Posing 101

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: Bridal Couple Poses

And this is going to be bridal couple. So the bridal couple, for bridal couple, we have already talked about the essentials of couples so go watch that first. But that being said, here's the differences for a bridal couple. And honestly it's not that different except for, you do wanna emphasize intimacy a little bit more than you would with a typical couples portrait. So let me go through my top five guidelines for photographing a bridal couple together. Avoid smushy kiss pictures and intersecting noses. So a lot of times, because I'll say, you want intimacy, you want multiple points of interaction, which is something I say in the couples section. When I say this, then people get a little too close. You don't want noses pushed together, you don't want noses overlapping, and you don't want smushy kisses. So yes, multiple points of interaction and intimacy, just not smushed intimacy. Number two, is it's not about a million different poses. You want to try unusual crops and depth of field...

to make poses look more dynamic and intimate. So it's not that you need to keep doing a bunch of different poses, but crop in an unusual way, tighter crops, unusual angles. I think that particularly, for the bridal couple, you use more unusual depth of fields and more unusual crops than any other type of portraits, than any other type of portraits. So bring a bunch of different lenses, try a bunch of different crops that you're not comfortable with and generally those come across, it would be more artistic versus if you did that with another subject. So bring all those to the table. Number three is to use that bouquet to occupy the bride's hands. So you don't always need to figure out where here hand goes. She can just hold the bouquet softly, or to her hip. So utilize that to your benefit but it doesn't mean it needs to be in every single shot. Number four is ring hands visible if you're going to be posing with hands. So this makes a difference of who is on what side because for example, left hand would need to go up on the person's chest so the girl would need to be on this side if you wanted to be able to see the ring finger versus switching, it's not gonna be visible. So just keep that in mind. And then number five is, they paid a lot of money for their suits and they paid a lot of money for their dresses and they want it to look good. So you don't want to pick poses where everything bunches up. You really do have to pay attention to those things. And there are a lot of poses you can't do in a suit and in a dress. You can do laying down shots, I would totally wait for that one. I would do it at the end and just a tip, whenever I'm doing sitting or laying shots, I always have in my camera bag a black garbage bag and a white garbage bag. Black goes under the guy, white goes under the girl and I can tuck the edges. If a little bit of the edge sticks out, you can't tell that it's a garbage bag. It just looks like black or white fabric. So I save those for the end. And I also know you can tell which people don't wanna get them dirty on the wedding day. Hold a marketing class. I did a class on fashion flair for portrait and wedding photography. Most clients didn't want to be laying down, sprawled besides the waterfall on their wedding day. But we would do a session afterwards so I could get those pictures because those tended to be the pictures they loved the most because we had time and I got to do more dramatic poses. So on the wedding day, there's a few essential ones you work your angles and keep these tips in mind. So I am ready to shoot this. Let me bring you lovely people out. I'm gonna pass this to you and I'll have you come on and off with those. All right, perfect, hi, guys! Hi! How are you? Good. Do you know each other? Yes. Oh, you are married! Yes! (audience laughing) Listen, I felt bad for the last couple. I wanted to be like, okay, lean in for a kiss but then they might be married, and have issues, so good, excellent, perfect. Okay, guys. Well thank you for coming to model for me. What was your name again? Eric. Great to meet you. Eric, great to meet you too. So remember the person's name, the other people's names. Except for, I will tell you, for bridal parties, I just do Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, I don't have a good enough memory for that. But I can handle this. As I said before, watch the couples section but I do making the rounds. So I'm gonna demonstrate that but this time with a bouquet and this time with a dress so you can kinda see that. And I'm going to shoot it. So here we go. I am going to actually have you stand with your hand in your right pocket. And you're actually gonna switch sides for me if you don't mind. Perfect. And I'm going to have you face with your back towards him. And can you guys just both scoot this way for the lights. Good, and lean together. I'm always watching that he's not stepping on her dress. That's just something to be aware of. It happens all the time and then they freak. (laughing) Awesome, so what I'm gonna have you do is you're gonna nuzzle your head closer to her and I'm