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Ten Helpful Tips When Posing for Wedding Photos

Chad Populis, a Professional New Orleans wedding photographer, shares tips on what he wants wedding couples to do (and not to do) on their wedding day.

New Orleans bridal portrait photography session

Your wedding photos serve a greater purpose than simply announcing your new relationship status on social media and decorating the walls of your home: Long after you've exchanged vows, shared your first dance, and cut that first slice of cake, your wedding photos are a physical reminder of the day you and your spouse committed to a lifetime together. Through them, you (and generations to come!) can relive every special moment of the day you said "I do." The importance of these photos also means that couples tend to feel a significant amount of pressure to ensure they're perfect. So, how do you do it? Hiring a great wedding photographer—one whose work you love and are able to form a wonderful connection with—is the 1st step. After that, trusting them to guide you towards poses that look and feel natural is key. Here, I share my ten best tips to keep in mind when posing for wedding photos.

Relax The main piece of posing advice to give: Try to relax and have fun. My biggest piece of advice is to relax and live in the moment, that way the pictures result in something that is not obviously posed, but truly authentic and organic. Remember, the photographer is there to be the expert and get the shot—your focus should be on enjoying and living in this special moment. My goal for couples is usually about getting them to relax, be present and blissful, and connect with one another. The more I can get them tuned into one another, the more authentic the images will be.

Want to be more relaxed on your wedding day?

Don't skip the engagement photo session. Scheduling a photo session with your photographer ahead of the wedding day teaches you how to feel comfortable in front of the camera. What's more, it gives you the opportunity to see what types of photos you do and don't like of yourself ahead of the wedding.

Stand Up Straight Want to know a simple secret to more flattering photos? Good posture. Standing up straight, with your shoulders back and your chin forward, ensures you look your best in every shot.

Don't Lock Your Knees or Elbows While good posture is important, physical tension doesn't make for beautiful photos, which is why couples should keep the knee and elbow joints loose.

Watch the Angle of Your Chin A common mistake some people make is holding their chin too high or tilting their heads too far where it doesn’t look natural. You might think you're making your chin look more angular and flattering, but the result tends to be awkward-looking and uncomfortable.

Make Sure Your Pockets Are Empty Leave your cell phone, keys, and wallet at home. While your photographer will try to remind you—and your guests who are being photographed—to empty your pockets, doing so before you start the photo session will speed everything up.

Keep Your Jacket Buttoned Anyone wearing a jacket should ensure at least one button is fastened during photos, Merry says. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but let your photographer instruct you to open it should they feel the shot warrants a more casual approach. Lose the Hair Ties and Smart Watches One overlooked detail that I would advise all couples and their family members on, would be to check their wrists before the photo session begins. Hair ties and smartwatches, in particular, really take away from the look of a photo.

Point Your Feet Toward Your Partner For couple portraits, having the couple's feet pointed toward the camera instead of toward each other is best. The body language is so much more intimate and provokes a natural feeling of being together if they are pointed toward each other. Get Closer Distance is a big mistake all of our experts see couples make. In photos, the closer you can get, the better. A posing mistake I sometimes see is a couple being overly distant or not connected. Now as with all rules, there are exceptions, especially for intentionally distant poses we see in modern wedding photography.

Don't Try to Pose It may seem counterintuitive, but I emphasize the importance of not trying to pose on your wedding day. I feel it's best that a couple doesn't overthink posing. If there are ways that feel natural for you to be together—maybe wrapping your arm around your partner's arm or leaning on your partner's shoulder—don't be afraid to do that. This may seem contrary, but what feels the most tried-and-true for me is actually not posing at all. The longer I've been a photographer, I've come to realize that my favorite images of a finished gallery don't come from a pose. They come from the natural response of the couple to one another.

New Orleans wedding couple  candid photography moment portrait session

Taking the time to reflect on these tips for posing for wedding photos can make all the difference in the quality of your pictures and the ease with which you go through your photoshoot. Remember to choose a trustworthy and skilled photographer, don't be shy about communication, practice some poses beforehand, and most importantly, stay relaxed and enjoy the process. A good picture captures not just your appearance but also your mood and emotions at the moment. If you are joyous and comfortable in your wedding attire, your photos will naturally radiate the same positive energy.

Wedding photos are timeless keepsakes that hold a great deal of sentimental value. Therefore, posing naturally and capturing the essence of your love and joy is of the essence. Be patient, be creative, and remember to have fun. These tips offer insights on how to pose effectively for wedding photos, whether you're the bride or groom. Whether your style leans more towards traditional or contemporary, there's a right pose to mirror your affection and happiness. In the end, what matters most is that your wedding photos show the real, beautiful you, immersed in this unique and unforgettable experience.

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