Wedding Portraits Tips

Wedding Portraits Tips

Wedding portraits are very difficult to take well from the first time. If you want to surprise and satisfy your first couple, follow these tips for shooting bridal portraits. Beautiful bridal portraits poses, interesting ideas, find something special for your wedding photoshoot.

Bridal Portraits Tips

1. Forget about Posed Photos – Prefer Lifestyle Wedding Photographs

how to shoot bridal portraits

Of course, a wedding is a joyful celebration where most brides smile. Try to change the facial expression, and the wedding portraits you get will really please you. If you want to show sincere emotions, create the environment, where nothing will distract your models. Start shooting in the room without guests and friends for your client to make up her/his mind and be calm to get magnificent wedding family portraits. Find more wedding photography tips to take photos as a pro.

2. Wedding Time Management

wedding portrait

Ben Sowry of Ben Sowry Photo

Think over and discuss with your couple beforehand, what kind of pictures and how much of them they want to get. Perhaps they will want to have wedding dress portraits, the snapshots of accessories, such as shoes, garter, and rings separately. All these things should be thoroughly prepared and listed in your wedding photography contract. The process of taking photographs can take twice as long as you imagine and you must take this into account.

3. Offer Bridal Photo Shoot Before Wedding

bridal photo shoot before wedding

Amy Bluestar Photography

The best way to get magnificent wedding portraits is to organize a pre-wedding photo shoot or take bridal portraits after wedding. This is a great chance not to think about wedding ceremony as itself and concentrate on photography. 

4. Find Many Destinations to Take Cool Wedding Portraits

wedding photo destination

Jim Pollard of Pollard We Are

Choose the brightest and most spacious room. Free up some space if necessary. Pictures will look better if there is a lot of natural light. Take photos in and out, capture locations, landscapes, and party hall. Set additional lightning if necessary for nigh photos.

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5. Shoot at the Best Sunlight Time

bridal portrait

Shari Vallely of Shari + Mike Photographers

An hour before sunset is known as the best to get the incredible colorful pictures, so talk about this time with your models, will they be free to take photos. The photographer will be able to spend less time on enhancing the lighting, and you will get the amazing shots. If you didn’t have a chance to take photos at Golden Hour, you could use Lightroom presets to make this effect.


6. Remind Your Clients about Convenient Shoes

tips for shooting bridal portraits

James Frost Photography

Your clients must feel comfortable. If it is not the wedding ceremony, suggest your model preparing the dress that won’t hamper her movements and comfortable shoes without high heels. If she feels uncomfortable in her outfit, it will be noticeable in the pictures. But don’t forget about your outfit and what should a photographer wear to a wedding.

7. Use Several Dresses

drone wedding photography

Offer your client to choose one dress for the wedding ceremony, the other for the celebration with the guests. Actually, there is a variety of the wedding portraits ideas concerning the outfit. Especially if your model wants to have a beautiful drone wedding photography in the water, the second dress is a must-have. 

8. Hire a Stylist

wedding portraits poses

David West Photography

The photographer shouldn’t be distracted by the model’s appearance, and constantly ask a bride or groom, guests to put the dress and hair in order. Hire the stylist to do it for you. They will help your models look perfect and have a good make-up.

You can always address portrait photo retouching services to remove stray hair, correct make-up or fix clothes, so don’t be upset if something went wrong with it.

9. Search for New Ideas


You should look for different wedding portraits poses before the wedding and discuss them with your couple. Many of the bridal pictures ideas you see online are possible to implement. Take into account the style of the dress, destination, weather conditions and time of the year. The lighting and the place of shooting are also very important. 

10. Choose a Proper Location

royal wedding portraits

Chic rooms with large windows give a lot of natural light and are suitable even for royal wedding official portraits. Do not get hung up on one option only. Photos taken against the background of majestic mountains, waterfalls and lush gardens look very spectacular. 

