Goals for Posing Wedding Couples Portraits

What are the specific techniques used to achieve posing goals for men and women so that you can effortlessly place your clients into a pose in seconds?

This excerpt from our latest installment of the Wedding Workshop Series, Photographing the Couple, will teach you all you need to know about posing, lighting, and photographing your wedding couples. Pre-order it now today:

Purchase Page: Photographing the Couple Store Page
Expiration:  March 23rd, 2017

Here are some posing goals for men & women to help guide your couples’ poses:

Posing goals for men

  • Masculinity: straight back with great posture and an even stance. Placing weight equally on both feet is the foundation for this pose
  • Chiseled: if you are using light to shape the body, angle the body to chisel out features so that the shadows mold the face rather flat lighting to reveal more highlights.
  • Strength: having a broad, open stance helps men appear to be strong and confident. Watch out – men have the tendency to puff their chest out and lift their chin.
  • Power: tilt the chin down and have your subject gaze into the camera to create a more powerful look.

[REWIND: 6 artistic photo effects using tripods]

Techniques for achieving posing goals for men:

  • Stronger stances: having equal weight in both legs and placing legs hip distance apart. Have your subject roll his shoulders back to readjust posture.
  • Lower angles: photographing subjects from a lower angle asserts dominance.
  • Harder light: men can handle harder shadows and brighter highlights so there is no need to diffuse any additional light or place them in shaded areas.
  • More shadows: the deeper and more apparent the shadows, the moodier the image. This plays around with the point mentioned above, that men can handle a bit harsher of a light so the increase in shadows isn’t as off-putting to men as it is to females.

Posing goals for women

  • Femininity: showcasing a female’s curves by having her sit into one hip more than the other and softly placing hands on the body with no apparent strain or tension.
  • Curves: making sure each pose is flattering to her body type and adjusting when needed. Try to keep distance between her arms/elbows and her torso to show the natural curves of her body.
  • Approachability: keeping the body relaxed and shoulders down with no tension in the arms (crossing them and folding them across the body for example).
  • Softness: light & airy appeal to portraiture using soft natural light or diffused artificial light.

Techniques for achieving posing goals for women:

  • Softer stances: keep the weight on the feet light as to not lock the knees and create tension. Have your subject roll her shoulders back and down to create better posture.
  • Higher angles: photographing the bride top-down is a flattering vantage point rather than shooting from below (no one wants pictures of what the inside of their nose looks like).
  • Softer light: diffusion and window light are your best friends when it comes to bridal portraits.
  • Less shadows: harsh light tends to enhance the appearance of blemishes and therefore isn’t the best condition for photographing the bride.

To see how we direct our couple into these poses check out our latest release: Photographing the Couple, now streamable in SLR Lounge Premium!