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Posing 101

Lesson 20 of 35

Shoot: Wedding Photography Bridal Poses


Posing 101

Lesson 20 of 35

Shoot: Wedding Photography Bridal Poses


Lesson Info

Shoot: Wedding Photography Bridal Poses

What I will tell you about brides is in their ... Let me do a formal entry real quick. We're going to talk about my quick tips for photographing a bride, for flattering her, and I have a couple important things to keep in mind. One thing that's besides these general tips is that you don't need to go crazy. That you really don't. When you look at the really amazing bridal photos, it's all pretty much similar poses, but it's dramatic light and dramatic locations. So you don't need to reinvent the wheel, you don't need to do something profound, it's completely unnecessary. You're just looking to flatter this person and then you use the rest of your photography to make it more dramatic. There are some things you can do, but really super dramatic poses sometimes don't look natural and believable and you want the bride to look elegant and natural and believable. So let's take a look at my top five tips that I have here. Tip number one is good posture. Let me see your top real quick. Okay, so...

she's okay, but a huge one to keep in mind is for the longest time the tube top dress has been very popular. Which means, when people are relaxed skin folds over. I mean, I know we have all dealt with this. So you want them to have good posture so that the skin is not folding over the top of the dress. She doesn't have that in this dress so it's no problem, but you want good posture without them looking tense. So just pull the shoulders back, never forward in this way. It's something that is a pain to Photoshop out. The next thing, with flowers ... Can I borrow the flowers real quick? I'm gonna need that in a minute. Okay. With flowers a lot of women ... There's kinda two different things that women do. Sometimes they hold the flowers up because they spend a lot of money on them and you want them, you want everyone to see the flowers. The problem is this is hiding all of the curves and all of the shape and this is blob. This is, I mean, there's no form here. So what you wanna do is you always want the flowers below the bodice of the dress. So not here. Down here. And what I tell people to do try to rest their wrists on their hip bones, because if I tell them to put their elbows down, you're back to that same problem with no negative space. So I say put your wrists on your hip bones and then the flowers are in a nice place. So that is a big one. The other reason that I like flowers for these things, if you don't know what to do with one of the hands, you've got flowers. Versus, if you don't have flowers you're finding something to do with that other hand, you've always got the flowers to rely on. So I'm gonna pass this back real quick. Pose number two is negative space. So that's what I was talking about with the flowers above the bodice of the dress. Everything should be about seeing the shape of the dress and the woman. It's meant to be very curvy and flattering. I don't like ... For me, I see a lot of poses where maybe women are leaning forward and the dress is out behind them. I don't personally like those as much, unless they're cropped really tight. I don't have arms in. I don't do any bridal poses like this, unless it is this close. Okay. Next, is if you're posing and the hand is prominent to the photograph, make sure you see the ring finger. So you can see what she got for that wedding. (laughs) But really, for hand shots, if you are going to pose a hand on her neck, don't pose this one, pose this one, for example. And then lastly is the hands have to be soft and elegant. The whole time, soft and elegant hands, if you need to do the caress. So this is kinda the checklist that I would say, I'd say okay, is the posture good? Yes. Do I have negative space? Okay. If I have a hand prominent, do I see that wedding ring, and are the hands soft? That's kinda my checklist. You don't need to go too crazy beyond that, alright? So, I'm going to bring out our bride and could we bring that light back please? Alright, perfect. So, I'm doing super basic, this is not like, let's talk about the most profound bridal poses ever. These are the ones you definitely have to have in your arsenal. Hi, you look beautiful. Is this your real wedding dress? No Oh, that's less exciting. (laughs) Okay, cool, and just take one step over this way. Alright, so I'm gonna do the don't first, elbows in tight, flowers up. (camera shutter clicks) Okay, this is my don't and then, perfect, that is my do. (camera shutter clicks) And then even better do is... Can you turn a little bit to your right? And arch your back a little bit and lean your chest forward. Good, keep going, keep going. Great. And chin just a little bit to the