11. Don’t Forget about Special Places for Couples

wedding portrait

Dan O'Day Photography

Sometimes a couple has a special place, for example, a family estate or a place where they met. Therefore, if you have such a dear to heart location, you can hold a photo session there and get very touching wedding portraits.

12. Family Heirloom for Wedding Portraits

Perhaps your couple has saved their family things, which have a special meaning for them. Try to include them in the composition to create touching pictures. Take photos with their pets too.

13. Keep It Simple

wedding family portraits

Benj Haisch Photography

Wedding family portraits are meant to perpetuate your couple’s memories. Choose everything to your liking and don’t get carried away with complicated bridal pictures ideas. You’d better follow the wedding photo editing tips and make simple but AWESOME wedding portraits though Photoshop.


14. Add Interesting and Funky Accessories

wedding portraits

Orsolya Lazar of LookImaginary

Want to have fun pictures? Use glasses, chalkboard, wreaths, a bouquet for bridal portraits and other props. Let your couple’s friends participate in this photo session. Different elements can add fun to your pictures.

15. Take It Easy

wedding dress portraits

Devin Robinson of Anchor & Veil Photography

Tell your couple to relax and forget about possible problems. Today is their day. Just enjoy every moment.

16. Use Music to Get Relaxed 

If your models can’t relax and you shoot outside the wedding hall, turn on their favorite song and enjoy the process. Perhaps they have a particular melody, which sets them in the romantic mood. Favorite songs will inspire you too.

17. Ask the Models to Be 100% Present

Ask the bride and the groom to stop worrying about guests, flowers, rings and other details of the wedding. They have probably hired florists and other assistants to control these things. Enjoy each other’s company, and the photographer will capture these moments. Trust the professional and follow all his/her instructions to get wonderful wedding portraits.

18. Save a Relaxed Atmosphere 

It's great if you prepared a lot of traditional wedding photo poses. But often, the best pictures are taken spontaneously, when you do not even expect it. Tell your clients to behave naturally. Highly recommended to meet them several times before wedding photoshoot to know each other better.

19. Ask the Bride Not to Be Afraid to Drabble the Dress

wedding photo portraits

Victor Lax of Victor Lax Photography

If you are planning a photo shoot outdoors, be prepared that your model’s dress might get dirty. It does not mean that she needs to pose in a swamp or puddles, but her dress may still get slightly dirty. Everybody is interested in real emotions, so do not be distracted by such trifles. In the end, you will retouch the photos and improve these defects.

20. Build a Trust

bridal portrait tips

To trust you, a client should study your portfolio with the examples of different wedding portraits. Every professional has his/her own photography style. Have a pre wedding photoshoot to understand the way the couple behaves and what they like or don’t.

21. Show Wedding Portraits to Your Clients While Shooting 

Making unusual wedding poses for couples, show them what you got to satisfy their requirements. 

Wedding Portrait List Every Photographer Should Have:

  1. Classical portrait
  2. Looking down or up
  3. Still life shoot: bride’s jewelry
  4. Still life shoot: something old, new, borrowed, blue
  5. Bride and the mirror
  6. Bride is having fun with her bridesmaids
  7. Groom walking down the aisle to see the bride for the first time
  8. Groom is playing fools with the best man
  9. Bride and groom with parents and siblings
  10. Groomsmen is wearing ties or boutonnieres
  11. The first kiss of groom and bride
  12. Bride dancing with her beloved father

Wedding Portraits Ideas

Wedding photos are a wonderful reminder of the happiest and most exciting moments in the life of each married couple. There are many different types of wedding images and one of the most important is wedding portraits. The newlyweds’ portrait should go beyond the classical image of the couple in monotonous traditional poses. I advise you to use your imagination and create a valid set of stunning pictures. Use different backgrounds, props, try the most incredible poses and angles. As a result, you will get pictures that can be reviewed over and over again with bated breath. Make wedding portraits photography a real art and provide your customers with amazing, impressive and individually unique albums. I hope our advice will be the starting point of your own creativity in this field.

