Shoot: Bridal Party Poses
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 level of people's heads, that's awesome. Ideally, you still are going to go ahead and have balance and assymetry but with bridal parties, for more traditional, sometimes you 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. As number one 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 mum's and dads 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, I'll ask the clients that so if they really do...
n't want uncle so and so, you know that and so it's not awkward that you call them up and then make them sit back down. (laughs) It's happened to me. You live and you learn. So know family politics, it will 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 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. 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 just watching, I 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 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 is say okay 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. Okay, make sure that you pull back your jackets. So it's not crumbled. 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 because people don't have patience, they can't stand still. Number four. Again, I mentioned this already. Symmetry is more traditional, asymmetry is more modern. Feel it with a couple one and then adjust appropriately. Alright 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 wanna 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 that having like 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 then just yes, go with depth, put two of the bridesmaids on the ground, it's not like that. It's you 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 going to 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 is 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, like 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. Alright, 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 a deep shot here that I need them to come forward because they need to be more dominant in the frame. So right there's perfect. Let me 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 want to make sure that, will you undo the bottom button? I want to 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. Perfect. Okay so I got the two of them close together. I don't need to do intimate, this is a group shot. Like I don't need to be all, it's not necessary. So all right, I 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 a great grandparent or grandparent, I photograph them first so 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 and we're not gonna do the whole family, we're gonna do one side because that would have been massive. But could I have mom. And this will say is mother of the bride for example. So I go ahead and I add mother the bride. I'm gonna have you come in and I'm gonna have you stand. Oh, perfect, thank you. And 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 make sure my light looks okay. All right so we added mom. I get mom. What I used to 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. Then I say dad. Perfect. Would you come see you 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 they'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 the 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 told them to step out, you don't have to. I tell them to step out and get a picture of mom and dad. So notice I just have an order and it's you don't, I mean you don't even think about out at the end of 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 we have here okay. (audience laughs) Excellent. Oh hi, sisters. Okay.
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 are 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 ten 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 and 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 bridesmaids and the groomsmen. Okay, so if you and we have balance, 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, I 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. 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. Okay, so if I wanted to make it more interesting, we are 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. Can we move the couch over so I can stack them all? And we're going to do the more fun version. 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?
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 is the most important person to look good. I'm gonna have you try to elongate your legs and sit 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. She has nice soft hands, everything looks good. Okay, would you come take a seat next to her? And I'm gonna have you snuzzle in and yeah. I probably have to put the dress on your feet. Okay, I think you've done this before. (audience 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 to lean into her. Great, perfect, perfect. Do you want a button, is that comfortable, is that all right? Okay, great. So I have those two, can you cross your hand in front just a little bit more, 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? Do you even know each other? (audience laughs) 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 kind of 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. So now you are going to just 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... yeah that's, that's, what are you trying to pull here? Okay, awesome. All right. I'm not asking any questions. Okay, 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 kind of sit just on the edge, just a little bit. Great, good posture, hand on your hip, real soft, and you're going to 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 kind of 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 were 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 kind of 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 else's hands. Her hands look good. You actually don't look like you know each other so can you turn your body towards her a little bit. Great and can you put your hand on her shoulder. Let's take a look guys, good. Perfect. Great. Wonderful. Okay, so I'm gonna give you guys a break for a second. Do I have any questions on that before I continue?
Lindsey 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 Lindsey do you always keep an eye out for body parts that you might not want hidden by other people?
So I'm more looking for the appendages out of nowhere effect, that's kind of what I'm looking out for. So yeah, so I watch for hands or arms or elbows but more or less that was looking okay.
Cool, great, I think we're good to keep going.
Okay, great. So I'm going to actually have you guys back up for a second. I'm gonna build in a few more people and then we're gonna go to a large shot. Okay, 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 you 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, sorry, away from me. Good, great. Okay so I got that. Can I have sisters? Yeah, just pretend you're sisters, it's cool. I'm gonna have one sister around behind with their 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 want to make sure everyone's not doing the same pose because then it lines up and your eye just goes oh, okay it's 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 question about bridal families and then I want to build a huge group if you don't mind.
The only question that I saw was a question of how much importance you put on like the groom's family being on the groom's side and the bride's family being on the bride's side. And do you let that supersede the posing in triangles?
No, I'll still pose in triangles but I do keep the groom's family on one side, 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 you're looking for more traditional so I just keep everything lined up. So have your list and kind of build slowly. Okay?
All right so am I good to build a huge group?
I think so.
Yeah, we're going to start bringing them in.