side. Good. (camera shutter clicks) Alright, so I'm giving a little bit of curve. You guys can see the edges of the dress alright? So, no space, negative space, with a little bit of curve. Straight on is going to be too symmetrical, too rigid. A little bit to the side with the head tilt gives me a little bit more movement. Okay, so super basic, right? Got that one. Next, I'm gonna have you turn around. Perfect. So, if you're photographing a bride looking over her shoulder, couple things you wanna look out for. So, first, watch out for your light. This is nothing to do with light, but just ... She needs to turn towards wherever the light is. Hair off of the closest shoulder. Great. And what you are looking for ... Is that okay? Good. What you're looking for is you don't want the shoulder to intersect with the chin. So that might be a matter if she's looking over her shoulder, you don't want them blending in. It might be a matter of her dropping her shoulder, leaning out to the left even more. She how much longer her neck got? So, stand up straight again and now lean. Okay, so now I can really elongate her neck. And also, no strained necks. She doesn't literally need to be turned around, she can come kinda three-quarters and look around at you. So, this is one behind, over the shoulder look. What I wanna watch out for is negative space. Okay, so the negative space I have here is basically non-existent, so let me show you. And you can turn and look back at me. Good. Alright, so this is my no negative space. And what I'm gonna do is find ways to softly introduce it, and introduce a little more shape. So one thing I can do is I'm gonna have you let go of the flowers with this hand and out that hand on your hip. Okay, and maybe just let your waist drape there. A little bit higher I mean with the hand and pop it out. Good. Alright, so now I've got a little bit of negative space there. That's gonna be much better, so let's just start. And I'm gonna have you rest your hand down a little bit. Great. Okay, so this is gonna be better shape, gives me a little bit more curve, but maybe I want a little more shape. Okay, so what's the next thing? I said I want curve, I want shape, so what I'm gonna have you do is I'm gonna have you lean forward a little bit and kinda arch your back a little bit. Great. And let me pull that elbow in just a little, like into your body, just a little bit. Good. And relax. Perfect. Great. (camera shutter clicks) Perfect. And then you can let your flowers go a little looser and hand in just a little closer. Great. And now look off that way. Head towards me just a tiny bit and then look your eyes that way, great. (camera shutter clicks) Okay, so that's giving me a bunch of curve. Okay, so that would be something for over the shoulder, doesn't need to be like this. Give yourself a little negative space. Okay, now what happens if I want super curve? Can I have you face forward? Alright, so I want curve in this dress. I'm gonna have somebody hold this for a second. Perfect. And I want lots of shape. So I'm gonna have you take this knee and put it over and kinda pop up that toe. Okay, so I'm have you just hold your hands out to the side. Okay, undo that and then do it again. So watch, straight lines and then go like this on your toe. Okay, see how all of a sudden I have a curve? If you're in a studio space I would take an apple box and put their foot on it even more because you get this curve and this curve. Okay, good, thank you for that. And so I'm gonna have you arch your back a little. Great. Okay, so what I've done is I've given her a curve here, a curve here, had her arch her back, and then ... Whatever's closest to the camera is largest, so I'm gonna have you do that whole thing and just lean towards the camera, just a little bit more. Great. Perfect. So if I want a bride with a ton of curve ... (camera shutter clicks) Good. (camera shutter clicks) And what do I do with that extra hand? Flowers! I can add flowers and I can just have them loose if I want, for example, and just like soft. So right now when she was doing ... Did you see this? Do it again. I'm getting kind of a bent wrist, doesn't look natural. Now when she goes the other way, it's curvy. It's much more flowing with how the pose is. Looks good. (camera shutter clicks) Good. (camera shutter clicks) And, little bit taller. You don't have to lean forward as much. Good. (camera shutter clicks) Perfect. So nice and curvy. Great. And I gonna take the flowers away for one. And just with that back arm, can you put it real soft on your neck? Yeah, good. And same thing, hand on your hip. Perfect and lean towards me. Great. (camera shutter clicks) And I can do full length of the dress. And bring that arm around in front. So, I'm just like, okay, what can I do with the hands? Can I put flowers there now? I can put flowers in front this time, so I get the pose and move things