Tips for Posing Grooms: Wedding Photography

If you’re a wedding photographer, individual portraits of the bride and the groom in their wedding attire are some of your must-have shots. In this video, photographer Vanessa Joy demonstrates some easy posing techniques for grooms to guarantee your clients look their very best in their wedding portraits:

“Men want to look more powerful, as opposed to women who tend to want to look more dainty in the photos.”


When shooting a groom, try using an angle that is slightly lower than eye-level; he’ll be looking down at the lens. This angle is often used to make a subject look powerful.

how to pose a groom for portraits


As a general rule, men tend to look their best when they’re in a relaxed pose. Have the groom lean against a wall or a railing, put one foot up, hands in pockets with thumbs sticking out—that’s the kind of pose that tends to be most flattering.

posing tips for grooms

Men usually look their best in relaxed poses.

Position the groom so that the light is coming more from the side. Side lighting brings out a bit more contrast, which brings out rugged features.


If the lighting is good and the posing is perfect, it’s also a good time to photograph details: the wedding ring, the cufflinks, the tie, the tie-pin.

Wedding photography posing tips

Camera Settings

Camera settings certainly need to change depending on the lighting conditions and the kind of result that you’re after, but Joy used the following manually dialed in settings for this shoot: 1/800 of a second, f/2.5, ISO 400, and WB 6500. She didn’t use external lighting.


Unlike with brides who have a bouquet, which opens up a plethora of photo ideas, with grooms you have to do the best you can with what they’re wearing. Have him sling his jacket over one shoulder. Don’t let the other hand dangle by itself as it will look awkward–ask him to put it in his pocket. Even the positioning of the feet tend to add to the overall quality of the image.

How to pose a groom for his wedding portrait

Groom photos

If you choreograph these poses enough times in your mind so that they become muscle memory, you’ll save lots of time and make your subjects look great. What would you do with an extra hour of shooting time at a wedding?

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One response to “Tips for Posing Grooms: Wedding Photography”

  1. Murray White says:

    From the images, there are a couple of things one might wish to change. First is the facial view which has been turned past the 2/3 view which makes a cutout on the eye orbit on the left side of the subject and elongates the nose. In all the images, the subject is posed square to the camera which does not provide for a nice three dimensional image. Better to pose the subject in a 2/3 body position with one foot forward and all the weight on the back foot.

    The last image without a jacket, particularly can be improved with a 2/3 body view to reduce the amount of area seen as white which draws the eye to the shirt and thus in the case of the subject full body to the camera, causes him to show and enlarged stomach area which the subject later may not enjoy as it is not flattering.

    One other item related to images 1 & 2 is the positioning or later not a finished post processing comes from the visibility of one of the spikes of the fence showing in the back of the subjects head almost like one would expect to see in a ventriloquist’s puppet. Strong horizontal lines generally are better avoided as it is easy to cause one of them to run through the junction between the head and the shoulders making appearance of a head being severed.

    Just a couple of thoughts when posing the male subject.

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