Resource: posing tips for wedding photos

Ever wondered how to get awesome wedding photos, even if you realllly don’t like having your picture taken? Keep reading for a few tips & tricks to make the wedding day couple’s photo session just a little bit less cringe.

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One thing that most people have in common is that they feel awkward taking pictures. Wedding photos are a bit of a double whammy because you want the photos to look amazing (no pressure), and there’s so many to take (not exhausting at all). By the end of it, if you don’t want to feel absolutely frazzled and with tired cheeks from fake smiling and rehearsed-kissing for ages, keep reading for a few tips & tricks to nail your wedding photos 

First and foremost, if your wedding photographer hasn’t already asked, please make sure to tell them whether you would like to be posed/guided/directed, or if you are fairly comfortable to pose yourselves. My style is very candid and I don’t like overly posed shots, but I always specifically ask my clients if they would like posing help. If they do, then my job is to make the posed shots look unposed! But, it’s definitely best that I know in advance so I can have a plan to get the photos to look as great as possible, in the shortest time possible (so they can hang with their guests instead of posing for photos).

Now, on to the posing tips!

  1. Communicate your insecurities. Let’s face it, we all have something we don’t particularly like about our physical appearance. If there’s something that you want your photographer to downplay (or simply be mindful of), then speak openly and clearly about it. Wonky tooth? No problem - we can make sure to get a mix of big teethy smiles, and others where the smile is a bit more discreet. What you *don’t* want, is to be (sub)consciously trying to hide things during your photo session - this will come out in the photos. Confidence is beautiful! And if you’re on the same page with your photographer, then you should trust her to capture you in your best light. But, she can only do that if she knows what you consider your best light to be. 

  2. Stand up straight. This is a very simple one but is worth pointing out because this very basic thing can make or break your photos. If one partner is taller than the other, there’s a natural tendency to slouch down a bit by the taller partner. Don’t do this - the photos will look awkward and (gasp - posed). If there’s a height difference, there are specific poses to try - let me sort that out. In the meantime, stand up straight and don’t slouch!

  3. Position your hands. This one is by far the easiest trick to make your photos look better! When you look at posed shots that look a bit awkward, it’s almost those pesky hands that are the culprit. It can be a bit confusing to know how to place your hands in a photo and you end up not really knowing what to do with them. This is the first thing we will work on. 

  4. Be natural. I know, I know, this is easier said than done. However, this really is the key to great photos because they capture how you really look, not you trying to act how you really look. Taking photos is inherently unnatural, because you’re usually not making fluid movements and you’re holding positions for a few seconds at a time. However, you should try your best to smile and laugh just like you normally would. I will be taking a lot of photos during your couple session, and I will delete all of the unflattering ones, and deliver that one shot that captured that spontaneous, unthinking laugh ;-) 

  5. Talk to each other. The couple photos usually take place after the wedding, so it’s the first time you’ll spend alone together as a married couple (woohoo!). Well, besides me being there but you know what I mean. A great way to feel more comfortable is to simply talk to each other. Whisper something in your partner’s ear. Talk about what your favorite moment of the day so far has been. Talk about how you felt when you first saw each other walking down the aisle. Talk about how your shoes are hurting your feet. Talk about anything! Talking will make you feel like you’re in a more natural setting, and will always spark more emotion than me telling you my (bad) jokes to try to get you to laugh. 

  6. Laugh. A lot. Speaking of bad jokes, the absolute best way for gorgeous photos is to laugh. I literally sometimes ask couples to fake laugh (which usually leads to a real laugh, because fake laughing is so ridiculous), and the photos are ace. I you can’t force yourself to fake laugh, then you will be force to suffer through my Dad Joke repertoire. 

  7. Don’t kiss. Well, do what you want - you’re married now, after all. But, I won’t be asking you to kiss because kissing photos are awkward. What looks great, however, are almost kissing photos. That moment right before you embrace, as you’re looking lovingly into each other’s eyes. *This* is that emotion we want to capture. 

  8. Tallest person stands in front. So this one is a bit of a tricky one, but in my opinion, pictures where the taller person hugs the shorter person from behind just doesn’t look great. The taller person is almost always slouchy, and it just looks awkward. If there is even the slightest height difference, the shorter person should hug the taller person from behind. This looks super cute. Trust me.

  9. Look everywhere but into the lens. Ok, another tricky one. But hear me out…! Awkward looking photos usually strike when both partners are staring right into the lens. There’s just something so unnatural about this type of pose, and I try to avoid it for most of the shots. Of course some will have you both looking towards the camera, but my style is candid after all. I want to capture all of those little lovey-dovey glances you’re giving each other, those cute kisses on the cheek, and every thing else that you would naturally do right after marrying the love of your life. But don’t worry, I won’t have you staring off into space either. I’ll usually direct your gaze and give you some guidance on which direction to look! I will also almost certainly do the “Look away… now look at me!” pose. It feels like the most ridiculous thing ever when you’re doing it, but it works: when you turn your head you are by default not worrying about how you look, because you’re focused on turning your head towards me. This trick works 100% of the time.

  10. Have fun. Ok, I admit, I didn’t want to end this list with nine tips because I like nice and rounded numbers. But, this one is an important one that is worth mentioning. These photos are usually taken right after you’ve gotten married (!!!) and they should be fun, and not feel like a chore. Have fun with them, relax, take it easy, and enjoy the time as a bit of a break from the rest of the busy-ness that is your Wedding Day. It’s always good to have a nice mix of serious and a bit more silly photos, so try not to take it too seriously. Don’t get too caught up in making sure you look perfect, or are doing the right pose - all couples are perfect on their wedding day anyway <3. So tip #10 is have fun, be yourselves, and ignore all the previous tips 🤓😎

On a personal style note, my goal is to get the couple session done as quickly as possible, so you can relax and get back to your guests. I’ll therefore be pretty quick to give guidance (if you’ve requested it), and we will probably end up moving around a lot so as to capture a wide range of poses and movements, and I’ll have lots of fab photos to choose from. 

Lastly, here’s my Pinterest board that I use for couple posing inspiration. Feel free to have a peek if you’d like to get some ideas for how you might want to pose for photos on your big day!

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/theveronicataylor/wedding-photo-poses/