around. Perfect. And relax your shoulders. Nice. (camera shutter clicks) Perfect. And pop your foot up even more. Great, right there, perfect. (camera shutter clicks) Okay, so this is a curvy looking bride. Ready? In a good way. Next shot. Popped her knee up, you'll it change a little bit. So you've got some nice good looking curves and she doesn't have a perfectly form-fitting dress and it still looks good. Okay, if you are going to have a bride sit ... I don't recommend it, but I'm gonna tell you if you do for some reason ... Can I have a chair for her to sit on or a stool? And I'm gonna take these from you for a second. Would you hold this for me? If you do have her sit, that's perfect, that is perfect perfect perfect. Great. And put it in the middle for me. In the middle for her. Right there, good. Great. Have a seat for me and don't fall. Okay, good. If you are going to have a bride sit, don't have them straight on towards camera and watch for that negative space. So here is what I would do. Have her sit and have her turn her legs this way. Okay, so now everything's not at camera. I'm elongating, right? I'm going to have you lean your chest towards the camera just a little bit and I'm gonna have you put your hands on one side. How about the other side for a second? Nope, other side was good. So I'm looking for like more negative space. She's sitting too far back, she can't elongate or lean. So I'm actually, if you scoot towards the edge, just don't fall off and scoot this way. Towards the, yeah. And I'm gonna have her ... So I'm looking for elongation, kick out that leg, yeah, to make it long, perfect, and lean forward. So I'm looking for negative space, I'm looking for elongated. I would kinda kick out the train or the dress a little bit for more shape. Don't sit straight forward with hands on your lap, everything's bunched forward, find ways for them to lean forward. I'm gonna have you turn even further out to the side, lots of negative space. Okay, perfect. And sit up a little straighter, you look a little hunched, there you go again. (camera shutter clicks) So the reason I'm saying this is sometimes I have a bride who, and I haven't photographed weddings in a while, but doesn't wanna stand anymore. (laughs) And it's time to do photographs and she's like, "I'm sitting." Then how do you make her look good? So sit towards the edge of the chair, lean, and negative space. So I'm going to finish with one more. So would you take that stool? And I'm gonna have you stand up. Okay. Alright, so the last thing that I wanted to talk about is that shot that everyone does in the window. (laughs) Do you know which one I'm talking about? Okay, there back lit and it's all about curve, everybody does that shot. So I'm gonna fake that shot. So, can you actually turn around backwards. Okay, the problem that I see is that a lot of people ... She's gonna pretend there's a doorway, there's no doorway, or window, you know what I'm talking about. Can you put your hands up? Okay, yup, and pretend there's a doorway there. Okay? A lot of people do that hands up or, can you put them to the side, down? So, people will do in the door or in the door. Okay, what you're looking for is curve. You want your eye to follow the curve of your subject. And you want asymmetry. So that's the first thing, asymmetrical. So, can you put your left hand up high, okay, and look just straight towards the back for a second. And right now her elbow's a little bit too straight, we want curved, so soft, just a little bit. Great. Alright, this hand is good, but she's still flat footed. So, what would make sense if you want to follow the eye? It would actually make sense to kick out this hip because you want to follow down, right? Versus if you go the other way, everything's on the left. So I'm hands up, she's kicking her hip and far out to the right as you can, perfect. Alright, and then what about her head? Which direction would you turn her head? Right. So you guys did it right. I would turn it to the left, because if I'm following it and then it's up here, I'm like ... I kinda go from that to that and then down. So this is what I would do for that pose in the window and just feel free to make it dramatic, hand lower. Something like that, you're going all for this curve and I would take the train, not put it straight back, I would finish out that curve to the side that we're following. And, of course, she doesn't have a doorway or a window, but soft fingers. I'm gonna grab a shot of that and then we're wrapped for this section. Perfect. And relax your shoulders a little. She doesn't have a doorway so it's a little hard. Good. And soft and left hand up a little higher. Good. And drop your left shoulder a little bit. Good. (camera shutter clicks) Okay, great, perfect. Love it, thank you so much Lindsey. (audience applause) Awesome! Thank you to our bride as well. Thank you!

