Posing a Bridal Party
What I'd like to talk about now are some essentials for posing a bridal party. For bridal parties, some of the rules that I just taught definitely apply. If you can do triangles. If you can give depth. If you can vary the levels of people's heads that's awesome. Ideally you still are going to go ahead and have balance and asymmetry, but with bridal parties for more traditional, sometimes you'd definitely do symmetry, and line people up. So I'm gonna give you my five tips for posing bridal parties. So tip number one. Tip number one is, it's less about posing and more about making your day go smoothly. Is number is know family politics. Has anyone run into this before? So divorced families that perhaps hate each other, or mom and dad or there's multiple mom's and dad's, and things like that. So it will definitely help you out if you go ahead and ask beforehand what you should be aware of. I also ask who you want to be included in the photos, right away I'll ask the client that. So if the...
y really don't want uncle so-and-so you know that. And so that it's not awkward that you call them up and then make them sit back down. (audience laughs) It's happened to me. You live and you learn. So, know family politics, it'll make your life a lot easier. Number two, is you build the groups around the bride and groom. So in this last example we talked about groups, building groups. I start with one person and I build. Well in this instance, I actually will start with the two of them, or one of them together and build around them. Triangles can still apply, but they don't have to. I'll put it this way. The photos that you see where they have really cool funky group shots that you really like. Those usually are based on triangles. The one that you see that usually look like typical wedding album. They ignore the triangles, and they just line everybody up symmetrical. They still do a little bit of height, I mean they can still do triangles, but this was a little bit more, a little bit more creative. Okay so build groups around the bride and groom, start with them first. Tip number three, is watch everybody's hands. Instead of watching, I actually just tell everybody. So once I get everybody up there, I don't worry about it too much right away. Because people if they're standing there for a long time and I'm building a long group, they get impatient and they move their hands anyway. So what I do at the end I say, "Everybody looks great, what I want all you guys to do over here, I want you to put your right hand in your pocket with your thumb out. "Make sure that you pull back your jackets, "so it's not crumpled. "Okay everybody over here, all you guys, "I want you to put your left hand, "women I want you to hold the flower." So I kind of direct it like that. So I usually do hands almost last. Just cause people don't have patience and can't stand still. Number four, again I mentioned this already. Symmetry is more traditional, asymmetry is more modern. Feel what the couple want and then adjust appropriately. All right and number five. With large groups try to create depth. So don't go, I mean unless you have one of those massive wide albums, where you can do a huge panoramic. That doesn't usually work. Instead what you want to do is find ways to have people lower and higher. Steps are the traditional solution for this. Church steps, indoors, outdoors, whatever it may be. The cooler, funkier shots have stools, and then they have couches, and they have different things like that. But find a way to have depth. I usually think how I felt, was having people in the bridal party laying on the floor. Doesn't usually work unless it's outside and it's a more casual wedding and that's the feel. So it's more for posing than just, yes go with that, put two of the bridesmaids on the ground, it's not like that. So you're kind of feeling out what works. But I do definitely make sure that the bride and groom are showcased, and I build everyone around them. So I'm gonna bring some of the bridal party over here. I don't know exactly who we have, but there are a lot of expectations of the shots that you need. My recommendation, write it down. If you have an assistant, everybody can get an assistant for a wedding. And what I mean by that, there are so many people that want to be wedding photographers and learn. So get an assistant and make a list. I'm not usually the one, when I shot weddings, I'm not usually the one to call out. Instead I would say, "Okay, who's next?" And I would say, "Okay." And I actually have an order that I add people. Okay guys. All right, so I'll actually bring you out as well. And I'm just gonna have you stand off to the side. But I'm gonna bring you in next. Actually, I lied. You come back this way.
All right, so I'm gonna start off with them. But I know if I'm going to do a deep shot here, that I need them to come forward. Cause they need to be more dominant in the frame. So right there's perfect. I'm gonna put down my clicker. All right, great. So I want them to look their best. I'm gonna take the flowers, and will you hold this in your hand.
