Posing 101: Women

Lesson 9/13 - Bridal Posing


Posing 101: Women


Lesson Info

Bridal Posing

We're going to talk about my quick tips for photographing a bride, for flattering her. And I have a couple of important things to keep in mind. One thing that's beside 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 location. 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 dr...

ess 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 kind of two different things that women do. Sometimes, they hold the flowers up, because they spent a lot of money on them, and 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. I mean, there's no form here. So what you want to 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 is, 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, finding something to do with that other hand, you've always got the flowers to rely on. So I'll pass this back real quick. Pose number two is negative space. So that's what I was talking about, 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 are posing and the hand is prominent to the photograph, make sure you see the ring finger. You can see what she got for that wedding. (laughing) 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 crest. So this is kind of the checklist that I would say. I'd say, okay, is the posture good? Yes. Do I have negative space? Okay. If I can have a hand prominent, do I see that wedding ring? And are the hands soft? That's kind of my checklist. You don't need to go too crazy beyond that. All right? So I'm going to bring out our bride. And can we bring that light back, please? All right, 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 that you definitely need to have in your arsenal. Hi, you look beautiful. Thanks. Is this your real wedding dress? No. Oh, that's less exciting. (laughing) Okay, cool. And just take one step over this way. All right, so I'm gonna do the don't first. Elbows in tight, flowers up. (camera clicks) Okay, this is my don't. And then, perfect, that is my do. 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. Okay. (camera clicks) All right, so I'm giving a little bit curve. You guys can see the edges of the dress all right? 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 that 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, a couple things you want to look out for. So first, watch out for your light. This has nothing to do with light, but she needs to turn towards wherever the light is. Hair off of the closest shoulder. Great. And what you are looking for is, is that okay? What you're looking for is you don't want the shoulder to intersect with the chin. So that 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. See 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 kind of three quarters and look around at you. So this is one over the shoulder look. But what I want to 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 try to look back at me. Good. (camera clicks) All right, 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 put the hand on your hip, okay? And maybe just on your waist right there, a little bit higher, I mean, with the hand, and pop it out. Good, all right, so now I've got a little bit of negative space there. That's gonna be much better, so that's a 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 kind of arch your back a little bit. Great, and pull that elbow in just a little, like into your body just a little bit. Good, and relax. Perfect. Great. (camera clicks) Perfect. And then you can let your flowers go a little looser and hand in just a little closer. Great. (camera clicks) And now look off that way. Head towards me just a tiny bit. And then look your eyes that way, great. (camera clicks) Okay, so that's giving me a bunch of curve. Okay, so that would be something for over the shoulder. It doesn't need to be like this. Give yourself a little negative space. Okay, now, what happens if I want super curve? I'll have you face forward. All right, so I want curve in this dress. Can I 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 kind of pop up that toe. Okay, so I'm gonna have you, just hold your hands out to the side. Okay, undo that and then do it again. So watch, straight line 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's largest, and we have you do that whole thing, and just lean towards the camera just a little bit more. Great, perfect. So if want a bride with a ton of curve. (camera clicks) Good. 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 bent wrist. It 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 clicks) Good. And a little bit taller. You don't have to lean forward as much. Good. (camera clicks) Perfect. So nice and curvy. Great, and I'm gonna take the flowers away for one, and just with that back arm, can you put it real soft on your neck. Yeah, okay. And same thing, hand on the hip. Perfect, and lean towards me. Great. 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 hand? Can I put flowers there? No, I can put flowers in front this time. So I get the pose and move things around. Perfect. And relax your shoulders. Nice. Perfect. And pop your foot up even more. Great, right there, perfect! Okay, so this is a curvy looking bride. Ready? In a good way. Next shot. Popped her knee up, you'll see 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 going to 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 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, just right there. Good, great. Take 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 the camera, and watch for that negative space. So here's 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? No, other side was good. So I'm looking for like where negative space would. She's sitting too far back. She can't elongate or lean, so I'm just gonna have you scoot towards the edge. Just don't fall off. And scoot this way, towards, yeah. And I'm gonna have her, so I'm looking for elongation. Kick out that leg, yeah, make it long. Perfect, and lean forward. So I'm looking for negative space. I'm looking for elongated. I would kind of 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 kick your arm 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. (camera 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 want to stand anymore. And it's time to do photographs, and she's like, "I'm sitting." And 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, all right. So the last thing that I wanted to talk about is that shot that everyone does. In the window. Do you know which one I'm talking about? Okay, they're backlit 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 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 curve, so soft, just a little bit. Great, all right, 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 up, and as far out to the right as you can. Perfect, all right. And 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 kind of 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 just 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 clicks) Okay, great, perfect. Love it! Thank you so much, Lindsey. (audience applauds) And thank you to our bride as well. Thank you!

Class Description

Posing women can seem daunting and overwhelming, especially when you consider the seemingly endless looks, styles and situations you can find yourself in as a photographer. In Posing 101: Women, fashion photographer and CreativeLive instructor Lindsay Adler will show you how to pose women comfortably and with style in a variety of scenarios.

Lindsay will lay down a foundation to posing and show you the essential poses for women you need to get started. Using live photo shoots and a 5 guideline approach, you’ll learn how to pose high school seniors and mature women. You’ll see boudoir poses that are graceful and comfortable for the subject yet impactful. Lindsay will teach you specific poses for plus size, bridal and maternity clients. Additionally, you’ll learn how to wow and inspire awe with stylized fashion and beauty poses.

Regardless of your style and experience, this course offers a step-by-step approach to posing women easily and quickly. Regardless if it’s a wedding, portrait or intimate boudoir shoot, you’ll be able to pose with confidence and ease.


Hassan Hussein

This class was a pleasure to watch. Lindsay Adler as always studies the subject to a great extent and then provides it in a very clear and entertaining way to her audience. This class includes all the essentials about posing women. It contains very useful information, tips, and tricks to improve one's photography of women. It further contains great instructions on how to add artistic twists to every pose that could flatter the subject being photographed. I highly recommend this class to serious photographers who want to improve their skills of photographing female subjects.

Christine Yun

Such a great class. I learned so many posing tips and feel so much more confident when getting photographed. Lindsay teaches you the basics and breaks down the essentials to ensure you look your best in pictures.

Chris van der Colff

Lindsay does a great job at taking you through many poses. She not only shows you the poses, but explains why she chooses each for the particular model.