Posing Crash Course
Photo shoots can be such a powerful way to relax from the stresses of wedding planning and fall a little more in love with your fiancé. Ill do my part to make sure you look good, but you have to bring the emotion. Let me see you and let me see your love. This can be an intimidating thing to do, but I promise you are in good hands!
Its important to me that you feel free to move around and be yourself as we shoot. Ill give you a basic pose or instruction, but I want you to feel free to move freely and naturally. If you feel the need to go in for a kiss while we are shooting, DO IT! Don’t fight the smiles or laughs that will come naturally as we shoot. I love capturing natural, candid moments! I believe if I tell you exactly what to do, where to look, when to smile, ect im taking away your opportunity for authentic and organic moments to occur. I will provide you will a basic instruction or pose, but I might be vague on exactly how to execute something. This is intentional on my part, because I get to see and capture how you really are. How you hold each other. How you look at each other. How you interact. I promise the slight discomfort that might come from not knowing exactly what to do will be worth the real moments it allows me to capture.
Connection is a key word for me when posing and directing clients. I want you to feel the emotion of being connected and in love with your fiancé. You’ll notice in most of my photographs, I have my clients touching at multiple points - faces touching, hips touch, chests, ect. I also love to give your hands or arms a way to be connected to your loved one.
Almost every pose or action I will ask you to do will be a variation of these 5 poses! Look over them and understand them and ill help you get into them and the different variations as we shoot.
Belly Button to Hip Bone
The male will stand square to me and the female will be standing slightly away from me with her belly button at his hip bone. I want her weight distributed onto her back leg and the knee slightly bent on her front leg.
Belly to Back
One person will be standing still with their legs shoulder width apart while the other person comes and stands behind them with approximately half of the body directly behind the first person and the other half of the body visible. We will do variations of both of you being in front or behind.
Face Each Other
This one is really simple. Stand facing each other with little to no space in between your bodies. Variations with come in head and hand positions.
The way I have you sit will depend on the terrain we have to work with, but most often I will have the male sitting square to me with one leg stretched out straight in front of him and the other leg bent at the knee with the foot tucked under the straight leg. The female will sit by him with a little bit of space in between them so that she can lean on his shoulder or cuddle his arm. She will be sitting with her legs bent and extending off to the side. Another sitting pose that I use often is the male sitting with his legs open and the female sitting in between his legs, turned in slightly towards him so that she is leaning on about half of his chest.
You will hold hands and walk with a little bit of pep in your step as you keep your glance moving, looking at me, then at each other, then off in the distance, down at the ground, ect… the key here is to keep your glance moving! Often as you approach me, I will have you stop suddenly, pull each other in and kiss.
Camera aware vs. Non camera aware
This is as simple as whether or not I have you look at the camera, but it makes such a difference. Go look through the above photos. All the photos where the couples are looking at the camera have a much more traditional portrait feel. Its a photo that is being taken with someone else in mind - you want to show your friends and family what you and your fiance look like. Thats pretty much the only thing we can do with a camera aware photo. But non-camera aware photos can have a lot more depth and variety of emotion. This is why the large majority of the photos we will do will be non-camera aware. I love a classic portrait and will always be sure to get a few in your gallery, but id rather capture moments for you. So unless I ask you to look at the camera, just focus on eachother. Forget im there and let me just capture the real you, rather than the you that I set up for the ‘perfect portrait’ that holds no real meaning.
Depending on what emotion I'm trying to get from you, I will give you prompts of things to do or say. For more candid, joyful shots, I might ask you to tickle, squeeze, or whisper something funny into each others ears. For more romantic, intimate moments, I might ask you to look into each others eyes, or whisper into each others ears about the first time you met or what you hope the wedding day will be like.
Tips and Tricks
The most common thing I am asked is what to do with your hands and the truth is, it doesnt usually matter. Put your hands where ever they feel natural. Sometimes I will give you something to do with your hands, like put it in your pocket, hold eachothers hand or reach up and touch the other persons face, ect, but if im not giving you a specific direction on your hands, they already look good and natural. The key here is to not think about it. Dont pay attention to your hands and they will look natural, and if they happen to look odd, ill fix it.
"Normal" posture is usually slouchy and unflattering.
"Good" posture looks stiff and unnatural in photos.
I want you to have "medium good" posture. It looks the most natural and comfortable in photos!
If you are angled away from me, put your weight on your back leg and put a slight bend in the knee of your front leg. If you are standing square to me, keep your feet shoulder width apart with your weight distrubited evenly on both feet.
We want to see both of your faces as much as we can when I ask you to kiss. To avoid covering up faces and squishing noses, I want both of you to slightly tilt your neck, the male will put his nose just behind the females nose.
To flatter your arms, I suggest wearing a long sleeved shirt, or a jacket. If your outfit of choice is short sleeved or sleeveless, don't fret! We still have ways to make those arms look good. We will simply avoid positioning your arms right next to your body. By creating a little space between your arms and your body, we avoid flattening and widening the appearance of your arms.
Laying Your Head Down
When I ask you to lay your head on the other person, don't fully lay your head down! Your cheek will get a flattened, smashed look. Instead, gently touch your cheek to them.
Keep Your Shoulders Down
Raising your shoulders will shorten the appearance of your neck, so keep your shoulders down. If you are turned to the side, ill often have you raise your back shoulder and lower your front shoulder slightly which created a longer line.
Flattering your jawline/chin
Extend your head forward (NOT UP!). Its as simple as that.
Surprised, not scared!
If there is a surprising moment during our shoot (an unexpected bear hug or being picked up) make sure your face shows an expression of happy surprise, not scared surprise!
So now that we've prepared you for the posing portion of your shoot, here's the real secret to having photos you will fall in love with - Your mental and emotional state when we are taking the photos.
You have to be in the right head space. If you've had a crazy day and got in a fight with your fiance before you came to your shoot... it doesn't matter how well we flatter your body and shoot your best angels, when you look at those photos, you won't connect with them. If you FEEL good, if you feel relaxed, if you feel loved and adored and you feel admiration for your fiance WHILE we are taking those photos, that is what you will feel again and what you will connect with when you see your photos. Take the time before you come to your shoot to take a deep breathe. Relax. Remember why you are doing photos in the first place. Remember how much and why you love this person you've agreed to spend the rest of your life with. Even if that means calling me and telling me you will be a few minutes late to our shoot, take the time to get in the right head space for your shoot. If you want your photos to emulate love and joy and adoration, you have to be feeling those things while we are shooting.
I want you to walk away from our shoot being even more in love with this person.