Foundations of Posing for Engagement and Wedding Photos: Part 3

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Foundations of Posing for Engagement and Wedding Photos: Part 3

For Radian Couples

December 29, 2019

We don’t want you to be one of the 40% (yes, you read that right!) of couples that regrets their wedding photos. That’s why we put together this free series for you!

In part 1, we covered the foundations of posing and in part 2, we talked about the X-factor. Read those now if you haven’t already so that you’re all caught up!

Now, let’s talk about your hands and eyes. These can really make or break an overall image, so they’re important!

bride with veil merrimon wynne house

We could write a book on how to pose hands and eyes. It is the photographer’s job to not just “memorize” poses but to learn how to BUILD a pose for our brides and grooms.

But here a few pointers so you’ll know what to do for your engagement photos and on your wedding day.

bride at the meadows in raleigh, nc

The Wrap

The hands and arms can be used to lead attention to the right places in a portrait. With this pose, the viewer’s attention is led towards Victoria’s face, but the overall gesture is natural and beautiful. We asked Victoria to wrap her left arm across herself in the image above to create this lovely photo just as she lightly touched her waist, but another option is to ask her to hold her bouquet or feel the fabric of her dress.

bride at merrimon wynne raleigh nc

Avoiding the “Floating Head”

Photographers who don’t know how to pose the hands and arms often give brides and grooms what is called the floating head (what you don’t want). It’s when you have a close up shot of the face, but no hands and arms in the photo.

You can use hands and fingers to lead attention to where you want with a close up. In this portrait, we wanted to lead attention to Frances’s eyes and lips. So we gently directed her hands naturally in this position. As you can see, this portrait does not look forced or rigid even though the hands are in a place that you would not expect. This can enhance a close up portrait in a really beautiful way.

bride on boylan bridge raleigh nc

Posing the Eyes

So where should you look? 

Where you look can dramatically change the feel of the portrait, and I have my couples switch up where they are looking to add variety to their overall gallery. Looking directly at the camera can create a very bold image while looking at your significant other or softly towards the side lends itself well to a more romantic photo. No matter where you look, though, you want to avoid only seeing the “white” part of your eye.

We often have couples pay very close attention to the movement in the camera or a specific place behind us. Why? When you focus on something, it triggers the parietal lobe in the brain. This brings out a VERY captivating look in the eyes. Knowing information like this can help photographers create breathtaking images that stand the test of time.

Holding something

When you hold something it naturally gives your hands something to do, but also brings attention to that object. Here I have Victoria holding her dress which also is a beautiful way to lead attention and show it off.

If there is nothing to hold and I see a pose may look better with hands and arms NOT straight down, you can place one or two hands at the waist. 

Having your elbow at more than a 90 degree angle gives a more elegant pose than having it at 90 degrees or less.

Bonus: How to Walk in Photos

bride and groom boylan bridge raleigh nc

In this series so far, we’ve covered:

1. The Foundations of Posing

2. How to Make Your Portraits NOT Cheesy

3. Posing Your Hands and Eyes

We hope that you won’t be the close to 40% of couples who have regrets with their wedding photographer. The crazy thing is that at this point you may know more about posing than most “professional” wedding photographers out there! But we don’t want to let you leave without teaching you the correct way to WALK in front of the camera.

Remember how we talked about weight distribution for your portraits? It’s the same thing for walking. If you walk normally, it’s possible your portraits could look like a penguin walking. 😳

For the camera, walk as if you are walking on a straight line under you, and walk slower than usual, like you’re on a stroll. This will change the weight distribution in your hips making it look much more flattering in the portrait, like in this image of Liz and Trey. 

romantic fall engagement session

Thanks so much for following along on this series! If you want to learn about working with us for your wedding day, start by heading here!

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