Photographer Jessica Hill’s Easy Breezy Posing Tips

Photographer Jessica Hill’s Easy Breezy Posing Tips

When it comes to making people comfortable in front of your camera, it’s important to give guidance and show confidence. To make it easy to get the great shots they’re looking for, it helps to have dozens of ideas for poses that are fun and organic. By going with the flow and providing some essential coaching when necessary, you’ll end up with a collection of photographs that will wow your clients and make them refer you time and time again. My new course, “Easy Breezy Posing”, lays out over 15 poses in detail with step-by-step videos on how to get them done confidently and quickly. Once you’ve memorized them all, you can start adding poses and fun names of your own.

[Read: Photo Posing Tips and Trends for Wedding + Portrait]

As a wedding photographer with over 20 years of experience, I’ve worked hard to create my library of easy poses so that I will never again get brain freeze or feel overwhelmed when I am under pressure. I am passionate about teaching photographers to feel confident with their couples, no matter what the time constraints or challenges. After all, the last thing you want to do on a tight schedule is to feel stressed and end up asking them to kiss over and over again. I’ve been there and it’s not a good feeling nor does it make for a dynamic portfolio! I use mnemonic devices and fun posing names like High School Dance, Follow the Leader and The Nuzzle In so I can pull up great ideas in a split second, which is sometimes all you’re given on a busy wedding day.

Easy Breezy Posing: The High School Dance

Jessica Hill on easy breezy posing for wedding couple in vineyard.
© Jessica Hill
The high school dance pose
© Jessica Hill

Just say the title and couples know what to do. One puts their hands on the other’s hips and the other one puts their hands around their partners shoulders. The nostalgic pose makes them smile and you get great expressions as they move, capturing profiles and ring shots by circling around the couple.

Follow the Leader

Follow the Leader easy breezy pose
© Jessica Hill
couple holds hands in field
© Jessica Hill

Rather than having a couple run separately through a scene, having one partner lead the other provides a sense of context and connection. Have one partner lead the other along and then have them switch directions. This will allow you to get both people from a variety of angles, great shots of the landscape, and give you the opportunity to choose the best ones for their portrait gallery.

The Nuzzle In

easy posing
© Jessica Hill
Easy Breezy posing
© Jessica Hill

With one partner behind the other, have them nuzzle in together. Ask them to turn their faces towards each other and touch noses. This will almost always bring a smile. Then, ask the one behind to wrap their arms tightly around the collar bones of their partner while gently breathing and leaning in. I will sometimes use a prompt saying, pretend it’s really cold and you need to keep them warm! 

Here are some other easy breezy posing to keep in mind when photographing couple portraits at your next wedding:

Arms and hands often look stiff in photos and can make or break a great shot. Gently directing your clients to relax their hands and allow their arms to wrap gracefully around one another can create an easy, elegant look. No one wants the dreaded “claw” hand! 

[Read: Wedding Posing Tips from WPPI Speaker and Photographer Sanjay Jogia]

Be sure people are not standing with their legs completely straight, which can make them hold their breath and look still and uncomfortable. I typically prompt the couple to breathe together which creates comfort and connection.

Keep your communication encouraging and fun, give your clients sweet prompts and compliments and plenty to talk about. Never show you are stressed for any reason, or the couple tends to take this stress on and you can see it in the pose.

Use the leading lines of the landscape or architecture to draw the eye straight to the couple. Buildings, bridges, mountains, trees, and walkways are just a few of the details you can use.

And remember that great photography is dependent on good lighting so schedule your sessions an hour or two before sunset if possible, and be ready to work with off-camera flash if you need to. Always share how excited you are about the session at the goodbye. 

Join Jessica Hill at WPPI on Thursday, March 9th from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. for her Photo Walk on Easy Breezy Posing, then pick up her Easy Breezy Posing Guide and treat yourself to a stress-free way to getting great portraits at every wedding.

Jessica Hill is one of the top photographers in the Educator’s Circle at World’s Best Wedding Photos. Check out her profile and learn more about the education she offers.