9 Tips For Posing Like a Professional
On Your Wedding Day

The Eye of the Beholder

At its core, any form of art is subjective. What looks good to me may not look the greatest to you. That is the beautiful thing about being able to choose who photographs your wedding.  However, when a pose is off, it is undeniable that everyone will subconsciously dismiss the photo because of that. 

Even after knowing that, when I say the word “pose” during the beginning of any wedding or portrait session, brides and grooms alike, usually shutter. Every client that I have worked with does this. That tension isn’t broken until I position them making them look like a king and queen and they say, “Oh my gosh, is that really me?” After hearing that at a recent wedding, I decided to write this blog.


When I first started in photography, I was a real estate photographer. I photographed subjects that didn’t move. Houses do not move. They are easy, you just shot them as they were. When I started photographing people, I learned how much posing effects an image, and simply by association will affect a persons perception of themselves. When I realized this, the position of the body became a huge priority of mine.

The Foundation of Every Pose

It is said that a house built on sand will not last. Posing is very much the same, because posing begins with the position of the feet. These are four of the many foundations that I use.

The V. This is where you and your fiancé’s feet are positioned in a V, or hinge. This is possibly the most versatile one because I use this one when I start photographing. This is because it naturally occurs. For example, you are wrapping your arm around someone for a picture, your feet naturally fall into this position. If you’re standing for formals, a v naturally occurs at about the center the group.

The second pose I use is the side-by-side positions or by asking you to stand in a straight light. The most common situations where this is used is the bride and groom walking side by side. This is one of my go to poses when I want a more candid moment. Depending on where I position the eyes and direct the chin, this can be a romantic pose for you. If I have a bride and groom walking on a gravel road next to a pond or lake, I will have them look at each other. Boom, romantic. I just caught a beautifully candid moment.

The third starting pose foundation is one that I use if I like the location that we are in and want to provide some variety. Having her lean on his chest or her pressing into his back while he is receiving a hug from behind are just a couple of the examples of how to use this pose. Using it correctly can elicit some of the most beautiful moments between a bride and her groom.

The fourth position is known as the chest to chest. I use this pose to get some of the most romantic shots. I have found that many couples have an aversion to showing affection in front of a camera held by someone they don’t really know. So I often use this too

So you see, just from these four different foundations, the possibilities I have are virtually endless. Which makes shooting in one spot an ideal location to find a treasure trove for photos.

The Spine

The spine is the most important part of any pose. Knowing the foundations and doing them correctly but forgetting your posture will single handedly ruin a photo. It  has a unique affect on pose and it is often the difference between a headliner and one photo that is completely ruined. Posture in video is much different than posture in photography. When you are uncomfortable in a video, you move, and you look natural again. With photography if you look uncomfortable, you will remain that way, because it is etched in time. This simple fact is why I have studied posing so extensively. With all the times that we have sat wrong, slouching while we walk, its easy to forget that posture is what makes a photo truly beautiful. So to correct that, I ask my couples to stand up straight and curve that lower back as much as possible. Chest full of air, and your shoulders back. Doing that not only corrects posture but it also casts a look of confidence over you, so you don’t look withdrawn and timid.

Weight Distribution

If there is one thing that is underrated in posing, it is how you distribute your weight in a pose. Making this simple adjustment is how curves are created and what accentuates any curve that is already there When it comes to weight, many people are self-conscious about their weight, or figure. For women, standing with your feet square under your shoulder, will widen your waste, and create a pose that is stiff and if captured, no one will like the photo. Correctly shifting your weight by standing on your back leg, popping your hip of the leg and, crossing your other leg over in a way that your toes cross other toes to form an X will not only have a more flattener look, but it will also have a slimming effect. This works for both male and females. Standing on your back leg will naturally give you a comfortalble stance, but if you want to look strong and in command, you will want to stand on your back leg and NOT cross your toes. That way it will open up your However this will only work if your knee and toes of the front leg will be pointed in the same direction. It will look weird if it doesn’t.

The Arms

When posing the arms, angles matter. If you see any rigid arms, you will immediately see that, with out a purpose, they are very unnaturally looking. Try keeping your elbows straight, and you will see what I mean. When you give your arms something to do, such as hold your bouquet, hold your wife, or hold your husband, it give the pose a natural feel to it because they are not out of place. The general rule I like to follow is when your holding something, keeping your arms at no greater than a 450 angle is best. Anything up to 900  will compete for your subject’s attention, unless the arm is resting. Using 900 angles correctly when posing is a great way to create a strong presence. Especially when you are trying to focus on details. They are great ways to frame your desired subject. However, specifically with women, if your goal is a feminine presence, avoiding 900 angles is best. Anything greater than 900 will create an elegance to the pose

The Hands

Hands are an odd thing to pose. To me they are the most difficult to pose as well. Its difficult because hands and fingers are natural pointers. So you have to pay close attention to what they are doing. If a man has his fingers in his pant pockets, but his thumbs out, his thumbs are pointing to his manhood, and thus drawing attention to it. Its an odd observation, however everytime i see a finger pointing at something in a photo, my attention is naturally drawn to where ever that finger is pointing. It is important to note that when posing hands, angles just as much as they do with arms. A 90 degree angle will break any pose because it will look like the subjects wrist is broken.

The Eyes

Your eyes have an uncanny ability to make you look stunning. They also be creepy. And it has to do with the whites of the eyes and where they are positioned. There are many different features of a person that are beautiful, but there are few that have the same effect as the iris. Every person I have met has a different hue, design, and features that make their eyes beautiful. And controlling where they looking will have different effects on how the photos feel. If you are smiling and looking into your partners eyes, it will feel romantic. If you close your eyes, while he kisses your forehead it will have an intimate feel, if you look at the camera while he is looking off into the distance it will have a curious feel to it (what did he see? What made you look at the camera?). The possibilities are nearly endless when posing the eyes.

The Nose

The Nose doesn’t affect a pose in the traditional sense. However, if posed incorrectly, you will sense that something is off in the pictures. So to combat this I like to use something called the x factor. When explaining this to my clients, I say there is a line coming out of your nose in a strait line. I want that line to cross your partners in any way. When this happens, no matter where either of you are looking, the photo will look unposed, even if one of you is looking at the camera.

Touching and It's Effect

Depending on the time of photos, you are either getting married, or are already married. Showing affection through touching, does wonders for a pose. Touching your brides waste, or bringing her in to yourself, putting your hands around his neck, touching his cheek, or bringing her into kiss her, will always make the photo feel intimate and it will give you a candid feel to the pose that cant be achieved without touch.

Mirroring and Why It's Bad

When explaining mirroring, I like to crack jokes at the prom pose. This pose is a pose where you are both doing the same thing. You are both standing in the same direction and your hands are doing the same thing too. It is the definition of an unnatural pose. Poses that feel the most natural will have you both doing something different with your hands and arms. So having his arms around your waste, and yours around his neck, to make it feel even more natural I will ask you to do something different with both hands. That way you not only avoid mirroring him, but you also avoid mirroring yourself.