1. Rocking the Boat

wedding portraits list

A kiss is an integral part of the wedding portraits list. However, even this traditional element can be look interesting if you add some changes to the surrounding landscape. During the photo session near the coastline, you can take a picture of a kissing couple sitting in a boat docked to the shore.

2. Showtime from the Sunroof

tips for shooting bridal portraits

I recommend using this technique when shooting a kiss to get extraordinary pictures of the couple in the car. In addition, the bride and groom’s pose creates the additional impression of the lovers floating in their own world. This idea doesn’t suit royal wedding official portraits but it can be used for taking lifestyle photos.

3. A Short Distance

wedding portrait

Taylor Lenci Photography

If the couple wishes to have the bridal photo shoot before wedding and get their portraits shot without interrupting their non-peeking vow, you can use this technique. Pictures can be taken on the balcony and porch and they show all the magic of the first sight without any damage.

4. Weatherproof Stroll

wedding portraits

Nick Walker Photography

Outdoor wedding portraits are awesome. Interesting and creative poses on the beautiful nature background will not be spoilt by any rain if you take care of nice umbrellas.

5. Center of Attention

wedding portraits ideas

Although the landscape in this photograph occupies a lot of space, all eyes are on the bride and groom skillfully photographed against the backdrop of the rural structures. Center the couple in the middle of the photo, if you shoot from above. 

6. Make it Casual

wedding portraits photography

Forget about the awkward postures and let your feet rest! A sitting couple shot in an open and laid-back pose is the perfect and authentic solution for wedding portraits.

7. Street Style

wedding portraits

Ale Bigliazzi Photography

It sounds a bit unusual, isn’t it? This is one of the creative bridal portrait ideas. Capture the bride in a chic wedding dress along with an elegant groom using urban environment as a background. These photos will be an ideal replacement for the traditional landscape images.


8. Insta-Worthy

wedding dress portraits

Support the fashionable trend on Instagram by creating a romantic series of portraits and giving the #followmeto Instagram series a personal touch.

9. Family Occasion

This couple combined their wedding with the celebration of their little daughter’s first birthday. It is an excellent example of wedding family portraits, capturing the touching moments of their life.

10. Use Popping Props

wedding poses for couples

Use different holiday props like balloons, and it will help visually improve even the standard wedding portraits poses. Use free Lightroom presets to make high quality color correction.


11. Embracing the Day

traditional wedding photo poses

Take a small step from the traditional wedding photo poses and the classic kiss and capture the simple gentle embraces.

12. Riding a Bike

bridal portraits without bouquet

This idea for wedding photography is symbolic and popular among many photographers. The dynamism of the pair together with the correctly selected bicycles will make the photo lively and emotional.

13. Don’t Be too Serious

creative bridal portrait ideas

You can find in bridal portraits tips that all the photos mustn’t be totally formal. Light, natural smiles of newlyweds in their familiar surroundings will be a sign of long happy years.

14. Flying Pose

official wedding portraits

Tori Pintar Photography

Make the same pose or get a fabulous wedding portrait by lifting up a bride or even a groom.

15. Find Unique Backdrops

wedding portraits

The incredible beauty of the landscape may add a certain charm to any image. Find a pretty place and take unforgettable wedding portraits.

16. Mind the Season

wedding portraits photography

To emphasize the season when the wedding takes place, use the appropriate attributes. Therefore, for the winter shooting, the sleigh will be excellent props for the wedding portraits.

17. Action Wedding Portrait

traditional wedding photo poses

Another option for wedding dress portraits is a picture of a couple in motion. Ask them to spin around the imaginary dance floor and you'll get a great shot showing their love.

18. First Look

bridal pictures ideas

To capture the first glance and the real emotions of the solemn occasion you will need to use your imagination and non-ordinary approach. I advise you to use a pretty blindfold as one of the bridal pictures ideas to draw attention to the portrait.

19. Together with the Pets

wedding portraits photography

A dog can make a portrait photograph less formal and give it cheerful notes.

