For every wedding inquiry we receive, we respond with 4 questions in return. This lets us know how interested they are in Green Couch Photography, specifically, and why they want us to shoot their wedding. The resounding response for the “why” is due to our “ability to capture the couples’ personality without being super posey about it.” What they don’t actually realize is every one of those “non-posey” images are … “super posey.” The fact is, posing your couple isn’t what it used to be.
Posing brides, babies, and red heads
One of the tough lessons Chris and I had to learn was posing. When you walk into a camera shop and look at the bookshelf you will see stacks of posing guides; how to pose brides, seniors, babies, red heads, dogs, basketball hoops, clouds… okay sorry, I got a little carried away there with the list but you get the point. There is a serious focus on how to pose people. Why? Because clients will frequently ask, “Are you going to pose me? I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Models make my life easier
If we are working with paid models life becomes a breeze. They understand light, sight lines, posture, etc. It’s their job to know how to look good in a picture. In the wedding photography industry, models are rare so it’s 100% up to the person behind the lens to accomplish this task. This is why it is so important for you, as the photographer to understand the technical information. A couple is not going to know that the half light on their face from the window is going to set the mood for the shot. They also won’t understand that you are going to expose for the face of only one of them so as to draw attention to their expression. This doesn’t matter to them. Why would it?! It only matters that YOU get the shot.
Put down the magazine
Believe me when I say, it is so much easier than you think. I know you would like to virtually slap me because I just got done saying how difficult it was to learn. Right, it was. But that’s because I was reading books and magazines telling me how to set up a pose. It wasn’t until I ditched the guides and looked at the couples interacting that I really understood how to pose my subjects. The answer was right in front of me the whole time!
Hey look! A video
Check out this video from an engagement shoot we recently did for Craig + Mindy and tell me how many times you noticed them change their poses from my direction.
Put the camera down
They moved positions once, from standing to sitting. Do you know what I directed them to do? “Craig, go ahead and whisper something in Mindy’s ear. Okay, now sit down together.” The whole interaction you see is them just having fun. Yes, I technically “posed” them, but all I asked them to do was have fun together. My job at that point was to encourage them to not be shy (which I will discuss in a later post). I interact with every couple. Remember you do this all the time…they don’t. Put the camera down and talk to them.
Coffee is for more than just the caffeine
All of this is can be summed up by telling you to stop stressing about how to pose. Trust me, you can do it. Just get to know your clients. Take them out for coffee. Figure out who they are, how they interact together and allow for them to be themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I intervene when I need to. After all, I’m not just being paid to take pictures of them whispering to each other. But I also don’t have to move them 20 different times for 20 different shots.
So what’s the focus here?
Here is the breakdown of the perfect poses:
- Know your couple
- Find your light
- Make them feel comfortable
- Let them be themselves
- Take the shot!