The Ultimate Posing Guide

Why Close to 40% of Brides Have REGRETS and how we can help you stay in the 60%!

I’m Eva. Award Winning, Traveling Wedding & Elopement Photographer based in Tennessee. I'm going give you a crash course in posing so you can ensure you look your best and have no regrets for your special day.

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My goal is not only for myself to feel successful and do a great job, but to leave you feeling amazing, knowing you have gained a friend and not just a photographer. I want you to know I have your back.

Why do you get this guide for free? Because I empathize. I care. No matter what photographer you choose, I want you to LOVE your images. I understand how scary posing can be. I remember when my best friend got married, she was so excited when she had finally received her wedding photos. As we pulled up her wedding photos to view the slideshow with the rest of our friends and her hubby, I remember her having a huge smile, but suddenly she looked devastated as we got to bride & groom portraits.

After we were done viewing the images, I asked why she looked so upset, and she said, “I look horrible, I mean I get that I am not super skinny but I like the way I look when you take my picture, I look awful in every pose, most of them are so stiff and unhappy or fake.”

The literal worst, right?

You spend all of this time and money dreaming of your big day and excited to have beautiful images to look at afterwards then see yourself and your loved ones and get disappointed. Only, it isn’t you, it was your photographer. Because of her experience I decided to take workshops and practice posing not only brides, but couples. Because your wedding day is not just yours. I want you to both look and feel amazing. I knew my next goal. To master the art of posing. Unfortunately, there are so many artists that focus on only one part of capturing weddings. Details. While details are incredible, they are not the only thing, beautiful composition, choosing the right backgrounds, and posing are so very important. As a photographer, you must not neglect any area, but especially posing. Brides deserve your attention. So I decided to dig a little deeper and heard some chilling facts when I came across one study in particular. And I came across this study by my friend Jordan, that mentioned that almost 40% of brides had regrets when it came to their wedding photos. “Insane” That was the word that came to mind. I would have never imagined that almost half of the brides felt this way.

1. “Our photographer was playing on their phone the entire time and we had to ask them to take our pictures 5+ times.”

2. “The photographer did not know how to prompt us or pose us, beyond literally saying cheese for every picture!”

3. “All we got back were detail pictures, no candids, none of our friends and family laughing and none of us other than posing. ” Those are just a few of the ones we read.

As an artist and professional, I can’t imagine ever leaving a bride feeling this way…My brides have never done anything other than rave about me publicly and shouted my praises, something I am so grateful for. I just can’t picture leaving a bride unhappy. Like Joshua & Jessica who said, “I’ll always go back to Eva to do our pictures, because she has a way of brilliantly capturing true joy and love in every photo.”

Now that you understand the why, let’s get to the good stuff, eh?

Your first lesson consists of 3 important things.

Imaginary String.
Shoulders.
Weight Distribution.

The Foundations of Posing

Posing is an ART. But understandably it's an art that a lot of couples are nervous about, and SADLY that a lot of so-called "professional" photographers actually don't know how to direct correctly. So if you happen to have a photographer who doesn't know how to pose you with expertise and intention, what are a few things you should remember?

1. Imaginary String:
First off you want to ensure that your spine is straight, but NOT stiff and unnatural. I often ask my couples to act as if there is a string on the back/top of their head pull up. Have a straight spine and natural curve in you lumbar (lower back).
2. Shoulders:
Push your shoulders 1 inch back. This will further bring confidence and beauty in your pose.
3. Weight Distribution:
You want your weight distribution to be uneven or else your pose will look unnatural. There are two ways to do this. Either cross one leg over the other or put more weight on your back leg. Look at the photo below. Each of these techniques were used on this photo of Diana for a natural look.

See how Diana is using the 3 tips you just learned about?

But what about posing the head, eyes, and hands? Or making sure your portraits look authentic and not "posed" or “cheesy"? Remember these are just the "foundations". We'll go deeper into more techniques within the next few pages.

When you hold something it naturally gives your hands something to do, but also brings attention to that object. Here I have Diana holding her dress and flowers which also is a beautiful way to transition Into showing off her details! What else is there?

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How do We NOT Look so Uptight in Wedding Portraits?

Even though wedding portraits are posed... no one wants portraits that LOOK posed. The more candid and authentic your portraits look the BETTER.
Now there are tons of ways to ensure this... but just in case you have a photographer who doesn't know what they are doing, here's one of the MAIN tips you can do. We call it the NOSE X-FACTOR.
So what is it? Imagine you have an imaginary line coming out of the tip of your nose and eyes.

How Can We Look More Authentic?

When posing with your fiancé you always want those imaginary lines crossing making an X. Meaning you never want to look directly in the eyes of each other for the portrait. Why? It looks cheesy and fake.
So Instead of having my couples look at each other in the eyes, I'll have one of them turn their chin slightly to the side and down, and drop their eyes down. This give the portrait a more CANDID and AUTHENTIC touch. The truth is most couples don't actually do this which is why it makes the portraits "look" posed... but photographers make couples do this ALL THE TIME.

What About My Eyes and Arms?

The Nose-X factor gives the portrait a sense of candid. As if I caught them in a real beautiful moment. So how about posing your hands, arms, and even your eyes? I could write a book on how to pose hands and eyes... it's the photographers 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 on your wedding day.

-If you have a "good side," tell us! -Smile with your EYES and your smile. Sometimes laughing it out can help you have a natural laugh and look just as joyful.

What Else is There?

When you hold something it naturally gives your hands something to do, but also brings attention to that object. As you saw above, Diana was holding her dress and flowers which also is a beautiful way to lead attention and show it off. If there is nothing to hold, 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.

-Elongate your neck, angle the chin down, and "carry" a heavy bag!

-Ladies, cross your legs at the ankles sometimes, point your toes when you can, and occasionally rest your weight on leg leaning forward with that side of your body.

What are the basics to every pose beyond the rest?

-Fake lashes are the BEST unless you have naturally long lashes that stand out.

-Do a hair & make up trial before the day of your photos and make those cheekbones pop! Dramatic is good on camera.

-Don't clamp your teeth together unless that is how you naturally smile, some people are blessed with teeth that can do that and still be visible, I am not!

-I tell the fellas to relax all of their weight on one leg then rest a hand on the pocket while you rest your hand on their chest and they pull you tightly to them by the small of your back.