Posing can be complicated!
How should I pose them? Make a list of poses? Is it going to look too… POSED?!
Tip: If you want genuine emotion in your photos, direct, don’t pose.
From portrait shoots to wedding shoots, let’s face it. Everyone loves smiling at the camera photos. So I make sure to get a few of those on every shoot. “Look at me and give me a big happy smile yayyyy!!!!” *Click*
For everything else, I direct. At the beginning of the shoot, I’ll tell them, “I know this is awkward. We finally just met. And I’m pointing a huge camera at you. For our time together, I want you to be in a mindset - you are in LOVE! You are head over heels in LOVE!” And they laugh and giggle. “If you feel like grabbing her around the waist - DO IT! If you want to pull him in for a kiss - KISS HIM! If she makes you so happy you want to pick her up and spin her, SPIN HER!”
I explain to them that it’s always the in-between moments that are the best. I tell them to walk holding hands and look at each other, then me, then each other (like the Old Spice guy). Piggybacking is always fun, picking up and spinning results in great smiles and laughs, and eskimo (nose) kisses are darn adorable. Sometimes I’ll tell the groom or fiance to whisper something sweet (or salty) in his bride’s ear, and she’ll smile from ear to ear and giggle. I also use the dance move - slow dancing in the middle of a field or on Newbury Street, “practicing their first dance”. Usually, I’m screaming from excitement, which in turn makes my couples and clients laugh as well. Sometimes I end up making weird noises or voices, which will also make them laugh. At me, with me… as long as they’re happy, it doesn’t matter.
Always listen to your client's vibe, though - if they're more of a shy, reserved couple, give them a few more sentimental versus silly photos. Warm hugs and embraces, snuggles, and serious poses work well. If your couple are funny goofballs, then laughing and silly is perfect.
If you make your client comfortable, they will look genuinely relaxed on camera. Once they start running, jumping, making out, laughing, and of course being complimented on doing such a great job, they have a blast, and looking at a list of poses isn’t even necessary. That is how to get authentic photographs of love!