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Posted on April 24, 2018

Every newlywed couple has one or two of their best wedding pictures hanging on their wall or sitting on their mantel. In this age of social media, they’ll probably want to post a few wedding pictures Facebook or Instagram as well as other social media pages. People love great pictures of themselves, especially ones that are flattering. Flattering portraits are a great way to remember one of the best days of your life and are also great conversation starters. Everyone wants to have a picture perfect wedding and great wedding photos to display, but achieving that mantel worthy shot is not always easy. Unless you’re a model or an actor, you’re probably not used to standing in front of a camera. Many people are not aware that there are actual techniques and rules for posing and looking good. Sure there is the occasional selfie or group photo at a party but none of those can really compare to posing for bridal portraits. There is often a lot of pressure when posing for wedding photos because unlike those amazing photos that you see in all those bridal magazines, your wedding day is not staged and you usually won’t get a do over. A little practice in front of a mirror will help you get past the fear of being in front of lens. This article will help you come up with different poses so that your pictures are not static and you always look good.

BELOW: Action Posing, If you feel awkward simply standing in front of the camera, you can break the awkward ice by simply walking. One sequence can become several different poses by changing where each person is looking. For this photo the couple is looking at each other. I also shot the couple looking forward smiling as well as the groom looking at the bride and the bride looking at the groom. This photos of Stacie & Jason was taken at Broken Sound Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida.

Most good photographers will help you with posing. However, it is really up to you to convey the facial expression which comes in part from being confortable with your photographer and confident that your poses will look good. In part, it’s the genuine emotion that helps bring the photographs to life. That being said, here are a few tips to help you pose for your wedding pictures. Also, these posing tips will apply for your honeymoon photos as well as other vacation photos.

ABOVE For this casual bridal photo of Jessica and Steven, Steven shifted his body weight to his back leg. This allowed him to lightly place his forward foot on the ground resulting in a very slightly bent knee. This may seem subtle but the end result is a more relaxed casual portrait. This casual wedding portrait was taken at Boca Raton Resort and Club.

Put Your Best Foot Forward
When posing for a wedding picture, it is advisable to shift most of your weight to your back foot. Since you only need one leg to stand, one foot takes your weight and your other foot becomes your posing foot. By doing this, a girl has many different options in regards to the leg without the weight. For example, you could cross one leg behind the other for a pose with more attitude. This pose usually results in very flattering pictures and is also very simple and versatile.

BELOW, Use your hands to create a more intimate look. Using hands in posing is a good way to become more comfortable with your pose. Hands also create a connection point between the couple. Remember, too many hands will ruin the photo. I always tell my clients, "One Hand Per Person Max" You don't want her hand on top of his hand on top of his other hand. This photo of Erin and Matt was taken at South Beach Park in Boca Raton, Florida

It’s All in The Arms
Instead of having your arms hanging limply at your side, which is often unflattering, you could always stand next to each other and put your “inside” arm around your partner’s waist. Then you can either hold hands in front or the groom can put his hand in his pocket or hold the brides hand - these are classic poses that will add a sense of timelessness to your photos. They are also really simple and you can use them when taking pictures at the beach during your Florida destination wedding or the balcony of a beautiful hotel.

BELOW: Here is Erin and Matt again, For this photo taken for their engagement session, I used a telephoto zoom lens. The telephoto lens creates what is know as compression. It's this compression effect that pulls the ocean in the background closer to the couple. The telephoto lens also flatten facial features making a more beautiful portrait.

Remember that it usually looks better if one hand is doing something in the photo. For example, a hand on a girl’s hip or the groom holding his jacket closed will always look better than a hand hanging straight down.

BELOW: In this photo of Rachel her hand helps guide the viewer to her incredible eyes. This photo was also shot with a telephoto lens 105mm which pushed forward the defocused background separating Rachel from the colorful background. This photo was taken at Marisol Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Lens Magic
I am going to let you in on a well kept secret - whatever body part is closest to the camera lens appears bigger. If you want a slimmer waist, push your hips away from the lens and lean the top part of your your body toward the lens. In short, you should move whatever body part you want to emphasize closer to the camera and push away whatever part you want to diminish. Only an inch or 2 will make a huge difference. Following this rule will help the camera serve you.

BELOW: Here is another example of how a telephoto lens helps to make the background look closer to the bride and groom. This photo of Denise and Alex was take at the Boca Raton Beach Club.

You could also have your photographer zoom in for a more flattering appearance. Telephoto lenses create what’s known as compression which flattens facial features. Have you ever watched a televised sporting event in which the camera is far from the athletes? Notice how the background appears to be right behind the athlete when it’s actually a far distance behind? This is telephoto compression at work. Lens compression in a wedding photo makes the nose appear smaller, flattens the eye sockets and pushes back the chin. It’s better for your photographer to stand further away and zoom in than be too close and use a wide angle. As a South Florida Wedding Photographer, I’m always shooting at the beach. Since the beach offers lots of room, it’s easy for me to stand far away and zoom in. This creates the illusion that the person being photographed is standing much closer to the water.

BELOW: You could see in this photo how the groom "Joey" has his weight on his right foot. This allows him to slightly place his left foot forward making a more relaxed portrait. In order to show more of the bride " Marissa's" dress I did what I call a relaxed separation pose. She is not fully attached to the groom but offset by simply having her arm hook the groom's arm.

Emphasize Your Best Side
Perfectly symmetrical faces are rare, meaning that although both sides of your face look the same there are subtle differences to be seen. It is for this reason that you will often hear people mentioning their ‘good side’; this is the side of their face that they find more appealing. If you do not know which side is your best, you could always take selfies with your face tilted towards the left and then the right, you can compare them side by side and decide which side you like best. You could even get a friend or a partner to help you out. Once you have a ‘good side’ you can emphasize it while having your bridal portraits taken.

BELOW: By placing all his weight on one leg this groom was able to use his other leg to complete this pose.

Take Action
Action photography is a good way to take your mind off the your expression while doing something. Just smile and walk. Have your photographer stand in front of you and walk backwards while you walk towards your photographer. The act of walking will help break that frozen “deer in the headlights” facial expression. If walking as a couple, you have many options. You could both look forward, or you could look at each other. The guy can look at the girl or she could look at him. By using the walking pose a photographer can shoot many different poses in only a matter of seconds.

BELOW: Another walking action shot. For this Florida Beach Engagement Photo the bride and groom took a walk along the shore line. I had to have them walk past me several times until her dress blew in just the correct way.

With all these tips and tricks, you can now confidently take amazing wedding pictures. I have been a South Florida wedding photographer for a while now and I have learned that nothing looks better on camera than a genuine smile. So here’s one last piece advice on your wedding day be happy, stay relaxed and be yourself, it is your day after all.

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