Before you start, make sure you understand a few basic posing rules for groups.
Don’t place everyone standing parallel to the camera. Without a bit of dimension to clue, the viewer in, standing straight on to the camera will make everyone look wider than they really are. Direct the wedding party to have a slight turn to their stance.
Do watch the hands. Placing the hands straight at the side will make the figure appear wider. Create some bend in the arms to avoid that, either with a hand on the hips or holding a bouquet. For some reason, groomsmen have a tendency to default with their hands crossed together in the front. This frankly looks like someone walked in on them while they were taking a shower. Hands in the pockets, at the sides or arms crossed, is a better option.
Do base the pose on who you are posing. All posts are not created equal. For the bridesmaids, you can emphasize the curves with a bend of the knee or slight lean, but emphasizing straight lines is often a more masculine pose.
Do look for ways to fit everyone in the photo using levels. For big wedding parties, you may have to create rows. Look for something in the scenery to help, like stairs or chairs. Remember not to create too much distance between the rows as you create different levels. You won’t be able to get the entire wedding party in focus, even with a wider aperture.
Don’t forget to look for candids. Yes, the point of the wedding party poses is to get those formal images. But his is also the point after the ceremony where the pressure’s off and the relaxing (and celebrating) begins. Watch for candid moments as you are moving to a new spot, like the bridesmaids helping with the dress, or the group laughing or even simply walking with each other.
Do shoot as much as you can before the ceremony. On a typical wedding day, I will shoot each side of the wedding party before the ceremony. I’ll get the girls together and then, separately, the guys together. This allows me to have the most time in between the ceremony and reception. And I can still honor a traditional bride and groom’s wishes to have that first look as they walk down the aisle.
Don’t forget the smaller members of the wedding party, including the flower girl, ring bearer and any junior bridesmaids or groomsmen. Include the ushers in a shot too, if possible.
Don’t toss out directions that could damage self-esteem – and create a fake smile. If you give out posing directions to individuals in the wedding party, give them out to more than one person. If I spot a double chin, I usually direct the entire group to move their chins forward a bit. That’s usually more flattering for everyone anyway, and I don’t want to inadvertently insult someone.
Do take individual photos of the bride and each of her bridesmaids separately. And then do the same for the groom and groomsmen.
Do learn posing basics for an individual. If you can’t pose an individual, you can’t pose a group. Understand how to pose men, how to pose women and how to pose couples.
originally posted on expertphotography.com by Hillary Grigonis