gonna have you close your eyes and turn your head towards her. Next I'm gonna take that hand out of your pocket and put it on her arm just like that. In making the rounds, in case you didn't see that section earlier which was yesterday, is I start with the bride with her back to the groom. The bride facing, the bride to the side, and bride behind. So I don't need to remember a million poses. I just need to remember to move the bride and two different angles of that. That's how I do a ton of different poses. And then I just change my focal length and my depth of field. I have them look at the camera, I have them look away. I have her look at him, her look at me, him look at her, like I just kind of rotate those things and it's not a lot of poses, I'm just like, okay, what can I change? All right change where her body is, okay, next, I can change where he's looking. Next I can change where she's looking. I can change a hand, I can change my angle, I can change the lens. Now she moves, same exact thing. So I can fill an album with just her moving around him. And I don't even need to get fancier than that. We will get a little fancier than that but you don't need to. So just like that is great, perfect. And can you turn your shoulders just a little bit that way. Good, drop your shoulder, perfect. And my light, I hate it, I have to move it. I'm sorry, it's not a lighting class but it's gotta go. It's gotta go over here, I can't help it. It was like that F-stop earlier, it was like, open. All right, let's do it one more time. Okay, perfect. And great. Okay, perfect. So there's one shot. The next thing I could do and I'm just gonna show you what I would change. These wouldn't necessarily be my five go-to poses. I'll give you five poses. But this is variations. Okay, I have a hand up there. So do that again. But this time, you look at me and your head down, closing your eyes, perfect. Just like that. Okay, now both of you looking at me and smiling. Great, now kiss the side of her forehead. Good. Perfect. And now what I'm gonna have you do is can you put your hand up to his face? And you can put your hand on her hip. Perfect. And you can reach behind a little bit more and just like that, and drop your shoulder and kick your weight back. She couldn't reach him before, I don't know if you guys could see that. She couldn't reach him before because she's a little bit too tall. So she was trying to reach his face and her shoulder was too raised. So when she kicked her weight back, she got shorter. And then she could elongate everything. So this is what I'm looking for, where's the tension point? And what can I do to relax it? So let's take a look at this one. Perfect. Good, now both of you turn your heads towards each other, chin out and down, eyes closed, perfect. And right there. And so notice, I'm like, making my rounds. I can just keep doing that. This is the exact same pose, I've just moved their hands and their faces. That's it. So just notice that's what I would do, I'd kind of move around. So I have her now facing him, please. Now, a super-essential one, is can you put your hand on his jacket please? And you put your hand on her hip. This is the most basic of poses. The one thing that I don't like and I think it'll be okay here, the one thing that I don't like, is take a look at their body language, oh, you said you're married. (laughing) I don't really know if I believe you. Are they married to each other? Ooh! (laughing) Good question. That body language to me is middle school dance. (laughing) It's that big gap between the two of them. So I'm gonna put their back shoulders together a little more. Perfect and heads tilted together. And always make sure, no squishies. No squishies ever. He kind of squished his face in so real soft, just like that. Great. Let me open up my aperture a tiny bit. All right, so watch how much better and I think he looks a little straining because of his arms reaching over a little bit more. So don't reach your arm quite around, just more on her hip. And a little higher. Go for comfort and soft hand. Okay good, just like that. And relax your front shoulder. Good. Perfect. So next thing, your hands communicate what's goin' on in the photo. So let's make her the aggressor. (laughing) I want you to grab on to this. Hand back on her hip, you can let go of your right hand. And kind of pull down and look like you're gonna go for a kiss. Now turn your back shoulder towards her. And both of your back shoulders together. And notice he was doin' this, real awkwardly. Feet, so you could say turn your feet in. As soon as you see someone moving awkwardly, they've got to move their feet as well. Grab a little softer higher up on his collar. And elongate your fingers just a little bit. Let me see just a little more fingers. Yeah, good, perfect. I'll tell you some tweaking things, taking a look at this. I'll have you do it again in a second. Taking a look at this, and first of all ignoring light, where they're looking is at each other and usually when you are that close, looking at each other is awkward. So you don't usually actually have your couple this close, looking at each other. And that's why she's leaning