1. Every couple is different and therefore expresses their love differently. Not every signature pose will work for every couple.
2. Don’t ask the bride and groom to do something they’re not comfortable with. Make the posing about them and let them know that if you ask them to do something they’re not comfortable with it’s okay to say no. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from couples that come knocking on my door is that if they’ve been photographed before the photographer asked them to do poses and things they weren’t comfortable with.
3. Be aware of angles. It’s not flattering to get a lot of photos up the nostrils of your clients.
4. Check for double chins. People have a tendency to tuck their chins when they are talking and don’t always think about putting their chin up when they’re being photographed. Remind them to keep their chins up so their necks look nice and long and flattering.
5. Follow the couple’s natural cues when directing their poses. I like to let them be together and then just enhance the natural way they’re standing by placing a hand here a head tilt there instead of coming up with something entirely new.
6. Your clients will be more comfortable posing in front of you if they’ve had practice – encourage an engagement session so you have that practice with them before.
7. Ask your clients politely before the wedding if it’s okay if you take them to do their bride and groom portraits alone. Having an audience of guests saying, “wait one more!” or “do that again!” in the background of your time with them can be distracting and produce photos that aren’t as good.
8. Relax. This is the best part of the day. This time is my favorite when I get to pose just the bride and groom and let them enjoy each other. Remind the bride and groom that this small bit of time with just the two of them is probably the closest thing to alone time they’ll get all day. Usually that reminder is enough to help them really enjoy it.
9. Sometimes weddings are at odd times of the day when the light isn’t best. If the sun is high in the sky and there’s nowhere indoors you haven’t already photographed or if there’s nowhere indoors that’s great to photograph (at their venue) take them outside and look for shady spots so you can get more even light.
10. Take a couple minutes to do some poses of each of them separately.
11. If you have a second shooter with you have one of you posing and talking to the couple and the other capturing those “in between” moments between poses when they’re at their natural state of relaxation. These can be some of the most beautiful moments of the day.
12. Stress to the bride and groom ahead of time that these few portraits of them are some of the most important ones to take. When the bride and groom are in a time crunch usually the first thing they want to cut out is picture time and these photos of the two of them are the ones that will go on their mantle over the fireplace for years to come.
13. Tell the bride to hold her flowers by her hip. Many brides have a tendency to hold them up high over their chest and this can distort the bride’s figure and create an unflattering photo.
14. Keep the bride and groom touching in some way it helps them appear interested in each other in photos.
15. Sometimes kissing doesn’t convey as much emotion as almost kissing. Tell the bride and groom to get close and cuddly, but don’t kiss, or ask them to kiss on the cheek, head, hand, etc…somewhere that’s not the lips.
16. Provide encouragement so your clients know they’re doing the right thing.
17. To save time and make sure your clients can get to their reception quicker instead of verbally explaining a pose (not many people are auditory learners), just get in there and show them. It helps posing go quicker and can also help your clients loosen up, laugh, and have a good time trying to mimic what you showed them.
18. It’s always easier to get your couple to do their portraits before the ceremony, but don’t pressure them simply because it’s easier for you. If they truly want to wait to do their photos afterward that’s okay and you’ll still have the opportunity to capture beautiful images.
19. If your clients are interested in the option you can get them together before the ceremony back to back with a wall or doorway so they can’t see each other, but they can hear and talk to each other beforehand or hold hands.
20. Photos can be more interesting with your clients engaging and looking at each other rather than looking at you and smiling!
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