Posing Tips and Shots for the “part-time” Wedding Photographer
Written by: Tiffany Joyce
This post was submitted by Jason and you can check out more of his work at wickedgoodmainephotographer.com.
So you’ve been asked to take some pictures at your friend’s wedding, but you’re not sure what pictures you should take during a wedding or even how to pose everyone properly.
Tip #1: Know what photos and style your friend or client would like to have taken. It’s much easier to take a photograph of a friend because you know them and what they like or dislike. For example, I know my girlfriend’s friend only likes photos of her that are taken from the waist up because she thinks she is a little heavy in the hindquarters. Before the wedding, have a nice set of formal pictures, casual pictures, and fun pictures to show. Discuss what pictures she likes and why she likes them. Then discuss things they don’t like about those pictures. Everyone is different and you should discuss what photos they would like to have taken during their wedding. Don’t take any negative feedback personal because it will help you give them what they want; not what you think they want.
Tip #2: Make a list of shots you need to take during the ceremony, after the ceremony, and during the reception. This ties into Tip#1, because after you discuss what’s important to her, you’ll be able to formulate a list of shots you personalized for your friend’s wedding. This list will help you focus your time and effort in the right places.
Here’s an example of my shot list:
- Bride and Groom preparing
- Ceremony location images
- Exchanging Vows
- Lighting the Candle
- Blessing & Exchanging Rings
- Reception location images
- Table & Invitation images
- Artistic Hands & Rings images
- Artistic Bouquet photographs
- Artistic cake images
- Formal photographs of Bridal party
- Formal photographs of Bride and Groom
- Formal photographs of family with Bride and Groom
- Best man & Groom
- Bride’s Maid & Bride
- Mom & Dad
- Ring Bearer
- Cutting the cake
- Throwing of the bouquet
- Father daughter dance
- Garter belt toss
- Bride & Groom’s first dance
- Bridal Party dancing
- Invited guest photographs
- kids (fun play)
- Trash the dress
- Trash the tux
- Bride & Groom waving goodbye and leaving
Tip #3: Keep posing simple. If you’re just starting out don’t try to be Monty Zucker. Posing is something photographers are reluctant to try because to them it feels staged and not a real gesture or action someone would do. However, a posed image is more likely to be purchased and put in an album. Posing is as simple as asking the Groom to kiss his new Bride’s hand as they face each other or having the Bride do an under arm hug. A Simple pose is to ask the Bride and Groom to stand right shoulders together in a half hug and then ask the Groom to hold the Bride’s chin before they kiss. You can do many variations of this simple pose.
When taking your shots, I recommend starting with a full-length shot first, then zoom in to 3/4 shot, then to close-up shot mixing vertical and horizontal shots as you go. This will give you a nice variety of images to showcase later to your friend. Get creative with posing, nothing says you have to be traditional. Remember tip#1, know what style of photographs your friend likes. If you have to complete some test shots before your wedding shoot to refine your skill that’s ok.
Tip #4: Become the Bride’s “shadow”. Don’t get lost in the moment or venture too far away from the Bride and Groom. Most professional photographers will tell you that the Bride is the one who has made most of the wedding decisions up to this point and she will be the one making the photo album decisions in the future. What helps me stay close to the bride is I imagine myself tied to her with a 20’ rope. I know it sounds strange, but it works.
So, whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced photographer, I hope that these tips will help you capture this special moment that will be cherished for a lifetime.
Photo credits: o´holysweet!
Previous Post: Composition Tips – Balance