9 Wedding Photography Posing Tips from Roberto Valenzuela

A wedding day is full of so many challenges, many of which are completely outside of your control. Posing is not one of those. With training and practice, you can master the techniques of posing. Today, we’ve invited ShootDotEdit to help you advance your posing skills and feel confident at every wedding. They’ve partnered with Beverly Hills Wedding Photographer Roberto Valenzuela to bring you these 9 expert wedding photography posing tips.

Note – all photos below from Roberto Valenzuela.


Here at ShootDotEdit, we love to share valuable resources with photographers to help them grow and advance their skills. When it comes to proper posing, we know it can be difficult, especially when you are under the stresses and time-crunches that happen during a wedding day. Here are 9 areas to focus on when posing from Roberto Valenzuela:

1. Focus on Arm Placement

As you begin to pose your couple, focus on their arm placement. By default, they will likely have their arms straight to their side. Since this causes the arms to look unnatural, position them in a way which makes them look and feel comfortable in front of the camera. Have your couple pose together, where their arms interlock or they hold hands. When you use angles to pose the arm, you create diagonal lines and interest for the photo.

wedding photography posing tips

2. Create Diagonal Lines

While you pose your couple, pay attention to the lines each body part creates. This is especially important for the arms, since those can be the hardest to pose. Your couple’s first instinct might be to place their arms directly to their side, which may make them look uncomfortable. To add dimension and interest to the photo, have the bride bend her arm and pick up her dress. This creates a diagonal line and also includes movement.

“Think about diagonal lines in every part of the body. The more diagonal lines you create, the better” – Roberto Valenzuela

3. Encourage Natural Interaction

When your couple is first in front of the camera, they are usually a little timid. Because the photos from the wedding day should represent the love and connection they have, find ways to make them comfortable. Set poses where they hold hands and walk, sit close to one another and talk, or where the groom wraps his arms around the bride. The more at ease they are, the easier it will be to capture their genuine emotions.

wedding photography posing tips

4. Set the Correct Posture

Posture is an extremely important part of posing. If your couple slouches, the poses are not as effective. Provide direction and let them know to breathe in right before you take the photo. This helps them straighten their posture, and will make a large difference in the image. You can use this tool throughout the shoot, especially during the family formal. There are so many people involved, so if one person slouches, it can throw off the entire image.

wedding photography posing tips

5. Clear the Background

When you set poses to flatter your couple and contribute to the overall wedding story, ensure you also pay attention to the background. Even the best poses can suffer if the background is cluttered, or has conflicting light or colors. Before you take the shot, take a look at the area where your couple is posed, and make sure it avoids any distractions which force the eye to focus on other elements in the scene.

6. Showcase Genuine Expressions

As you pose your couple, keep an eye on their facial expressions. If you pose them together and create interaction, but their expressions are lacking, the photo you take may not be as strong. Continue to help your couple relax and enjoy the shoot, and have them share about the things they love about one another. When they start to share their stories, they will think less about the pose and you can capture their genuine expressions.

“The expression of the subject is part of the pose.” – Roberto Valenzuela

wedding photography posing tips

7. Change Shoulder Angles

One necessary part of posing your couple is to pay attention to the position the shoulders. Say you set your couple in a pose where they face one another and you shoot from the side. If the bride’s shoulder is too high, it can be distracting. To eliminate any distracting elements, have the bride drop down her shoulder and turn her body clockwise. This helps give a little separation between your couple, as well.

8. Focus on Hands and Fingers

Once you set your couple in the perfect pose, pay attention to the placement of their hands and fingers. If the pose has the couple interlocked, make sure their hands and fingers look natural. If you only see the groom’s fingers on the bride’s waist, it forces you to question where the fingers originated (and causes distractions in the image). To create a seamless pose, pay close attention to the direction and placement of hands and fingers.

9. Position the Legs

During the wedding day, your couple stands for long periods of time (the bride in heels!). This can cause them to feel uncomfortable, which will affect their genuine emotions. Adjust the position of their legs and have them switch which leg they place their weight. The adjustments allow your couple to feel relaxed and comfortable, and creates interest through the poses.

When you set the perfect poses and pay attention to details, the images you shoot will stand out and create a cohesive story of the wedding day.