Wedding Photography Poses and Tips

A photographer can be one of the most important components of your wedding day. When friends or relatives volunteer to take your wedding pictures, think long and hard about it. A professional will thoroughly understand lighting techniques and will be experienced in capturing the joyous occasion. Interview photographers early, at least 6 – 12 months in advance.

Determine your budget clearly at this meeting. Be sure you understand exactly the quantity and size of prints you will be buying, when proofs will be available and if you get to keep them, the type of proofs provided, when the finished work will be ready, and how long the negatives will be kept in the photographer’s filing system (if they’re not given to you).

Remember, price is not the most important item – look for quality and creativity. Also make sure that they will respect the sacredness of the ceremony and not turn it into a “show” (i.e. some photographers disregard this and take flash pictures during the ceremony or walk up and down the aisle just so they can get the best pictures).

Be sure you feel comfortable with the photographer.

Note for photographers looking for tips and advice – make the couple relaxed and comfortable, make that your number one goal. The poses will come naturally.
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Photos During the Ceremony

• Interior of the church (or other wedding site) with guests
• Lighting of church candles
• Parents and other honored guests being escorted to seats
• Entrance of minister (or other officiant), groom, and groomsmen
• Minister, groom, and groomsmen waiting at altar
• Entrance of bridesmaids (escorted or unescorted)
• Entrance of flower girl and ring bearer
• Entrance of bride and father (or other escort)
• Father giving away bride
• Various shots during the ceremony (usually without flash and from the back of the church, from balcony, or best available vantage point)
• Telephoto close-ups of bride, groom, and officiant at altar
• Wide-angle shots of entire wedding party at altar
• Special moments (such as bride and groom facing one another, lighting of unity candle, vows, ring exchange, kiss, presentation of bride and groom to the guests as new husband and wife)
• The recessional (bride and groom walking back down aisle, groomsmen escorting bridesmaids down the aisle)

Formal Photos after the ceremony (see note below)
Various combinations and numbers of the following photographs are typical.

• Bride (several shots)
• Groom (several shots)
• Bride and groom (several shots)
• Bride, groom and minister (or other officiant)
• Bride with maid of honor
• Bride with bridesmaids
• Bride with flower girl
• Groom with best man
• Groom with groomsmen
• Groom with ring bearer
• Bride and groom with bridesmaids
• Bride and groom with groomsmen
• Bride and groom with maid of honor and best man
• Bride and groom with flower girl/ring bearer
• Bride and groom with entire wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer, ushers)
• Bride and groom with bride’s parents
• Bride and groom with groom’s parents
• Bride and groom with both sets of parents
• Bride and groom with bride’s extended family (grandparents, sisters and brothers, other special family members – various combinations are usually desired)
• Bride and groom with groom’s extended family (grandparents, sisters and brothers, other special family members – various combinations are usually desired)
• Bride and groom with any special friends/guests in attendance

Photos at the Reception

• Entrance of bride and groom
• Bride and groom being served or in food line
• Bride and groom at wedding party table
• Bride and groom during toasts (and those giving toasts)
• Bride and groom cutting the wedding cake
• Bride and groom feeding each other wedding cake
• Bride and groom first dance
• Other special dance moments (father/daughter, mother/son, etc.)
• Bouquet toss
• Garter removal/toss
• Bride and groom’s hands/rings (ring shot)
• Bride’s bouquet
• Parents and special guests at parent’s table (and other “table” shots, as appropriate, and as desired by the bride and groom)
• The gift table and guest book sign-in table
• The wedding cake
• Special decorative arrangements (florals, ice sculptures, etc.)
• Musicians and/or singers
• Candids of bride, groom, and family members/friends
• Candids of various guests, (as appropriate and as desired by the bride and groom)

Notes on Formal Photos: Formal posed photos usually include various combinations of the bride, groom, wedding party members, and immediate family members. Posed formals may even include extended family members and close friends. Posed formals may be taken either just before or just after the ceremony. Normally, they are taken immediately after the ceremony. Sometimes, however (to save time), the bride, groom and family will decide to do these photos before the ceremony (usually at least 1 to 11⁄2 hours before the ceremony).

How much time should be allowed for formal photos? A quick set of formal photos may be taken in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. An extended session may last from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. Of course, it depends on the size of the wedding party and the number of family members and friends that it may be desired to include as part of the formal photo session.

It’s always a good idea for the bride and groom to make a specific list of all of the family members (or family groups) of whom they’d like to have photos taken. This assists not only the photographer, but also helps the family sort out exactly what their formal photography needs will be. Such a list also helps to speed up the process of taking the formal photos, so that there is less time taken in making last-minute decisions on whom to include in those photos.

:: Darren Hull Kelowna Wedding Photographer