10 WEDDING DAY Posing Tips
01: SMIZE FOR THE CAMERA
Why not start with the funniest tip - it is so useful! "Smizing" is the Tyra Banks-invented term that combines "smiling" with "eyes" - it effectively means "smile with your eyes". It's one of the top secrets to a stunning photo. It's the number one thing I would say I tell brides unsure of how they should be looking at the camera. To be clear, every bride is different and has different things they want to get out of their bridal portraits and we establish that well beforehand. But I think this is so much more flattering than the wild contortions some of us do to our face when smiling too hard, uncomfortable and flashing our teeth. I love big, cheesy smiles, too! But only when authentic. Anyway, to "smize" - just think of a big smile and let that joy come from your eyes, instead of your mouth. Now go to the mirror and try it!
02: SHIFT YOUR WEIGHT
When you lean on one leg and turn 1/4 (or more) away from the camera you are giving me a more dynamic and more flattering pose. Shifting your weight and letting it settle on one leg while the other is slightly bent creates lines and angles that look better in portraits - no matter what your body type is. It also naturally encourages us to do something you'll see a lot in wedding and fashion photos: it naturally tucks the stomach in a bit, and pops the booty out a bit - creating a more svelte frame. It looks better because it's more dynamic and active. You don't want to overdo it, even a subtle effort counts, and it will help you create a better image.
03: ALL ABOUT ANGLES
Speaking of dynamic poses, angles are an important thing for a photographer. They create a dynamic element within the frame and generally this looks better. It likes we're capturing balletic action instead of stiff poses. This could mean tilting your head slightly, shifting your weight, or even having an arm akimbo with hand on hip.
05: COMMIT TO THE POSE - BECAUSE IT'S STILL A POSE
It goes without saying that anytime we half-heartedly do something, or when we worry in the back of our head how it looks and go shy, the thing we are doing (whether it be a pose or an action) just won't look the best on film. It might look tired, defeated, half-hearted. So I always remind my clients and myself - whatever we're doing - whether it's a pose or an action - just commit to it & believe in it. I will often give clients actions to do - it's totally okay to riff on this and make it your own thing. Try to make it register with you. Just once. Pretty please. It will only take a matter of seconds and then we'll move on.
07: IT'S OK TO BE IN LOVE AND LOOK LIKE IT!
I always tell clients: Don't hold back on the moments of heightened spontaneous affection! I will always be ready with my camera in hand. This means enjoy yourselves and keep in mind it's okay to be affectionate. I love capturing those moments where you forget I'm there. Usually the Golden Hour portraits are a great time for this - as it's your first moment truly together and away from everyone since the Ceremony.
10: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
I want you to feel like you only have to be yourself in front of my camera. If something doesn't feel quite right, just let me know! We'll give it a try, then move on. Just remember you are beautiful and good enough just the way you are. The camera does so much work. Just be in front of the camera and you will be great.
A QUICK GUIDE TO WEDDING POSES
In today's wedding world, portraits are given much attention. I am happy for this because they are, in many ways, one of my favorite parts of the day. There are so many details that go into a bride & groom preparing for the wedding day and portraits are a chance for these details to go on display. And certainly portraits should be easy breezy. I never want the brides or grooms I work with to feel that they have to be anyone but themselves. When we are comfortable, we are most ease, and when we are most ease, we are most confident and the beauty radiates through that. So without any more introduction, here are some general wedding day posing tips from me, a MN wedding photographer, which I think would be useful for any bride or groom I work with to check out. These are not poses per sé - I will be offering specific poses in another post soon!
04: IT MAY NOT FEEL NATURAL BUT...
It looks good! Occasionally it works out that way. I might give you an action or pose - the best thing is just to commit to it & not to over-analyze it. With an open mind, try to make it work and make it your own! Sure, you might not see yourself posing like that usually, but trust me, through the camera it looks great. Sometimes the poses that don't feel natural are actually the ones that look best on camera.
06: LAUGH...A LOT!
I want you to have fun. People look best when they are having fun. I'll crack jokes sometimes - even and especially at my own expense! - always an effort to bring good cheer into the frame. Just remember if you're laughing, you're still being captured in an image. Most of us have a sixth sense of what looks good on us and what doesn't. Laughter is like an animated smile story - it has a beginning, middle and an end.
08: JUST BE
Sometimes the more we try to pose or perfect something, the more complicated it gets. Some of my favorite shots are those where my subject truly is doing nothing and just looking straight into the camera. These are those "eyes are a window to the soul" shots and they are simple & authentic, though they take trust and a relaxed approach to pull off.
09: IF THE SPIRIT MOVES YOU
There's nothing wrong with picking her up, planting a kiss on her forehead or giving him a big bearhug! If the spirit moves you, do it - and I'll be there to capture it. Don't be shy! Your wedding day is a great spirited canvas of emotions and I never I want you to hold back from the excitement of your impulses.