Okay, great. Okay so I'm gonna have you guys step out but I still need you, okay? And I actually need to pose those two exactly. Can I grab you? So you guys are done and I will still need, you're welcome to stay, you don't have to but I need these two ladies. Okay? So you guys can step out, totally. All right, so huge group. All right, hi.
How are you?
Okay so I'm actually gonna have you step out. You're like okay. All right so I'm going to show you adding depth and triangles. I think this is like... you guys getting the point but we'll give it a try. Okay. Come take a seat. How do you want to be posed?
However you want.
Well, I wasn't so sure if you were going to do the Seinfeld look.
Oh yeah, like this?
Yes, that's... I mean I could build a whole shot around that. Okay, all right.
I have no doubt you could Lindsay.
I definitely could. Can I actually bring that, yeah, bring that forward a little bit. Okay, cool. So what I would like to do is generally, actually do you mind if I stand you guys front and center? So generally, you want to stand people up if they can't elongate while they're sitting and guys don't elongate well while they're sitting unless they do what you just did and I think we're not gonna, we're fine. Yeah so I'll have you guys stand up behind and I'm gonna have you put your hands in your pockets.
You can unbutton, whatever you're comfortable with. Put your front hand in your pocket with your thumb out. Oh, microphone.
Okay, perfect. Actually hands in, thumbs out. All right, here we go. So okay, hi. So who else should have front-and-center? I'm gonna bring you and I'm just gonna start stacking. All right, so I'm gonna have you leaning on one side and I'm gonna have you actually just sit here and lean out on your arm and cross your ankles. And instead, yes. And so I'm gonna have you lean even more. Right now your knees are coming too far towards the camera a so I'm gonna have you elongate this way. Okay.
Yeah. (audience laughs) All right. Glad you like that. So I'm just gonna bring people out here. Okay great, so I need, right now we need a triangle behind her. So I'm gonna have you come stand over here, okay? So this will be their triangle for right now. Who's next? Who wants to be a floor lying down person? I just, I know they're floor lying down people. Neeko does, okay awesome. Okay, all right so I'm going to pose you eventually. I'm gonna have you stand here for a minute. We're gonna figure out where people go and pose you. Okay, so I'll bring it back in. I'm gonna have you sit on the side. And I'm going to have you pose not matching her but a similar style. So maybe you lean out on your hand. You feel comfortable, hand over. Perfect, okay so like kinda symmetrical but not too much and you can cross your feet. All right, let's take, I need a guy. Okay, all right, perfect. I am going to have you stand behind. I'm gonna still move you. Great, okay you're gonna stand right behind her and get right here. So I want triangle. I don't want him lined up behind her because then it's stacking heads look. So triangle, good. Next person. Can I set you right there? I'm gonna make you their head triangle. So maybe sit on that, you can put your feet over.
Sit on it?
Okay, good and then you can lean out on a leg. Perfect, okay. So it looks nice, triangles doing good. Send me more people. Perfect. I will have you actually sit over here behind. So you're gonna you're, just don't kick her in the back. Too hard. (audience laughs) She can manage it. Okay, triangles. All right. I still, do you care if you're floor layer? Okay, I'm gonna have you be a floor layer here but put your legs out. Legs that way. Like on the other hip. Yeah, just like that. Perfect, great. And you can put your arm up on her leg. Okay so then I'm gonna... scoot that way just a little bit. They're too lined up with their heads, I want to separate it. Okay, I'm gonna need somebody to stand over here. Do you wanna stand over here? Okay, cool. I'm gonna have you stand right over here so you're a triangle here. Oh, sorry. Okay, more people. Okay, cool. Let's see. Do you mind sitting on, do you mind sitting on the floor over here?
Not at all.
