posing Workshop at the SLR Lounge Premium Library for a comprehensive tutorial on posing couples. For a wide library of intuitive Lightroom Presets to get that perfect look, you can visit Visual Flow.

Don’t miss our next episode of Mastering Your Craft on Adorama’s YouTube channel next week! If you want to catch up on all the episodes, make sure you check out our playlist!