back. You know how that body language there, she's kind of pushing away because you can't focus here. So by default, you lean back, and then that causes a whole bunch of problems. She doesn't have any issues but it would be double-chin, it's body language saying I don't like this person, it's making them shorter, it's the distances. So you pose their eyes. And you're gonna vary where their eyes are. So for example, can you do that again? And what I'm gonna have you do is I'm gonna have you put your nose right here and tilt your head to your right a little bit. Tilt it this way, tilt to the right. And he right now is pulling back a little bit. Chin out and tilt your head to the left. Sorry, your right. And then can you bring your chin up just a little bit for me? Chin up even more. Okay good, and close your eyes. Perfect. And maybe dip her back just a little bit. And chin up just a little bit more for me Hon, good. And now I'm gonna have you open your eyes but you look at his ear. Is that a beautiful ear? That looks good. So doing silly things like how's his ear or like, check if he has boogers (laughs) or something like that and then they'll laugh and be all freaked out. So you can kind of move around for shots like that. I'm gonna do a more fashion pose. So you face straight towards camera, towards me. So all of this has been soft. If you wanna do maybe more of a bridal fashion look, same thing, facing him. I'm gonna have you literally face the back wall. So face him straight on away from me. But you're gonna overlap, so overlap your shoulders, like step in front of him. So you're gonna put your hand soft on his shoulder or on his other shoulder, yeah. Little bit lower. Now kick your hip out so I'm like building this, kick your hip out, great. Put your hand on your hip. And now turn your head hard to the left. Perfect. And a little bit lower with that hand. And then can you reach in soft on her arm. So this is more of like a fashion pose because remember what I said is fashion-y? Triangles. Triangles and negative space, so I've made it a little bit like less soft and a little bit more aggressive. So you look down at her. And you can do full-lengths of these. And can you wiggle your fingers a little softer for me? So let's keep makin' the rounds, I'll just do a couple more. I'm going to have you stand behind him. But you guys are gonna rotate like this, towards your right, like hard right, keep goin', keep goin', turn right, keep right, good. And I'm gonna have you put your left hand up on him. And this is where the unusual crops come in. In each of these, I would do a shot where I basically blur him out and just focus on her and almost crop him out. And then I would kind of switch. And that's how you get all the shots for a different album. I didn't really change the pose but I could do a shot that's full-length but really the poses, can you turn your head back towards her? Good, close your eyes. And if I hadn't narrowed up the field, the pose, can you spread your legs out a little bit? More, more, more, more, good. The pose is really on her with him out of focus. Of course, this will be in focus but you'll get the idea. But it would be him totally out of focus in the foreground and then her in the background. Okay so I'm gonna get more creative. I just do the circles. So it goes back to him, front to him, on his side, behind him. Every single shot, I'm doing straight on, moving to the side, maybe I get a little bit higher, maybe I switch my aperture. So I get all of those different poses. One more, this is kind of a pose and kind of a shooting technique. Can you face her? Can you put your hand up on his shoulder? Can you tilt your head to your right? Tilt it versus turn it, yeah, good. A little less. Right there, perfect. Again, with lens choice, I have, I'm just gonna be shooting like 9.0. I would normally shoot this at like 2.0. What I would get is a photo where the ring is in focus and she is out of focus in the background. And so this is a shot that they always got for the album because it's a look at this big ring. So I'm gonna see if I switch this and shoot, let me see this. Let me see what I can get away with. I'm switching some settings here, see if I can get away with this. And will you close your eyes and smile? No, wait, I didn't mean to turn this on, turning it off, I'm gonna do ambient light because I wanna try to do a little bit narrower of the field. Do it again. See if it worked. So imagine you're shooting a 1.4 lens and so in this shot, you'd see her smiling about how awesome her ring is, basically. (laughing) So if I had like real quick time, I didn't have a lot of time to do a lot of wedding photos, that's what I would do. I'd make the rounds, change my lenses. Sincerely, I can probably get off like 30 completely different shots in like, five minutes, just because I'm moving and switching my lenses. But we can get more creative. And we can do something a little bit more. Are you guys cool with that? I'm gonna switch my settings back here. Oh, good, lots of settings to switch. Do you have a question while I switch these back? Sure, we can come up with something here. Do we have anything in the studio