Have you ever struggled with posing your clients? Do you freeze up when it comes time for the bridal portraits?
Directing subjects into natural-looking, stylish couple poses has never been easy… especially with the stress and time constraints of a wedding day or a portrait session.
I used to get so nervous during engagement shoots, being left alone with the couple, having to direct them for a whole hour!
I’d dread the bridal shoot too – I wanted to get candid photos, but knew I’d need to pose the newly weds in some way… and that made me uncomfortable!
My couples would be standing there waiting for me to direct them…
Some would even say “what do you want us to do?!”
I’d just start sweating… or mumbling something about giving each other a kiss…or say the old, “just talk to each other!” to buy myself some time…
The Problem with Learning to Pose
Then I decided to study how to pose couples.
I watched videos, I read books, and I went to workshops. I tried to learn everything I could about the do’s and don’t’s of posing.
And did it help? Well no, not really!
In the end, my head was so full of posing rules that it was like information overload.
Even worse, I’d still find myself standing nervously in front of my clients, not knowing what to say to get those natural-looking posed portraits I so longed for.
The worst part about struggling to pose a couple is that it takes your mind away from the creative process of photography.
You should be thinking about light, composition, and everything else that makes a great portrait photo – not sweating away trying to work out how to direct the couple into a pose that looks good!
Then I realised something important: I was over-complicating everything.
How to Pose Couples Quickly & Efficiently
Posing couples needn’t be hard.
In fact, it should be the easiest and quickest part of the whole portrait shooting process.
Here’s a step by step process you can use to direct your couples:
- Find some great light or a great location for a photo.
- Check the Together Card on the back of your camera to find the best pose for the situation.
- Direct your couples while referencing the pose.
- Interact with them to elicit natural moments.
- Take photos from all angles, or change lenses – make the most of it!
By using a tool called Together Cards, posing is made completely effortless.
(Your clients will think you’re just checking settings on the back of your camera, or reviewing images. If you have a mirrorless camera, you can even look through the EVF to view the cards.)
By using an image on the back of your camera as a reference point, you can direct your couples with confidence – the process of posing and directing is made efficient and simple.
Think of it as a camera hack of sorts – you’re using the rear LCD screen in a smarter way than for simply checking the photos you’ve taken ;-)
Once you’ve nailed the pose, you can concentrate on other things – like getting lots of great images, or interacting with your clients to elicit natural moments.
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Examples of Using Together Cards
Remember: Together Cards are just a tool to help with the first step of posing and directing.
The process of posing clients is not always the same, but you can make things much easier for yourself.
Direct the pose, then interact with your couple, or simply wait for the right moment to make the pose look more natural. Together Cards are the first step in this process – then it’s up to you.
Together Cards are not a magic bullet! You still need to create the moment, and make the pose ‘your own’.
Here are some examples of how I’ve used Together Cards with my own wedding photography to create great images.
With each photo, I’ve included the Together Card I used as a reference for the starting point for client direction.
Posing Made Simple | Final Words
Making two people look comfortable and natural in a photo needn’t be so hard.
Posing needn’t look so awkward and stiff.
By using a tool like Together Cards, directing and posing your clients can be simple and fun.
Above all, your clients will LOVE the photos… and won’t even care about the process you used to achieve them.