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.


  • Use camera angle, lens choice, and cropping to improve your poses

  • Hide unflattering problem areas

  • Address different body types through posing and wardrobe

  • Go for simple poses rather than extravagant ones

  • Pose couples, individuals, and groups to ensure everyone looks good

  • Understand the differences between posing women and men


Posing is one of the fundamentals of great photography. It’s also the thing that photographers have the least control over. We can choose our lenses, set up, lighting, and retouch with Adobe® Photoshop®. But when it comes to photography poses, we need to pay attention and work closely with our subjects to find the perfect pose and best way to capture the most flattering image.

Fashion and portrait photographer Lindsay Adler will break down the fundamentals of perfect posing, giving you the basic rules you should follow to make your subjects and your photos look their best. Through live photo shoots and slides, Lindsay demonstrates the do’s and don’ts for every category of subject, including men, women, older people, couples, brides and grooms, groups, and more.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Connect with your subjects through sincere compliments, repeating their name and discovering their passions.

  • Avoid using negative terms that will make subjects feel ill at ease.

  • Master the rules of posing, then know when to break them.

  • Be confident when posing couples at a wedding whether it's a bride and groom, mature couple or same sex couple.

This course is perfect for novice photographers just getting their feet wet in the world of portrait photography, but it also offers useful advice and techniques for even the most skilled professionals. By the end, you’ll be able to discover the beauty in every one of your subjects, and bring it out for the world to see.


  • All levels of photographers who want to set themselves apart and up their posing game.

  • Professional photographers who want to learn new ways of posing women, men, children, couples, and groups so they can impress current  clients and attract new ones.

  • Hobbyist photographers who want to learn to pose their family and friends.


  1. Introduction to Posing

    Lindsay goes over what she'll cover in this posing for beginners course, including the do's and don'ts of posing, how the course will be broken up, and some basic posing tips and guidelines to keep in mind.

  2. Expression and Interaction Posing Tips

    Getting your subject to do what you want them to do can be tricky. Lindsay offers some helpful tips on how to get the right facial expressions for portraits, allow special moments to happen, and capture posed candid shots.

  3. Posing Guidelines

    Get the lowdown on some key posing techniques every photographer should know, from how to make your subject look slimmer to how to accentuate their best features.

  4. Basic Posing Demo

    Lindsay puts her advice into action using a model for a live posing demo that will teach your some beginner photography poses.

  5. Posing Parts: Shoulders, Chin, Eyes & Hands

    Lindsay delves into the specifics of how to do head and shoulders portrait posing to make your subjects look their best and get the right look.

  6. Posing Parts: Men, Feet, Elbows and Nose

    Learn specific male photography poses to make men look more masculine. Lindsay also goes over how to position elbows and noses for good poses.

  7. Posing Guide Contact Sheet Examples

    Look at various contact sheets and learn about model poses for fashion photography.

  8. Posing for Body Types

    Learn about posing for different body types so you can make anyone look flattering.

  9. Posing and Shooting Flaws

    Every subject will have a flaw or two, but there are lots of things you can do to hide or minimize those flaws in your photos. Lindsay also shows you some common photography posing mistakes to avoid.

  10. Male Posing Guidelines

    Lindsay gives you essential guidelines for how to pose for male photos to make men look their best and compensate for their flaws.

  11. Essential Male Poses

    Get more advice on male portrait photography poses to make men look attractive and masculine.

  12. Essential Female Posing: Standing Poses

    Lindsay summarizes the essential guidelines for women standing poses so women can look their best.

  13. Couples Posing Guidelines

    When posing a couple, you want to make sure they actually look like a couple. Here are some guidelines for photography poses for couples so that both people look great.

