And How To Implement Them Into Your Engagement Photos
1. Criss Cross Chins
One of the biggest misconceptions in elegant wedding and engagement photography is that looking at each other is the right way to take a romantic photo. But think about it… how often do you stare your partner straight in the eyes?
By having your chins go in different directions, you create a much more natural look and feel to your photos. Rather than feeling forced, it looks like a genuine moment is captured. And isn’t that what we all want.
Another benefit is it accentuates your jawline. You can see here, when Kasandra and JoeDon took their photos in Mt Adams, a quaint part of Cincinnati, JoeDon turned his face toward KaSandra, making the skin around his jawline taut. The result is a stunningly elegant moment in time.
2. Sitting Next To Each Other
Sitting on a bench, canoe, fence, etc. allows a couple to create what I like to call the string effect. Whether you’re sitting or standing, you want to make sure to think of your head as if it’s connected to a string that is pulling you straight to the sky. Sitting next to your fiancé also helps with any height differences since our main differences tend to be our leg length.
The one thing to make sure of with this pose is that your front shoulders are touching, but you lean out at a 45 degree angle with the other shoulder. If you aren’t touching, and this goes for most poses, your photos can look like brother and sister. Kayla and Devin chose the stunning backdrop of Mt. St. Francis in Indiana for their engagement shoot. A wooded lake lined with canoes was the perfect location to put this pose into use.
3. Between the Legs
This pose reminds us of a cold winter’s night with a pot of hot cocoa brewing on the stove and a fire roaring. Wrapping up in your loved ones arms creates a sense of protection and intimacy.
This pose works really well with those couples who have a height difference. It also allows snuggles galore. 🙂 🙂 🙂 The groom should lean forward slightly once his bride is between his legs, while she snuggles backward. Kessandra and Matthew were nervous about their engagement session at St. James Ct in Louisville, Kentucky because Kessandra is almost three inches taller than Matthew. You can see how their height difference doesn’t even show in the photo below.
4. The Walk Away
The reason this pose is so great for couples is it gets them out of the zone of being photographed. We often find that most couples haven’t been in front of the camera since high school portraits, and that’s if they had them done.
Walking with your loved one lets you take in the moment, and it looks pretty darn good in a photograph too! Quick tip for the ladies, as you walk, you want to put one foot in front of the other as if you were walking a tightrope. This lets your hips sway side to side naturally, giving you those beautiful feminine curves we all love. Look at how gorgeous this moment is from Daphne and Reid’s engagement session at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.
5. Hands On
One of the easiest ways to get a stunning photo is for the groom to put his hands around your neck. No, not in a chokehold, but as a gentle embrace. Just like with the Between the Legs pose, this is an extremely intimate pose that works for every couple.
When you’re placing your hands, be sure to relax your fingers almost as if you are holding a glass of bourbon. This will give the pose a relaxed and natural feel to it. Angela and Marshall hiked The Parklands with us to find this beautiful field of fall foliage. This pose also conveys that you’ll always be protected by your spouse.
6. Piggy Back / Side Angled
Piggy backing, or angling yourself so it looks like you’re behind your fiancé, is flattering on every couple. Kati and Mat are big fans of the Chicago Ballet, so when we got together for their engagement session in Downtown Chicago, Kati wanted to be lifted as much as possible 🙂 When we got them into this pose we had options galore for kisses on cheek, twirls, and all in all good fun.
You can see that while their heads are close, her arms create an angle, making the eye look from the right side of her face to the bottom of the photo and then back up to his. The most attractive photos you can do in this position are ones that form triangles. It draws your eyes to different parts of the photo and leaves no one out.
7. Weight on One Foot
When you place your weight on one foot and lean into your partner it makes them stand up straighter in order to support your weight. The groom pulls the bride’s waist toward him, and supports her with his hands on her low back. This creates a curve that is truly flattering for every bride. You can see the trust in both of these couples with this pose.
8. One Hand on the Chest
This is a classic pose that not only shows off your love for each other, but can also be a focal point for your ring. Placing your hand on your fiancé’s chest creates a beautiful curvature in your elbow, allowing your shoulder to relax.
The shoulders that are furthest away from the camera should touch slightly. You and your spouse snuggle as close as possible then lightly place your hand on his chest. A fully outstretched hand looks awkward, so bend your fingers slightly. Having the groom stare at the bride while she looks at the camera like Brittany and Bobby did at Turkey Run Park can be an adoring and elegant way of conveying your love.
9. Head on a Shoulder
Timeless. Elegant. Intimate.
Whenever I pose someone in this way I’m instantly transported to couples in Paris, snuggling on the edge of the Seine, or to the final scene of Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in Notting Hill. There’s so much promise in a cuddle, especially when the groom pulls his bride in. You can almost see the exhale within the photo as they both relax.
I imagine all my couples in their old age, after years and years of marriage, being able to recreate this pose and really ‘feel’ where they started from. You can see the love Jackie and Phillip had while we photographed at the University of Kentucky Arboretum. Even without them facing the camera directly, this pose conveys a sense of home.
10. Hand Hold Next To Each Other
Holding your lover’s hand is always super cute, but especially when you pull each other close.
Make sure you cross your feet and your fiancé puts his hand in his pocket and spreads his legs a little further than his hips. This will create just the right amount of contrast in the pose. Walking this way can also create a beautiful image, just make sure to focus on each other.
Honorable Mention 🙂
Bring props that mean something to you.
A sign, a jacket, pics of your parents from their wedding day – it can all be used to create unique moments. Pets are also a great option to include in your engagement pics.