Perfect, great. And turn your shoulders towards each other. All right so, I'm gonna have you put your hand in your pocket. Hands in, thumb out. And I wanna make sure that, will you undo the bottom button? I wanna make sure that it's not all bunchy. Okay, so you're gonna put your hand in. Perfect. Let me fix this for you just a little bit. Okay, I'm gonna actually have you pull it back. I'm gonna undo it. Let's go casual, do you mind? We're gonna go casual here. All right, good. Looks cute. All right, great. Let's do this a little looser, perfect, okay. So you've got the two of them posed together. I don't need to do intimate, this is a group shot. I don't need it to be all, it's not necessary. So all right, I've got the two of them. So the order that I usually do things, okay so you guys don't count for this. But when there's great-grandparent or a grandparent I photograph them first. So that they can go rest or sit down. So that's more of a personal thing, okay. But what I usually do is I say, and I don't know who's been assigned to this. But could I have, we're not gonna do the whole family, we're gonna do one side, cause that would of been massive. But could I have mom. And this we'll say, is mother of the bride. For example. So I go ahead and I add mother of the bride. And I'm gonna have you come in and I'm gonna have you stand, perfect thank you. I'm gonna have you stand, and we just watch out for the dress. So I'm gonna have you stand closer to her, and just put your hand right there with her. Great and put your hand behind her back. Good and everybody's heads tilted forward. So I add mom. All right, so I'll just take a shot. We're gonna build this. Okay, good. All right, let me make sure my light looks okay. All right, so we added mom. I get mom, what I usually do at that point. Is I say, "Would you step out, let's just get "a picture of mom and bride together. "Okay step back in." All right so we got that. And then I say, "Dad." Perfect. Would you come stand next to your lovely fake wife. (audience laughs) Okay, awesome. Now she doesn't have this problem, but if you have a heavier mother of the bride. A lot of times they will wear sleeveless shirts. And right now there'll be kind of an exposed heavier arm. So what I will do, is I would use the father's hand, to obscure it, and so there's less attention. You don't have that problem, I already told you, don't stress. Okay. But I would do something like that. So then I would grab a picture here. Notice this is just super, super traditional. Okay, then I want to make sure I have a picture of mom and dad. So I would tell them to step out. You don't have to. I'd tell them to step out and get a picture of mom and dad. So notice I just have an order. And you don't even think about it on the day, you just have the order that you go. So that looks great. I would build, this is the bride's family. I would keep building on the bride's family. So does the bride's family have any sisters? I don't know. I don't know who we have here. (audience laughs) Excellent, oh hi sisters. (audience laughs)
They do look like twins. Okay, I'm gonna have you put your hand up on his, yep perfect. And scoot in a little bit closer to him, awesome. And then you're gonna do the same thing to her. Okay, so this would be how I would start building, the most traditional portraits. I'm going to, when we get to the full family, I'm gonna actually bring out a couch and do a much more interesting version. But if you're stressed out because you have, okay you know this, "Oh yeah, we'll have like an hour for family photos." And they're like, "Oh so we have to get there "in about 20 minutes." So you have 10 minutes, you know? I'm sure people have experienced that. It's okay to do this. Just get the general shots and then if you have time, then just take the immediate bridal party, not mom, dad, not all of that. Just take them and then build the triangles and do something more creative. So I'll take a picture here, perfect. And so it's somewhat asymmetrical. But if you notice, their heads are definitely all lined up. What you would ideally do, the bigger your group is, start stacking people behind. Start having people sit. Let me add, how many people I have total? Okay, cool. So I'm gonna have you guys step out. All right so I got the families, right? I make sure I have the family first. I got them, the mom and dad, the sisters. You guys can step out. And let's do the bridemaids and the groomsmen. Okay, so if, and we have, yeah somebody pretend to be another bridesmaid. Perfect, okay. So there's two ways to do this. You can put all the girls on one side, and all the guys on the other. Which kind of looks like guys versus girls. You know, you could make it a little bit of a battle. So what you're gonna do, is you're gonna put your hand behind her back, and one on her arm. Perfect, just like that. You're gonna copy him. Okay? And I'm gonna have you probably open up your button and put the jacket behind, okay? Perfect, perfect. Stack up great. Everybody, great. So there's my perfectly lined up photo. All right, so this would be my less interesting shot. So if I wanted to make it more interesting, we're going to stack. So I'm gonna bring you guys out. But I'm gonna bring you back in a second, so just step out for a second. Could we move the couch over, so I can stack them all? And we're going to do the more fun version, okay? That was the, if you don't have time and it's just at the church. This is if it's a little more interesting. Okay, great. All right perfect, so. Who is the most important person here?
[Audience Members] The bride.
Okay, hi. Would you like to take a seat?
All right, awesome. And I'm going to have you lean out softly, right there, perfect. So she's the most important person to look good. I'm gonna have you try to elongate your legs and sit as far forward on the couch as possible. Okay, the reason I'm having her do that, is if she sits back everything bunches up and she's foreshortened. When she sits on the edge of the couch, she can elongate, okay? She has nice soft hands, everything looks good, okay. Would you come take a seat next to her? And I'm gonna have you snuggle in, and yeah I probably have to put the dress on your feet.
Okay, I think you've done this before. (laughs) I feel like you actually have. So you might have to just tuck your legs to the side. Whatever is gonna be more comfortable, but lean into her okay? Great, perfect, perfect. Do you wanna button is that comfortable, is that all right?
Great, so I have those two. Can you cross your hand in front just a little bit, your bouquet across just a little bit.