  14. Shoot: Female High School Senior Poses

    Lindsay goes over what to keep in mind when doing senior portrait female poses, including how to make the experience fun and how to ensure the photos are both flattering and appropriate.

  15. Shoot: Male High School Senior Poses

    When doing senior portrait poses for guys, you'll want to make them look big, tough, and cool.

  16. Shoot: Mature Male Poses

    Lindsay shows you how to pose older men to make them look good and age appropriate.

  17. Shoot: Mature Female Poses

    Lindsay shows you how to photograph an older woman, including getting good posture, keeping the chin out, and hiding her hands.

  18. Shoot: Boudoir Poses

    A great boudoir shoot depends on making sure your subject is relaxed and comfortable. Lindsay shows you how to minimize flaws, get natural boudoir poses, and use shape and movement to your advantage.

  19. Shoot: Plus Size Poses

    Go over some tips and tricks for plus size photoshoot poses so you can make plus size subjects look slimmer.

  20. Shoot: Wedding Photography Bridal Poses

    Lindsay shows you how to do bridal portrait poses that are both natural and dramatic, and how to pose your bride so she looks beautiful and elegant.

  21. Shoot: Mature Couple Poses

    Photographing older couples depends on reading their dynamic and choosing the most flattering poses for both subjects.

  22. Shoot: Uneven Height Couple Poses

    Posing couples of different heights can be a challenge. Learn how to make the shot look natural, avoid strain, and even out the overall image.

  23. Shoot: Bridal Couple Poses

    Lindsay demonstrates how to do wedding poses for couples, including unusual cropping, using props, and making sure both the bride and groom look their best.

  24. Shoot: Group Poses

    The key to a great group pose is to have good balance, without being perfectly symmetrical. Lindsay offers a variety of tips on how to pose groups, including avoiding multiple arms around shoulders and having physical contact between people.

  25. Shoot: Bridal Party Poses

    When working with bridal parties, it's important to know the family politics, so bring notes! Lindsay gives you some great wedding party posing ideas, including that traditional bridal party group shot that tends to be symmetrical.

  26. Shoot: Family Poses

    When shooting a family portrait photo, don’t forget about making sure the parents look good, too! Here are some family photo posing ideas, such as paying attention to body language and avoiding lining up people’s heads.

  27. Shoot: Mother with Children Poses

    Lindsay gives you tips on mother and child poses, including how to make the mom look good and how to pose children of varying ages.

  28. Shoot: Father with Children Poses

    Get some specific advice on posing a father with kids, including whom to pose first and where to place the youngest child.

  29. Shoot: Single Child Poses

    Get posing ideas for one child, including allowing the pose to reflect the child’s personality, letting the child interact with their environment, and being sure to follow their lead.

  30. Shoot: Multiple Children Poses

    Get posing ideas for siblings so you can capture their relationship as well as their individual personalities.

  31. Shoot: Maternity Poses

    When doing maternity poses, you want your subject to look good and be comfortable. Lindsay gives you very specific advice on how to accentuate a pregnant woman's best features.

  32. Shoot: Maternity Couple Poses

    Doing maternity poses with husband means you’ll want to make the man look equally important, strong, and supportive.

  33. Shoot: Same Sex Couple Poses

    Lindsay gives you tips for posing same sex couples. The key is to follow their lead when it comes to being romantic and touchy feely.

  34. Shoot: Fashion Female Poses

    In fashion photography, the regular posing rules don’t apply. You can get away with almost anything as long as it looks good and is done with intent. Lindsay talks about professional model poses for females, such as using elegant hands and elongated necks to communicate the mood.

  35. Shoot: Beauty Poses

    Lindsay shows you her modeling poses for beginners, including emphasizing tendons and clavicles, tilting the head toward the camera or keeping it neutral, and using over-the-shoulder watch angles.



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!

Ruth Ganev

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!

Maya Tleubergen

I really love it! Thank you, thank you, Lindsay! Beautiful girl with a huge talent to teach! I absolutely love it! Worth every penny!