Miranda Virgo Photography

How to pose, to get the Best Wedding Photographs

Posing for the Camera

Most of us aren’t experienced models who are comfortable in front of the camera, so its worth understanding the basic ingredients of good wedding poses. Typically you’ll be looking for graceful, romantic poses that draw attention to the key elements of the wedding dress, hair, make-up and of course you. Here are a few basic tips to remember for your big day.

Head Position

Spend time in front of the mirror looking at your most flattering position, try different natural smiles to see how they look. Normally having your head slightly to one side looking in to shot gives a better result than standing square on. Try lifting your chin up and then slightly forward, it may feel slighty unnatural so trying this before your big day and seeing how it looks in a mirror is a must. You will often see in traditional formal wedding poses, the groom will tilt his head downward and slightly forward while the bride tilts her head upwards and slightly to her back shoulder.

If you are wearing a head piece or veil, the chances are it will make you want to tilt your head down to stop the feeling of it falling off the back of your head. This will create the risk of a double chin. Try to be aware of this and focus on keeping your waist forward so that your eyes are the focal point. By tilting your waist forward you can reduce the appearance of any potential double chin. Lean forward slightly at the waist and then tilt your head. The tilt at the waist cancels the backward tilt of your head, which would otherwise make your eyes look small and your chin look big.

Eyes and Glasses

In bright sunlight it is going to be hard not to squint, particularly as I will have the sun behind me often and in your faces. We will try and go under shade as much as possible in these conditions but for those times that we can't, try practicing opening your eyes wide, just using you eyelids to avoid creating unwanted wrinkles on your forehead. If the lighting is so bright that it makes you squint, you can keep your eyes closed prior to the photo being taken and then at the last second open them. This not only avoids a squint, but can also make the eyes look sharper.

If you normally wear glasses and are thinking of wearing contacts, make sure you get used to them first. There is a risk that you may end up with blood shot eyes or lots of blinking shots under flash if you are still getting used to contacts. If your are happy to wear glasses I may ask you to try a couple with and without, just to make sure you have some choice in your final shots. It can sometimes take a little longer to manage the light to avoid glare, so please be patient while I try manage this.

If you find that you normally have your eyes closed in pictures, let me know so I can make sure that I compensate for this and double check all the important shots to make sure that this doesn't happen.

Body Position

Position your body at a slight angle, as this helps most people look better, which is the main objective in any pose. For the group shots I may ask your guests to position themselves at an angle to fit large groups within a tight frame. It often feels like you are squeezed too close together, but in the shot it looks completely different. A 45-degree angle is a classic shot, but you can equally stand at other angles from the camera. For the bride, a 30 degree position to the camera is flattering and pleasing to the eye. In portraits, a bride generally never faces a camera square on. Standing off centre slightly will create a sense of elegance and grace.

Judging depth in a photo is difficult given that its only two dimensional, use this to your advantage by turning your body slightly to the right or left, which will make you appear slimmer.

What should I do with my arms?

Wedding photography is about creating flowing lines that direct the eyes to the key features of the photograph. The flower bouquet is most flattering held low near the hip bones, which will typically accentuate the body and details of the wedding dress, while softening the elbows and wrists. Position elbows slightly curved away from the body, but not so as to appear awkwardly bent. Always try to avoid standing with your arms or legs straight, which makes it look like you are standing to attention.

Try not to stand with your elbows touching the sides of your body as it will make you look as wide as your elbows. By moving your elbows slightly away from your sides, you’ll create a gap between your body and your arms, which will draw attention to the curve of your waistline. If you are nervous, its likely that you will tense your shoulders, which will make them look narrow and your neck short. Try to make sure you relax your shoulders.

How to Stand

Lastly don’t forget how you stand, particularly in full length portraits and group poses. Generally, do not stand with feet facing directly toward the camera unless we are doing a creative shot. The same rule applies to knees when in sitting poses. Position the foot nearest to the camera pointed toward the side, or slightly forward, as this adds interest and helps balance the body weight toward the back foot.

When standing with your weight on one leg try pointing your toe as it helps shift your weight to your back foot, which in turn causes your hips to shift and makes you look curvy.

Photographs aren't 3D

Many of these tips might feel unnatural, but remember that photographs are flat, so often poses that look strange in 3D really work well on camera.