Posing Couples

As a new photographer, I was determined to make my poses look like this:

Liv Hettinga Photography -

Jessie Walker Photography -

Jenny Pearl Photography -

Let me start off by saying these photos do look stunning and creative posing is always a worthy pursuit.

However, as a new photographer, you are going to want to start with much simpler poses, both for you and for your couples. Most of your couples won't want to (or be able to) do complex poses simply because of varying comfort levels and body types. In fact, starting with difficult poses can make your couples feel frustrated and overall less confident in you.

Today I wanted to share this video from one of my great photographer friends, Alexx Acor. She goes over five basic prompts that really give a great posing base for any new photographer. I will then add some of my own tips and favorite poses. She begins discussing these prompts at 2:24.

Alexx gives you a fantastic to base to build on. Not only are these poses easy to do, they are encouraging and enjoyable for couples as well. We can categorize her prompts into walking poses, lifting poses, and intimate poses.

1 - Walking Poses

Walking poses are always some of the very first shots that I get because they are easy and you can do so much with them; even tiny adjustments can make each photo look completely different. Below I have three of Alexx's walking poses, as well as one of my own.

Whenever I have a couple do a walking pose I tell them three things:

  1. Walk very slow. You only need a couple of steps to get the poses you need and you want to make sure they are in focus.

  2. Even though they are walking slow, their steps should look normal (no weird slow-mo walking).

  3. To always be smiling and to alternate looking at one another, looking at my camera, and then looking away from the camera.

Alexx starts off by suggesting the "buddy walk." as her photo shows below:

This is a very natural pose for most couples to begin with, and when you add the walking element it makes them laugh, giving the image more emotion.

She also gives two additional walking shots: the "drunk walk" and the "hip bump".

For the drunk walk, prompt the couple to slightly stagger towards you as if they were drunk. Don't forget that the walk is the only drunk part; their face should show a natural smile.

The hip bump is very simple. Just have them walk straight forward and have them bump hips as they do.

An additional walking pose is what I call the "tug of war".

You can do this pose in three easy steps:

  1. Tell them to hold hands and look at each other.

  2. Tell the groom walk straight towards you, and the bride walk forward but slowly so she falls farther and farther behind the groom.

  3. Once the groom's arm is straight, tell him to (gently) yank her in.

2 - Lifting Poses

Lifting poses can actually be very simple and add so much to your gallery. Unlike the poses at the beginning of this post, these are easier shots that you can get with almost anyone.

Here are three lifting poses:

1 - The kidnapping pose. This is done by having the bride face you while the groom sneaks up and picks her up from behind. Although once picked up, you can have the groom spin her in a circle, I personally have the groom just lean slightly forward and back. I find this to be a little easier, but either option produces great results. To add more emotion to it, I tell the bride to kick her feet forward as he lifts her like she is riding a bike in the air. Here is what that ends up looking like:

2 - The easy lift. Like the name implies, this pose is not difficult. You just have the groom pick up the bride by her booty. This is also quite versatile. You can also have them spin, kiss, or just look at each other. Alexx got these stunning shots:

One thing you can do to get one more shot from this pose is by shooting closer to the ground. For this shot I was lying on my back and pointing my camera up at them:

3 - Piggybacks. Piggybacks can be super simple, and to make it even more fun you can have the bride pick up the groom!

One additional lifting pose I want to give you is the "cradle".

  1. Have the groom pick up the bride like a normal cradle.

  2. Make sure he turns her out toward you so that her booty isn't super showing.

  3. Have the bride wrap her back arm around his neck while her front hand holds her flowers to her hip.

  4. Tell them to kiss or just keep their noses close together and look at each other and smile.

3 - Intimate Poses

Nothing beats getting up close and personal. Alexx suggests two great poses for this: the "nose draw" as well as "the wrap".

The nose draw is very simple. You have one of them "draw something" with their nose on the cheek of the other. Note little details like his hand being on her face as he "draws":

Another way you can do this is by having the girl (or guy) behind the other. Have them wrap one arm around the shoulder and hold hands. The other hand should be on the bicep of the other like so:

Alexx also suggests a simple "wrap around". This is when you have one of them grabbing the other from around the shoulders and is super easy.

One more pose I wanted to give you is called the "arm raise".

  1. Have the bride face you all the way, and the groom face the bride all the way.

  2. Have the bride sit between the legs of the groom.

  3. Have the bride wrap her inside arm up around the neck of the groom.

  4. Have the groom wrap his arms around her waist.

  5. Have both of them close their eyes.

  6. Have the groom rest his forehead against her temple, or have them touch noses.

Posing doesn't have to be complicated. Just from Alexx's video as well as the new poses I gave you above, you have a base of 12 poses to work with. All of these poses are easy for anyone to do and can add emotion and ease to your sessions.

I have a posing guide coming out! Comment below if you want one (Hint: the first ten people to comment will get a 30 percent discount!!)