YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED!!!
Now that you're getting used to calling your partner you fiancé, you're probably planning your engagement session. Your photographer has helped you pick a location, given insight to what you should wear, and now comes the fun part: the shoot itself. "But we aren't models," you think to yourself; "We're not exactly comfortable in front of the camera," I've been told; "Will you direct us when it comes to posing?"
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE MODELS.
IT'S MY JOB TO MAKE YOU COMFORTABLE.
HELL YES I WILL DIRECT YOU (AND MAKE YOU LOOK FABULOUS).
I've heard it all before when it comes to pre-shoot jitters as a photographer. Over and over again "We are super awkward" turns into "Oh my god, that was FUN!" and "We look so good!" Because that's what a bomb ass photographer does ;) Here are a few tips for looking your best at your engagement sesh.
Wear clothing your are comfortable in!!! No, that's not a pose, but it is one of the most important tips I give to my clients. If you're not comfortable in what you're wearing (too tight/too loose/too revealing/uncomfortable shoes/etc) it can show in your photos. While we photographers will do our best to make magic with whatever you're wearing, it's always easier when you're confident in your attire.
If it bends, bend it. This helps give your photos a more relaxed, natural look. It also accentuates your bodies in flattering ways.
Be prepared to be a little silly. For me, I love to crack jokes and get your partner involved in making you laugh--like genuine, full body laughs. One of my favorite prompts that always works is "Lean in close and whisper your best Cookie Monster impersonation in their ear." There's no boring "Prom Pose and Smile" here!
Bring an outfit that shows movement. For my ladies, this would include flow-y dresses/skirts. Swishing your dress not only gives you something to do with your hands, but also adds a little something to the photos.
Be ready to get in different positions--walking, sitting, standing, running, and even laying down. Variety is the spice of life!
Don't be afraid to show a little PDA. There's nothing wrong with just casually making out in a public setting ;P ok, ok, maybe that's a little too much, but tender kisses, face grabs, booty squeezes, melting into each other, and a copious amounts of cuddles are fair game.
HOLD THE POSE! As weird as it may feel to just freeze your faces so close to each other, not moving immediately after one shutter click will help your photographer grab a few different angles.
Deconstructing the pose above ^^^: Bring each other in as close as possible, hip to hip. Ryan, place your arms around her waist while she caresses your beard. Niki, point the toe closest to me at the ground (if it bends, bend it). Go in for an almost kiss and breathe each other in.
Left pose: Holds hands with each other. Landon, turn back towards Brittany. Brit, take your free hand and swish your dress around while looking at Landon.
Right pose: Landon, sit one step up from Brittany with your back towards part of the railing* (*back to the light source is preferred so they don't have harsh light on their faces). Brittany, sit in between his legs one step down with your back to him. Holding hands keeps you connected and delivers a sense of intimacy.
If you're not shy about showing off your love, one of my favorite prompts is to have one partner kiss the other as many times as they can in ten seconds--but there's one rule: you can't kiss them on the lips.
Claire has their arms wrapped around Beryl while Beryl spins them around. Keeping the movement typically brings out great emotions, especially when paired with tickles or booty grabs.
Always be touching in some way or another. On the left, Erica and Austin are holding hands with their backs touching. In the middle, she has one hand wrapped around his waist, the other on his shoulder showing off that gorgeous diamond, then their faces resting on each other. On the right, every part of their body is basically connected. When their faces are this close to each other, I have my couples look down at each other's lips so they don't go cross eyed.
For poses where one partner is lifting the other, I always make sure there are no injuries I need to be aware of. For this, it was simple having Katie up on Connor's shoulders. Usually having the bottom person dancing/spinning around gets good reactions!
Left pose: Cookie Monster impersonation goodness. For this session it was insanely windy! I had Gen brush her hair back from her face and hold it there. Bonus: she got to show off her ring more!
Right pose: Nice and bendy. Gennifer leaning into Victor's knee adds in a pop of togetherness and playfulness.
Before and After: while there's nothing technically wrong with the photo on the left, the one on the right is more visually appealing. Once again, if it bends, bend it!
Have a little fun with it! All is fair in love and war, so why not have a rooftop thumb war? Elliott (my brother in law) really does not like having his picture taken, but you can't even tell! Look at that smile!
Both frames feature Jordan swishing her dress. Both would showcase movement since they're moving (duh), but there's just a little extra pop with the dress moving too.
The frame on the left is actually one of my favorite photos I've ever taken, but I can't take all the credit for the pose. Lauren really wanted to sit on this rock (that was actually on a really steep and rocky hill) and as soon as she got up there I got Adrian into place. Having her hand on his face opens up her body to the camera while he holds onto her. That almost kiss with their faces together was just the cherry on top. For the right, just walk it out!
Basically, just keep physically connected, don't overthink it, keep it moving, and if it helps you can always turn on some music! I've come to find that some screamy-screamy music gets you really hyped! Those are my engagement session posing tips, so why don't you book yourself a session to witness my posing skills firsthand :) You're going to LOVE your photos!