Great, and you're gonna put your hands off there. So why I did that. I'm trying to articulate after I do it. Why I did that, is look. Okay, so I make sure that the rings are on display. That's something I said about the bridal couple. If you're posing hands try to make sure the rings are on display. So that looks good. All right so now, I can do triangles. So who's the best man? (audience laughs) Do you even know each other?
Okay, I'm gonna actually have you stand behind.
I have no idea if any of these people know each other. (audience laughs) Okay, cool. So you're gonna stand behind, and you're gonna kinda lean on the couch, whatever's comfortable. Here like if you need to lean out, sit on the back part. If you need to sit to lean out to them, put your arm to the side, whatever's comfortable there. So I'm trying to make him, good. But I'm gonna scoot you this way. Right there, good. Good and turn your shoulders towards me a little more. Great, all right so now, triangle perfect. Okay so where's the next triangle? Let's pretend that they're a couple. No, no. Okay. So now you are just going to stand behind him. And I could also, I don't need to take up the whole couch, I could do it this way. So I could stand her over here. Put her head as a triangle here, and just put your hand real soft on him. Perfect, okay so I can get a triangle there. Great, okay, so you guys are my next couple. Do you know each other? (audience laughs) So... (audience laughs) Yeah that's that's, what are you trying to pull here? Okay, awesome, all right. I'm not asking any questions. Okay (laughs) can I bring you, you're gonna make the next triangle. Perfect, right there. And I'm gonna have you do the same thing where you sit just on the edge just a little bit. Great, good posture, hand on your hip real soft. And you're gonna come in around behind her. And you're gonna put, right in the middle right there. Okay, so now I have triangle, I've got a triangle over here, I've got a triangle over here. Now you can look like you know her. So you put your hand kinda behind her back. Put that other hand in your pocket, thumb out. Good, all right so let's take a shot of this. Perfect. Great. And you're putting a little too much weight on that arm. So I'm watching for those things. What I do is I get the shot first while everyone's kinda patient, and then I tweak. So, can you turn your arm in? No foreshortening and don't lean out so much, you look a little stressed. Yeah, good, perfect. Okay, let me check everyone elses hands. Her hands look good. You actually don't look like you know each other, so can you turn you body towards her a little bit? Great, and you can you put your hand on her shoulder, let's take a look. Good. Perfect. Great. Wonderful. Okay, so I'm gonna give you guys a break for a second. Do we have any questions on that before I continue?
Lindsay is wondering whether it is okay to hide the groom's feet with the bride's dress like that? Is that something you're worried about at all?
I always hide the groom's feet. They're boring. (audience laughs)
And Lindsay do you always keep an eye out for body parts that you might not want hidden by other people? Arms and?
So I'm more looking for the appendages out of nowhere effect.
Oh right, okay.
That's kind of what I'm looking out for.
So watch for hands or arms or elbows, but more or less that was lookin' okay.
Cool, great, I think we're good to keep goin'.
Okay, great. So I'm going to actually have, you guys back out for a second. I'm gonna build in a few more people, and then we're gonna go to a large shot. All right so let me bring mom and dad over. So this is for our cooler, you know, less traditional. Would you guys stand behind? So what I would like everybody to take away from this, is I'm not exactly posing any formulas. It's just knowing who we have to get pictures of, I could have gone through everybody. It's not really necessary. But who you have to get pictures of, and then building and making sure everybody looks good. Okay, cool. So I'm going to go ahead and have you face him, and can you put your hand up on his shoulder again. Your right hand on his shoulder. Perfect, and really lower, more like on his lapel area. Perfect, great. And turn your shoulders together in the back. Perfect. Yeah, no that was good. It was more for her. Can you turn your shoulders towards me a little bit more? Oh, oh, away from me. Good. Great, okay so we got that. Can I have sisters? Yeah just pretend you're sisters. It's cool. I'm gonna have one sister around behind with her arm on mom, and then the other sister behind her. Perfect. And can you put your hand on her hip actually? Good, and then put your hand on her arm. So I wanna make sure everyone's not doing the same pose, cause then it lines up and your eye just goes, "Okay, it's too much." All right so that looks good. If I had more family, then I could go ahead, build, build, build, okay. So what I would like to do now, if there aren't any questions, well let's see if there's any questions about bridal families. Then I wanna build a huge group. If you don't mind.
The only question I saw was a question of how much importance you put on the groom's family being on the groom's side, and the bride's family being on the bride's side. Do you let that supersede the importance, or the posing in triangles?
No, I'll still pose in triangles, but I do keep the groom's family on one side and the bride's family on the other. Just because that's how it's done. You don't have to, I get much more creative when the families aren't involved. When the families are involved, we'll put it this way, sometimes they're looking for more traditional. So I just keep everything lined up. So have your list and kind of build slowly.