How to pose for your wedding photos

You would think that when it comes to your wedding day that posing for the photos would be simple – because of course it’s the best day of your life so far – and you’ll be grinning from ear to ear waiting for the memories to be captured, so you can create a photo album to show the future kids and grandkids …  And even gift a canvas of the wedding party pic to your brand new in-laws as a thank-you for everything they did to support you on your big day!

Dreaming about all of this is one thing, but have you considered what it is going to be like to have a photographer follow you around for the entire day?

Just like you may have a few dance lessons to practise your first dance for the reception party, and you may try the cake recipe from the cakemakers before they make and decorate the yummy masterpiece … you’ll also have to consider putting some practise into posing for your wedding photos too!

It’s likely that you don’t have a dream team around you like Kanye and Kim, or Kate and Wills, to ensure you pull the perfect expression just as the camera snaps away – so you’re going to have to be prepared beforehand.

I personally have heaps of experience as a model and as a creative director for bridal designers, shoots and shows – plus I have worked with some of the top hairdressers and make-up artists in the wedding business, and they have given me lots of tips on how a bride and groom are best to pose for their wedding photos …

Here are 5 Posing tips:

There are so many things to learn and consider when it comes to posing for photos – and if you are really interested in getting into it more thoroughly you can enrol on my online model training MMM111:

But before you do that – check out these five essential tips for how to pose for your wedding photos:

1)      No selfie style:

Unless you are going for an Instagram theme for your whole wedding, it’s best to avoid the selfie style of posing altogether! People assume that the selfie way is the right way. The only thing a selfie is good for, is being a selfie – it is what it is.

But it isn’t what you want your wedding photos to look like. So no asking the photographer to raise the camera high, or sucking your cheeks in. Leave the selfies for the guests.
The best way to avoid slipping into selfie mode is to really connect with your surroundings, and with the moment and the romance. Selfies are instant gratification and often feed our egos. So feel your pose and connect with the camera in an authentic way instead – There couldn’t possibly be a filter that would create the natural sparkle from your loved-up expression.

2)      It’s in the smile:

I teach a lot about smiling in an upcoming unit of MMM111 model training because it is something so natural to us, yet we can get it so wrong. And when we fake it, it’s obvious. Not that you will be faking anything on your wedding day – but put it like this, say you are standing opposite your cousin that you don’t get along with and the photographer snaps a candid moment of your not-so-genuine smile. It happens!

The best thing to do, is to relax and let your natural smile and laughter shine and be captured throughout the day. And when it comes to the more formal photos, try not to smile too big, as it creates more lines on the face, but also can look a bit manic on a wedding day. If you are going for a big grin, just bring it down a little ready for the capture moment.

I would suggest having the formal photos scheduled way before the champagne kicks in – a glass or two before a photo is fine, but the more bubbles, the more it will show on your smile. You may end up looking more glassy-eyed than loved-up.

3)      Body language:

It’s widely known that over eighty-percent of our overall communication is made up of body language and so it often doesn’t matter what we are saying – but more what we are doing with our bodies and the intention behind all of that exterior stuff. This is why understanding how to pose for your wedding photos is so important.

Lean in towards your partner for the photo, heads towards each other and arms open and chest lifted… these are all signs of confidence and affection. And even if you have to stand next to someone you don’t like, you will look cool and confident regardless.

Most people wear a dress or attire that they wouldn’t usually wear – to get the best out of your body shape and outfit, make sure you keep your shoulder blades back and down to ensure a poised posture and that your get the best out of the outfit as opposed the outfit wearing you down.

And ladies kick the hip out to one side in photos to show off the curves, and to create shape. Those wearing suits, need to be mindful of the tummy area looking bulky; so stand tall, and keep shoulders strong and level.

How to pose for your wedding photos

4)      Consider the weather!

Something you will most definitely have considered is the weather on the day of your wedding – how does this affect your posing for your photos? Models have to consider this all the time; still trying to look good despite being freezing cold with a deceivingly blue sky, or avoiding looking like a drowned rat if it rains.

Make sure your chosen hairdresser uses plenty of fixing spray, for windy weather. And if you are wearing make-up, opt for waterproof mascara. Even the smallest smudges can show up in a photo.

If you are wearing lip-gloss be mindful that hair may stick to it in the wind – which is trickier to remove in editing. Also brides, keep a tissue to hand to dab eyes, and your lipstick to reapply if needed.

Posing in the sunlight is tricky too, as eyes can water (hence the need for spare tissues) and it is common that people squint. Take a leaf out of Tyra Banks’ book and close your eyes, and open when the photographer is ready to snap – just ask him/her to shout when they are about to take the photo.

5)      Photographer and style:

When it comes to booking your photographer make sure you look at their style of work on their website or social media accounts, to see if it aligns with your overall vision. Just like fashion and commercial photographers vary in their style, experience, and technical ability, so do wedding photographers.

Some photographers work within more than one field, for example, a fashion photographer may also do weddings on certain days of the week or month – usually to subsidise their income – but also because there is a call for a more fashion feel in photos for some couples.

Have you considered what style of photos you want?  Some photos are classical in style, others are candid – capturing shots of guests and the happy couple as and when they see a potential memory that they would like to freeze in the moment. And some wedding photos are very formal, having specific compositions, with guests standing in a particular order.

Some photographers even shoot in motion in the style of a music video with the couple as the stars and the guests involved in the singing and dancing. With technology super advanced now – there are so many things that are possible. But the main thing is that the photographer, and the overall style, both suit what you want on your wedding day.

For example, if you are having a bohemian wedding, outdoors with lots of wild flowers and free flowing fabrics, then candid photos and lots of movement in photos works. But say the bride is opting for a very structured dress and the groom and groomsmen are wearing full layered suits – then the photos and posing will likely be quite structured by nature of what is possible and practical.

Congratulations and Good luck: Jordan #modelmentorforlife @byjpmartin
Remember to check out the low-cost one-off fee online model lessons including posing fundamentals to really shine in front of the camera:

Photo credits:
Photographer: John Gatt
Two female models: @byjpmartin @devojkamodels and @meggielodge
Make-up Artist:


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