audience? You guys have been awfully quite today. Anything at all? I'm ready to go, you betcha. So one of the questions that a lot of folks have been asking, this kind of goes back to our last segment, wanting to know, when we use those clamps, do you clamp on a lot of posing, a lot of people, like in any and every situation? Well, it's funny, all my fashion shoots, we clamp on almost every single shoot we do. We have the little itty bitty clamps but the whole point is that the clothes fit perfect, it's a fashion shoot so actually we do clamp almost every shot. For portraits, nowadays, I have a stylist so the clothing fits. But if somebody shows up with clothing that doesn't fit, I'll clamp it. If it looks good on them, I leave it, just because people feel like a dinosaur with spikes-- (laughing) when then have that. So I won't do it if it's not necessary. Excellent, thank you. I think we got that perfect. Can i have the other ones. So we're gonna go more creative now. If you have a couple that you think are a little more daring, willing to try a few more things, what I usually have them do or what I ask them to do... There's some danger. If you ask a bride to go look at Pinterest, they'll all look at Pinterest but they'll also say, I want that and they don't realize what it takes to get that. But I do like to gauge what they like because I could also just say, what do you think about this shot? I don't over do it because then they'll expect those exact poses. But I'll aim for maybe something sitting. Or I'll say, you know, I think that's kinda cute. You guys like that? So whatever, just kinda gauge the reaction. So I'm gonna have you try that one real quick. And so I picked kind of a kissing her shoulder kinda pose. See if they're okay with that type of intimacy. Or then I'll say, what do you think about the laying down pose? Because if I just say laying down, they're like, I don't want to lay down or I don't wanna get my dress dirty. But if they see that, she might be like, oh, yeah, that's great, I love that. This is my style. I personally don't mind showing people what I'm thinking and see what they like. So would you do me a favor and stand on the other side of her? Does that come off easy or no? Mm hmm. Okay cool. Thank you. And actually I'm gonna have you stand on the other side because her hair is on this side. Perfect. So what you're going to do and Iris, I might need a apple box. So you're gonna give me a wide stance or a step. If you're more comfortable with step, you can step. So I'm gonna have you turn your head towards him. And you are gonna get even lower and try to just kiss right there. Perfect. Or look like you're smelling her armpit or whatever. Romantic, I know. What you're gonna do is right now, his nose is sitting on her shoulder. So I'm gonna have you tilt your head toward her just a little bit. And relax your shoulders. And chin up a little bit, chin up and out for me, just a little bit, good. Let me see if my exposure is, nope, I got to turn this on, good. And can you turn your head the other way? Yeah just a little bit. Can you try to kiss her neck a little bit? But instead of tilting that way, tilt the other way, your head to your left, yeah, good. And you are going to put your hand up, so right here. Okay, so I want the ring finger, I got that one down. I have him looking intimate, and close your eyes, you look like you're really enjoying it. Good, perfect. So my exposure is a little bit off but I can get something more romantic and you can see her ring finger, you know, something like that. I really do think narrower-depth of fields make everything prettier, I'm just saying that. So you guys wanna try some more creative shoot shots. So I'm gonna have you sit on the ground. We're gonna do something like these two. Take a seat. And you're gonna sit over on this side with your legs out. And I'm gonna lower my light. Make sure they're lit. So the most important things, photographing people on the ground is watching out for shortening. So in this case, his legs are coming straight at me. So he can do one of two things. You can sit with your legs facing that way. And you can kind of just turn them that way and put your knees up if you want, whatever, get comfortable. What's comfortable for you? That's comfortable? Okay cool. So you're going to cross in front of him. And I'm gonna have you unbutton your jacket because right now he sits down and everything clumps up so I'm watching for those details. I know you guys can't see 'em, I'm sorry. So what I am looking for here, I'm like, all right, let's analyze what's goin' on. She has too much weight on her arm. Soft on your arm, you're leaning too much. And you can actually turn your arm and lean on him if you want. (laughs) You're like, I'm hurting him. You're going to lean back and you're going to lean forward, perfect. You're gonna put your hand soft with her hand, great. I'm looking for shortening, right? No negative space, I want negative space and elongate. Can you tuck your arm in? Just like that. If she doesn't know what to do with her hands, you can put her okay there. If this hand or this negative space looks unnatural, can I grab this bouquet real