Photographing groomsmen can be a tough gig, but bridesmaids and brides can sometimes present even more of a challenge. Ladies’ dresses and hairstyles are often restrictive and fragile, ruling out “active” poses like jumps. It can be difficult to encourage bridesmaids to demonstrate their affection for one another without making them cry and smear their makeup. And on top of that, you might have to work with bridesmaids under less than optimal shooting conditions in order to keep the bride hidden from the groom.
For these reasons and more, it’s important to have a vast arsenal of creative bridesmaids poses—such as the eight presented in this handy tutorial from Los Angeles wedding photographers Pye Jirsa and Justin and Chris Lin—at your disposal:
Here’s a quick summary of all of the poses explained in the video:
1. The Helping Hands Pose
To create a perfect “Helping Hands” pose, you should position the bride in the middle of her bridesmaids and ask each bridesmaid to pretend to help the bride get ready in some way. For example, have one bridesmaid “fix” the bride’s hair while another fluffs the bottom of her dress. Be sure to prompt them to smile or laugh while they work!
Mistakes to avoid: faces covered, obstructing views of the bride and her dress
2. The Kissy Face Pose
This pose is usually a favorite among bridesmaids and can be done in robes or dresses and while sitting or standing. Place the bride in the center of her bridesmaids and have everyone lean in close and make kissy faces or blow kisses to the bride while the bride smiles or laughs.
Mistakes to avoid: faces covered, incorrect lighting that causes shadows on ladies’ faces
3. The Bouquet Face Pose
For this pose, you’ll want to position the bridesmaids in a line with the bride in the middle. Instruct the bridesmaids to hold their bouquets up to their faces while the bride holds hers regularly down at her waist. Try mix and matching which bridesmaids’ faces are covered and which are visible and be prepared to photograph the giggles in between.
Mistakes to avoid: awkward hands, slouching, squeezing arms against body
4. The Pillow Fight Pose
Another fun idea is the “Pillow Fight” pose. While the bride and her bridesmaids are getting ready, stage a lively pillow fight on a bed, making sure that every girl’s face is visible and that there is no actual pillow hitting if they’ve already done their hair and makeup.
Mistakes to avoid: faces covered, distracting shadows, actually hitting each other
5. The Laugh and Smile Pose
A classic but flattering pose, the “Laugh and Smile” pose is an easy way to spice up the selection of bridesmaids photos that you provide to your clients. Have the ladies line up to either side of the bride. On cue, everyone should look at each other and smile or laugh. Be ready to capture cute in between moments!
Mistakes to avoid: eyes closed, awkward expressions
6. The Bouquets Up Pose
While the bridesmaids have their bouquets, instruct them to get a little space and hold their bouquets up above their heads as if they’re dancing or down to their sides as if they’re modeling. Let the individual bridesmaids’ personalities come out on this one!
Mistakes to avoid: faces covered, distracting ground or face shadows
7. The Casual Walk Pose
The “Causal Walk” pose is a safe way to add a bit of action to your bridesmaids photos. First, have the bride and bridesmaids get in a straight line. Consider separating the bride out from the rest of the group so that she is one or two steps closer to the camera. On your count, have the ladies walk forward toward the camera, smiling at each other or at you as they move.
Mistakes to avoid: bride behind bridesmaids, faces covered
8. The Silly Props Pose
If you have a particularly lively group of bridesmaids, why not allow them to express their unique personalities and have a little fun during their portraits? Have each bridesmaid grab an item to pose with and ask them to interact with their props and each other. Be ready to capture the silliness that ensues!
Mistakes to avoid: faces covered, distracting face shadows
Learning these eight fun and flattering poses will equip you to expertly interact with bridesmaids and create meaningful images that your wedding clients will treasure forever.
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