So often when you are planning your wedding photography the most daunting word we could mention is 'posing' right?
Well in this blog post we are hoping to break down what 'posing' for a wedding portrait actually looks like, some of our favourites for a portrait session and why even as natural, documentary wedding photographers we use prompts and poses.
So lets dive in...
What do we actually mean by 'Poses' and 'Prompts'
Sometimes the word pose conjures up all sorts of images of stuffy, awkward wedding photographs. Or for some people it brings up an image of a love island type photoshoot with lots of pouting. Neither of these things will happen on a portrait session with us, or most other photographers we know, we promise!
For us, when we say pose we just mean the position we are going to put you in within the frame of the photograph. Maybe it is standing side by side, cuddling, holding hands etc. These are all examples of poses we use that aren't completely cringe.
Prompts on the other hand are ways in which we will get you to. interact either with each other or the camera. An example of this might be getting you to giggle, talk to each other or dance to create movement in the images.
Why would a natural wedding photographer use poses and prompts?
Imagine this...you head out to your portrait session on your wedding day. You walk to a gorgeous location with your photographer. Then they say absolutely nothing. They don't tell you how to stand, where to go or what to do, just silence. HOW AWKWARD WOULD THAT BE! I guarantee it would feel more uncomfortable than a few poses! Creating natural wedding images still takes a little bit of gentle guidance. Usually we will ask you to walk hand in hand, look to each other, talk to each other about your day, maybe do something or say something a little silly to get you laughing. What we are looking for are those little golden moments in between the poses where you giggle, where the shoulders come down and you relax and when you then start naturally interacting together. There is a reason why we take SO many photos! It's to be able to capture the true emotion and expressions in those little moments.
So what are our go to poses?
It is important to remember that every couple is different. Some people will be really up for the silly, fun, joyful images and others will be more suited to the intimate, romantic photographs. Other couples might prefer a slow walking shot and something that feels completely organic.
As a natural, documentary style wedding photographer, part of our skill set is being able to understand and read people. By this point in the day if we have been booked for a full day we have likely already spent a good portion of time together during the getting ready, ceremony and reception drinks. We can see how you interact naturally with each other in those moments and this should inform how we lead in the portrait session.
We want to create images that show our couples personalities as authentically as possible, without pushing them too far out of their comfort zones, and so here are some of our favourite poses and prompts to get people moving, laughing and create natural feeling wedding images...
The walking shot
I can almost guarantee that we will start every single wedding portrait session with this shot, because it is a lovely easy way to get our couple moving and interacting with each other without too much input from us. We can hang back and let the magic happen. It's also a great way to capture details like the back of a dress or the shoes, or to include the landscape you are working with in the photograph.
If we are feeling cheeky, we also love asking you to bump into each other, do a funny walk, act a little tipsy...this might sound strange but it is all in the pursuit of getting those big laughs!
The first dance practice
We absolutely love movement in photographs, so asking our couple to have a moment of practicing their first dance is all about this. We are looking for movement in the outfits, smiles, twirls, dips and cuddles with this one.
This also gives us a chance to look for little romantic details like hand holding or pulling each other in close, they can be really sweet images or really fun depending on your vibe!
'Get your noses together'
This one is for those slightly more intimate, romantic images...although laughter is allowed here too!
Pretty simply put, we have the couple facing each other, arms cuddling around each other and with their noses touching. From there we just usually leave our couple to have their moment, eyes closed, and soaking in the fact that they just got married!
Sounds reaaaaaally simple doesn't it. Well it kind of is! A good cuddle is not only a lovely way for our couples to connect with each other in the whirlwind of their day, but it can be a lovely moment for a portrait too. Maybe we will ask one of you to stand in front of the other, maybe we will have you seated, or just having a hug and looking out to the view. Whichever variation it is, a hug is a golden photo opportunity every time!
Take my hand
You might think that all of your portraits have to have your faces in, but this isn't necessarily true! We love a detail shot, and sometimes your hands can show so much love. A gentle touch, a hand placement, holding each others, showing your rings...hands tell a story!
These shots on their own might not mean much to anyone else, but they add a real feeling of romance and intimacy to a gallery and show the little moments between the main portraits that are so, so beautiful.
So there you go! Our 5 go to prompts and poses to keep our wedding portrait sessions natural and romantic. Of course there are SO many other poses and prompts that we love, and we are always finding new ideas and things we want to try!
Hopefully if you are a couple this blog helps you understand the posing process and realise it is so much less intimidating than it might sound! And if you are a fellow photographer, maybe you recognise a few of these poses or you'll test a few out on your next session! If you do...let us know how it goes!