quick? I'm going to put the bouquet there so it'll be nice and soft. And then this, I would work around angles as well. And just lay it soft on the ground, that's fine. And can you sit up as straight as possible, you're a little hunch-y. And I don't know if you need to sit with your legs to the side, whatever is gonna make you feel good. Okay great. And can you pull down your vest just a little bit. Right there is great. And can you turn your elbow in more? I'm lookin' for better lines instead of at the camera. And a little straighter, great. Then attached to my light. Let me open up a little more. Okay now are you ready for a super-romantical pose? Yes. This one very dramatic. So what you're gonna do is, I don't know how you feel in those, if you feel uncomfortable in your pants there but you're gonna-- They're really tight. (laughing) Shhh, don't tell anybody. She's giving away your secrets here. So what you're gonna do is your gonna give her a leg to lean in. So tuck that knee under. I don't even know if you can in those? But it's worth it, so-- Oh, okay, see. This is a nice hubby. So you're gonna lay there. And what you're gonna do is you're gonna lean so your head is on his leg. Maybe, we'll see. So what I would do is I would shoot, I'm not gonna shoot this here but I would shoot a high angle so that you can kinda see him in the foreground and her recline in the background, him out-of-focus looking down at her. But then she's the focus. So it's kind of more like the boudoir pose. Where I can see her form in the background but he's looking at her from the foreground. So I would do something to that effect. There's another pose, if I were getting a little sexier with leaning up against a wall. If she's leaning up against the wall and he's doin' that manly seducing pose, you know, the arm up, like... Okay, I would absolutely do that if we wanted that kind of dynamic. So this is kind of the order that I do, really basic, circle around, play with the bouquet, and then I do more dramatic things, changing my angles, changing my apertures, all of that. So I'm gonna wrap with that, if that's cool. So you guys don't have to be uncomfortable because you look a little, it looks like the pants might rip there. It's because of how muscular your legs are. You must have really been like, really workin' out. Okay, fantastic, I love seeing these couples. Yeah, that was awesome. (applauding) And thank you for being a couple so I could not feel-- Yes, thank you to both of you guys. We really appreciate it. It's really cool to see how the application for the individuals still comes into play in the couples. It's just you've got two people to worry about. So thank you very much for this whole segment.

Ready to expand your posing skills? Join fashion photographer and CreativeLive instructor Lindsay Adler for a hands-on introduction to the fundamental posing techniques every photographer needs to know.

During live photo shoots, Lindsay will cover how to work with different body types, including how to tailor movement and body angles, using a wide variety of models as examples. You’ll learn how to delight your clients by ensuring flattering results, every time. You’ll also learn about how your camera and lens choices affect posing choices, and how to select the gear that meets your needs. Lindsay will also teach you strategies for posing in more challenging situations — including creatively posing brides and grooms, connecting with shy subjects, and working with subjects who aren’t classically “beautiful.”

Whether you’re a novice photographer beginning to move from candid shots to posed ones or an old pro looking for some new posing tricks, this course will give you the skills you need to make every shoot a success.

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • I would highly recommend this class! I have been shooting for some time now and I've been pretty satisfied with my pictures from each session. A few weeks ago, I happened upon this class and thought it would be nice to get some new ideas. I then took the ideas from this class and applied them to a maternity shoot. I must say it took my pictures from good to amazing!!!! My clients bought them all😊 Thank you Creative Live for offering such amazing classes to help any level of photographer learn and grow!
  • Lindsay is such a great teacher. She doesn't overcomplicate things - so that you can really learn. She also reviews things again and again - only in different contexts - that make total sense. I have learned so much from watching this course of lessons. I went to a natural lighting portrait workshop a couple of weekends ago - and was able to put into action what I have learned. The models loved my photos, too. She keeps things moving, is clear and to the point. I highly recommend this class to anyone wanting to become better at posing. It is so rewarding to look back at my previous photos and understand what doesn't work and why, and also to see things improving. She is a natural teacher - the course is not boring - you will learn tons!
  • I really love it! Thank you, thank you, Lindsay! Beautiful girl with a huge talent to teach! I absolutely love it! Worth every penny!