December 21, 2019 / Preparing for Your Wedding Day
Natural Posing for the Bride
Posing to some is like a fantasy when you were little, like dressing up – to the other 98% of the population, just the thought of it is extremely uncomfortable. Let’s be real – it’s unnatural. But, if you have someone guiding you who knows what your desired outcome is, it can be the absolute best experience and dare may I say it…. FUN? For those who are timid, shy, or maybe stressed at the thought – please do not worry or freak out. I think the ultimate thing is again trusting in your photographer and knowing they have you.
I always make sure I talk with each of my clients prior to each shoot to see where their head is at and to understand where the fear/ or discomfort is stemming from. Some people have issues with the way they look, while others simply just don’t know what to do and guess what???? I DO NOT EXPECT YOU TO KNOW! And you know what, THAT’S OK! In fact, it’s kind of wonderful for me. You are fresh clay to be molded instead of hard cement stuck in their ways.
I have found that there are two types of couples. Ones who love and don’t mind posing, and those who are very hesitant and just want natural looking photographs. Well, most of the time it’s hard to get natural looking photographs because what you are doing is unnatural. Most people don’t get dressed up in amazing clothing and get their picture taken with your new wife or husband for the very first time in an environment you may not be familiar with and / or with people watching. So, how do we get comfortable with posing?
Let’s start with the Bride. For my signature look I typically do two locations for Bridal Portraits (this can vary based on time – limited time results in less creativity ). I love this because it gives me variety with poses and different lighting scenarios and allows me to tell a more beautiful story when it comes to the album and the design of it.
- Inside Bridal Portraits – This will happen immediately after you step into the dress and includes when the accessories and veil are put on. Typically I ask everyone to get out of the room so we can have some quick alone time to get:
- Closeups of Makeup &/or Hair
- Closeups of Bride
- 3/4 Portrait of Bride (This is bride from the waste up)
- Full length (if the room permits it and is not too small)
- Creative Portraits if there is cool Architecture or Lighting
- Environmental Portraits – This will be a portrait on site somewhere out of the getting ready space. Depending upon where you are having your ceremony or reception this could be outside in nature, or in a swanky hotel with some amazing lighting, or at a venue incorporating the Architecture. Again the more time we have, the more time there is to be creative. This may include:
- Traditional Front & Back shots
- Detail Photos of dress
- Movement shots (turning, walking, running)
- 3/4 Closeup
During this process, I am constantly giving gentle suggestions and talking to you about other things to keep your mind off of what you are doing. I might say things that will invoke laughter and a smile to get a more real natural look or I will say something like, “look down and point your nose towards the window” to get a close up of your makeup.
It’s important to remember that I will guide you, but there are some things you can practice and make sure you have before we start this yourself.
- Posture – slouching is a problem. In this day in age people sit more and more in front of a computer screen resulting in forward headed and rounded sunken shoulders. This does not photograph well. I will constantly remind you to roll your shoulders up and back. Try it now. Your body immediately sits up straighter. Another way to think of it is that someone is pulling a string from your head. Poor posture is something you practice so its great to prepare and practice good posture all the time or prior to a session. You have to train the muscles to do this, not to mention its better for your health and prevents tension headaches and back pain etc.
- Confidence – I think confidence is key to any good photo. And to me confidence is always a trait of a strong woman who knows herself and what she wants. What do I mean by that? A woman always is confident in herself no matter what her waist size is or what others think of her. She knows herself and is comfortable with her body regardless of what she puts on herself. A dress and fancy hair and makeup is just icing to the cake. You have to be confident and exude a “this is me and I love myself and I am comfortable with myself” mentality. The people who show this I always get better pictures. If you are not confident in yourself you will never be satisfied with anything.
- Mentality- Now that we have confidence, it’s important to have the right mentality. Many emotions come up on the day of your wedding. You might not think you are a crier but a moment might catch you off guard and again, that’s okay. When we go into portraits its important to be honest with those emotions. If you are feeling happy and jovial then I can pick up on it and get some awesome laughing pictures. But if you don’t feel like smiling then don’t. Its okay not to fake it! I just want a clean fresh space to work with you and not have you worried in the back of your mind about the flowers arriving or if someone remembered to do something, etc. You have to focus on each moment and not something a family member or a planner will do. (Planners are great, ask me about them I know amazing ones!)
Posing is one of my favorite things to do! I grew up studying Vogue, Vanity Fair & GQ magazines. I love the look of effortless posing.
Having fun & enjoying yourself always yields better photos.
Let loose & do not worry about making a mistakes! If you are twirling around and get dizzy and loose a little control the laughter from that mistake will make the best shot!
Be silly at times!
Be yourself! There is no one else like you! Don’t try to be someone in a magazine or a celebrity.
Don’t Be afraid to get serious on me for a frame or two. ( I have been know to tell brides to give me the most mean or serious face they can muster and the character brake and laughter that results from it will always be my favorite in the series!)
Movement – grabbing your dress and walking, twirling or moving the hair behind your ears is a simple way to make a photo look more natural. Keep in mind we are telling the story of your wedding day. You can always kick off your shoes and pick up the hem of your dress(this works perfect walking with no shoes on or running – especially in a beautiful gown).
I have simple tricks and things I look for with body parts like hands and arm positioning.
Hands – make sure they are relaxed and not clinched like a fist.
Lean a little forward – in portraits this is a big secret of mine, it makes the portrait more engaging.
Put the majority of your weight, if you are standing, on your back leg.
I am always looking for the letter S shape in your body! It just makes for a sexier photograph. I want you constantly putting one knee more forward then the other and sinking your hip a little to one side. I do not like straight on photos with your knees locked- its not flattering to a woman. Women are curvy and have shape. I like to embrace it and sometimes excentuate it.
Dont open your eyes all the way. I do not want to see any white space between the pupil and the actual eye lid. A little squint of the eye looks better.
I have more but I don’t want you to overthink it. These are just some of the hundreds of things that are going through my mind for each photograph! So don’t overthink it and focus on the 3 – Posture, Confidence and Mentality. Just be open to the possibilities. You can find cool portrait spots in the weirdest or most unconventional places!