Okay, sit on the floor comfortably. Like actually lay on the floor, kind of like you're watching TV or something. Like out on one elbow or whatever. Okay, cool. Yeah, that's awesome. All right, hi. How are you? Let's put... Oh, are you are you a floor layer? Are you a floor layer? I could see you. Yeah, totally. Oh, I could totally see you being a floor layer. Okay but give me give me drama. (audience laughs) And I'm actually... you can do that. I'm actually turn you the other way. Okay, good and then just kind of lean out on one elbow. Just be comfortable. Do you need to kick your leg out a little bit? Kick him, that's cool. He doesn't mind. Okay. Keep coming. I'm going to put, I'm gonna need a couple chairs and a stool. I'm gonna sit you front and center, okay? Just step on her, that's okay. On the edges, okay. Just on the edges. Can I have Kenna? Yeah and on the far side. I'm gonna have you stand over here and I'm gonna look for your triangle. Okay. All right, perfect. Okay so I got to make sure so I don't... step over this way. I'm watching for her. I don't know if the camera can see. It's too lined up so I'm watching for triangle, good. And put your hand on Kate so you look cute. Awesome. And notice I'm not worrying about hands yet. I'll worry about that in the end. Who else we've got? Okay, perfect. I'm gonna have you stand on the end over here and put your hands on Cassie. Perfect. Who else do I have and do I have any other super tall people? Oh please, I have the super tall person. That was easy. Hi, hun. Perfect. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Back, back center. Okay, good. Okay, so that's enough of a triangle for me there. Let's see. Okay, you're my last two here. Is this my last two? All right, let me figure out what effect to do with you guys. All right I'm going to have... (audience laughs) Yeah. (audience laughs) Yeah, I don't know how I feel about that particular look. Okay, cool. And let's see, height. Where's another good triangle here. You guys are a little even in the back there. Can I have you just lean a little bit forward, Russ? Yeah and there they okay front and center, they look pretty good. Okay I'm gonna have you actually come around side here. Perfect and let's see a perfect place for you . Do you mind sitting next to Kathy's feet? Perfect. All right, so. All right, so I got everybody you can just kind of actually lean your hips in with your feet out. So like this way. Perfect, she's like I'm wearing a dress. Don't worry, don't worry. I can't see anything. And cross your hands in front. Like a cross your arm in front there. Okay, good. Elbow up a little bit more. Okay, comfortable, perfect, all right. So now I'm going to worry about people's hands and I'm gonna make sure everybody's hands are okay. You're good, you're good, who do you want to interact with? Do you want to lean on an arm? Do you want to put your hand up on her? That's fine. Look friendly. Don't want your hand in front. Doesn't know what it's doing, cut it across. Then just put it down. Perfect, soft hands. Okay, that's good except for pointy fingers. Can you put 'em maybe you like behind Kate? Like you're hugging Kate. Yeah, good. Okay, perfect. You comfortable? You're good except you don't look like you love anybody. (audience gasps and groans) I don't, I mean, I'm just being honest here okay. I'm just being honest. Okay, so now I'm gonna try to squish everybody together. So will you just lean back just a tiny bit? Will you all lean forward just a little bit and do your step forward, okay, great. So I would say that I've got some decent triangles. Don't put as much pressure on your arms. A little bit softer. You don't look like you love anybody either. Would you put your hand on her shoulder. Perfect. (audience laughs) Good, you look kind of like you love and you guys always love people, okay. So I'm gonna test this light. I might need to move it back. And I see your palm, I'm seeing way too much palm. Soft hand. Turn let me see pinky, okay. Okay, all right, let me take my light here. All right, I got to move this front and center. Okay. Let's try this. All right so this is CreativeLive, you guys are crazy. (audience laughs) I need like real expressions and love. Okay? Okay, on the count of three say I love CreativeLive, oh my god! (audience yelling) Ready? One, two, three, go! (audience yelling) Can you sit up a little straighter? I'm gonna have you stand up and put your hand on Cassie, okay? Perfect, good.
Why did you have her do that, Lindsay?
She's uncomfortable in her dress. She doesn't like sitting because she's afraid that I will see what's there. (laughs) And I can tell that so just anything to make someone not uncomfortable. And can you put the other hand on Cathy? So it's kept, yeah perfect. And drop your right arm. Perfect, just like that. Turn in just a little, good. And you look a little strange, lean forward just a tiny bit, good. All right, I need a couple more. All right, cute. So that is how I would build kind of a large group. So if you guys don't mind I can let you guys go and do you guys want to see, come around and do questions? Or are we all set?
I think we are all set. If you are all set, we are all set.
That's fine with me. Okay, perfect. So you want to end on a big giant cheer?
I think we should, we should.
And you guys be crazy, do something. What are you doing? Bob, I'm gonna have you stand back behind the ladies on this side. Perfect, good, make sure that your head is a little bit further this way. I'm looking for triangle. Who else are you missing? Everybody okay? That is no bueno. Can you scoot this way? I'm gonna line you up that way. Good, can I have you sit up a little bit more because now they're too similar. So I'm gonna have you like, so just a little bit more. Maybe arm on the couch. Yeah, better. Okay, ready? (audience laughs) Good, all right. Last cheer, we're gonna end on this for the day. Ready, one, two, three, oh my god, go! (audience cheers)