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10 Bridal Pose Ideas for Photographers

Everyone requires inspiration at some point in their career, whether through reading, watching, or observing. We’ve compiled a list of 10 bridal poses that could help you out of a jam at your next wedding, ranging from standard flattering poses to more complex and intricate ones. Check out Photographing the Bride for more, or stream it now in SLRL Premium!

 Pose 1 | The Standard

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A full-length portrait of the bride is required, as brides spend a significant amount of time planning the perfect dress to honor their big day. Once your bride is fully prepared, the first shot should be a standard, flattering portrait, followed by a series of micro-poses, adjusting the arms, hips, and expressions.

Pose 2 | Back of the Wedding Dress

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Now that we’ve completed our standard shot, we can move on to more complex posing. Turn the bride around and look over her shoulder, making sure to keep her chin separate from her shoulder. A common error we see with this pose is brides turning their heads too much and breaking the profile plane; while this isn’t always a rule, it does help with the symmetry of the face.

 Pose 3 | Incorporating the BoUquet

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Every detail counts, and a bride’s bouquet is just one of the many important accessories she will wear on her wedding day. Include it in a few portrait shots, but make sure the bride separates her arms from her body to create shape and figure.

 Pose 4 | Accessory Adjustments

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Brides will almost certainly have shoes, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and other accessories to wear on their wedding day. Use the action of these movements to capture journalistic or posed images, positioning your subject in the ideal light setup shown above and instructing them accordingly. Keep an eye on her arm tension; the more relaxed her joints are, the more natural the pose will appear.

Pose 5 | portraits Through The veil

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Although this isn’t necessarily a pose, it is a portrait variation. Shooting through the veil creates a soft and dreamy aesthetic that brides almost always adore, and it’s a simple trick that can be used to impress. Make sure your attention is still on your subject and not on the veil material, which is a common mistake.

Pose 6 | sitting poses

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This is possibly one of the most difficult poses to master on this list because we all know how unflattering sitting makes people look, regardless of body type. The key to nailing a seated pose is to find the angle that flatters your bride’s figure and gives her the best posture without making her look stiff. Another suggestion is to gently tug the dress so that it does not bunch up in the wrong places, making your bride appear larger than she is.

POSE 7 | high fashion

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This image combines dramatic lighting with strategic posing. Exaggerated posing will help outline a more high-fashion appeal to the image, while hard lighting produces hard shadows and bright highlights that will help accentuate the female figure. To truly portray this type of pose, it is all in the hips and attitude of the expression. Examine fashion magazines and shoot for ideas on more dramatic posing and lighting.

POSE 8 | Candid Laughter

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After you’ve completed your standard portraits, don’t be afraid to have some fun. Loosen up the bride and make her laugh with some jokes, or have her bridesmaids assist and coerce her to laugh. Once you’ve taken a series of photos, check to see if you have a couple to work with and show them to the bride to see what she thinks. A photo that meets your standards for excellent may have an unflattering angle for the bride, so it’s always a good idea to double-check.

 POSE 9 | Macro shots of makeup

A macro lens is essential for a wedding photographer, primarily to capture wedding rings, but here is another great use for your macro lens. We have our brides do “fake-up” shots with a Canon 100mm F/2.8 IS L after their makeup is finished for the day. We simply instruct the makeup artist to apply any last-minute touch-ups to the bride before getting in close to capture details of her lashes, eye makeup, and lips.

POSE 10 | Opening the curtains

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The pensive ‘looking-out-the-window’ shot has been overdone and overused, so try something with a little more motion. Pull back the curtains to reveal a sliver of light, or use the window as a giant softbox. This is an excellent shot for highlighting the bride’s figure while also highlighting the dress. Remember to keep your arms and body separate.

Note: If you want to make some adjustments to the photo just let me know. I can do it for you at a very low cost. You can hire me to edit your photo.


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