As a wedding photographer, we photograph women of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. Whatever the size, some women love the camera and know how to “work it,” making your job a little easier, but more often than not, women tense up in front of a camera (myself included) and don’t know what to do, how they look or how to pose.
It is your job as a photographer to know exactly how to pose the human form – whether small, medium or large – to best enhance your subjects, make them feel comfortable and make a great image. If you need some pointers, check out some of our articles on posing here. Making someone comfortable in front of a camera, begins with you being comfortable AND confident as a photographer yourself, knowing exactly what will make your client look their best and being able to communicate that to them.
[REWIND: A HEAD-TO-TOE GUIDE TO PORTRAIT POSING]
Posing women can be especially difficult because women tend to be more critical of themselves and the way they look. Invisible to everyone else, a woman can pinpoint all their problems areas in a photograph faster than you can tell them that they look beautiful. So one of the first things I always ask my brides – usually right before we begin the engagement session – is if there are areas they are self-conscious about and areas they love about themselves. That way, I can be aware on how to highlight the areas where the bride is confident (i.e. arms) and play down the areas she doesn’t like (i.e. her chin).
In the following video clip from her CreativeLive Complete Wedding Photographer Experience, Jasmine Star gives tips on posing a curvy bride, but the tips can translate into posing any bride. She begins by saying that a photographer’s job is to highlight what a bride looks like, not to hide or mask them. The clip is only 2 minutes long, but provides some valuable tips on posing, what verbiage to use (i.e. pull in the core, instead of “suck in your stomach”), and how to ask them to stand so that their weight is distributed. Personally, this is the best tip I’ve found to create angles in a photograph. I ask all of my subjects to try and distribute most of their weight on the leg away from the camera. It not only helps create a natural curve, but helps takes away the “10lbs” that the camera seems to add to everyone.