Having photographed couples for their engagement shoots and weddings for over ten years here in Sydney, I’ve worked out a series of poses that work well and flatter pretty much anyone. If you’re looking to give your photographer guidance, or even want to practice with each other before your engagement shoot or wedding, these poses are a great starting point to look and feel great in your photos.
While I always vary the pose depending on body shape, lighting, height and clothing, I typically start with one of these basic poses and adjust until the couple looks great in my camera.
1. Go for a stroll
I start almost every single engagement shoot by asking the couple to “hold hands, go for a stroll, and look at each other”. It’s familiar, it’s comfortable for couples who aren’t into PDA’s (public displays of affection), and it’s an easy way to ease into the shoot. I actually find that these walking shots are some of my couple’s favourites!
2. Cuddles from behind
This pose can be done by pretty much anyone, and is a nice easy way to start off an engagement shoot as it’s a comfortable position which most couples are familiar with. It also looks good from far away, close up, looking at the camera, and looking away.
3. Over-the-shoulder peek
Peeking over his shoulder at the camera creates a voyeuristic feel to your engagement photos. I usually suggest this pose after the face-to-face pose (see below), since you’re close together already.
4. Stretched out in long grass
If you’re in an area with long grass, you can get a visually interesting picture by sitting down or lying down in it. This looks good from any angle: from above creates interesting shapes with your bodies (when posed correctly), and through the grass creates interest and texture with the leaves in the foreground.
5. Face to face
The face-to-face pose is a beautiful way to show a soft connection between the two of you, and one that most couples fall into naturally. You’ll forget that you’re being photographed and just enjoy being near each other. Bring your faces close together until they’re almost touching (but not quite), and look down at each other’s lips. It appears softer and more intimate than looking into each other’s eyes which can sometimes look awkward.
6. Sitting on his knee
Having you sit on his knee (or standing next to it) is a great pose to show closeness and enables you to interact with each other easily. It’s also more interesting than having you both standing as the head heights change.
7. Sitting / standing
If the setting, outfits and vibe are right, I like to set up a few formal, editorial style images at my engagement shoots. Having one person standing and one sitting is a great way to create interest in the photo and have something different to the usual romantic images.
8. Both sitting
Having both of you sit next to each other get a wide range of photos. You can photograph the pose front-on, or close up from above for a different perspective.
9. The lift
One of my favourite engagement shoot poses to photograph is the lift. There are many ways to lift someone up, but I find this way looks the best in photos and enables you to have that all-important face-to-face connection. Have him scoop you up under your butt, keep your faces close, and kick one leg up to create an interesting body shape. This looks good as a close up or further away to capture the scenery.
10. Hug around the shoulders
I love asking the girl to hug her guy around his shoulders (and maybe whisper something silly into his ear to make him laugh). It’s a playful, easy pose and if you’re way shorter than he is, you can just find a step and stand on that.