20. Use the Marry-go-Rounds

It is a great place for the wedding portraits of the couple. Especially if they have it at the yard.

Wedding Portrait Poses to Make at Every Photoshoot

  1. Bride and groom chest to chest
  2. Bride’s back to the groom
  3. Candid shoot of laughter
  4. Shoot of arms from behind
  5. Pull in for kiss
  6. Cradle the bride over threshold
  7. Whispering a secret
  8. Groom’s hand on bride’s cheek
  9. Kiss for forehead
  10. Arm around bride’s neck

Each photographer sometimes needs some kind of a jerk to decide how to shoot bridal portraits for a particular couple. The following poses will inspire you to create your own incredible images. Here you will learn both about the simplest standard ways out and more complex and creative approaches.

 Basic Wedding Portraits Poses

1. The Standard Pose

bridal portraits poses

Wedding dress portraits are an important part of this type of photography. Each bride spends a lot of time, trying to find the dress that satisfies all her dreams. Therefore, a full-length portrait of a couple is compulsory. Start from the most standard poses and gradually change the position of the hands, hips, and facial expression.

2. Shoot the Wedding Dress from the Back

wedding dress portraits

Next, we move on to more complex poses. Capture the turned bride who looks over her shoulder. Be careful: the chin should be separated from the shoulder. I also advise you to make sure that the bride does not turn too much. Otherwise, it can lead to a breach of the profile plane. Use this idea for bridal portraits after wedding and supply your customers with wonderful photos.

3. Use the Bouquet

bouquet for bridal portraits

Use your imagination and include the bouquet for bridal portraits. This accessory is an essential part of the bride’s image so it is just silly not to use it during the shooting. However, you should remember that a girl must keep her hands a short distance from the body. 

4. Draw Attention to the Accessories

Various bride’s jewelry and even shoes can become good props when you create non-standard wedding portraits. Choose the right lighting, give the necessary instructions to the couple and start taking pictures. While focusing on certain items, do not forget that the hands of the newlyweds should look natural and relaxed.

5. Pictures through the Veil

bridal pictures ideas

This pose is not suitable for official wedding portraits but it must surely be included in the wedding photo album. The veil gives the image a touch of dreaminess, softness, and elegance. Such photos always attract attention and fascinate with their grace.

6. A Sitting Couple

Among bridal poses for photography, this one is considered one of the most difficult. It is necessary to choose the right angle for shooting in order to get a photo that will emphasize the beauty of the bride in spite of the body type and at the same time it won’t look stiff. I also advise you to check whether the dress looks properly as it can visually “enlarge” the bride. Sitting poses are suitable even for royal wedding portraits if everything is done correctly. 

7. High Fashion

creative bridal portrait ideas

While using this approach for shooting wedding portraits, it is very important to properly adjust the lighting and think the poses over in advance. To emphasize the female figure, use hard lighting that will provide you with the necessary bright glare and hard shadows. At the same time, exaggerated posing will help to choose the most attractive images. Pay special attention to the hips and the face. Look through as many fashion magazines as possible and take some ideas from there.

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8. A Lifestyle Laughter

bridal portraits poses

Your customers’ album should not consist only of official wedding portraits. Add some fun and laughter to it. Make the bride smile, telling her some funny jokes or ridiculous stories. You may seek help from the bridesmaids, they certainly know how to make her openly laugh or restrained giggle. After taking a few pictures you can show a couple of the best, it will surely raise their mood and help them relax.

9. Macro Shots of the Makeup

traditional wedding photo poses

You can shoot engagement rings and other small details with their help. Besides, you can also use them to take a picture of the bride's makeup close-up. Ask the make-up artist to add a few strokes to the image of the bride and take a few shots. It is recommended in tips for shooting bridal portraits to make separate pictures focusing on eyelashes, lips, eyelids, etc.

10. Opening the Curtains

Try to expand the scope of the standard snapshot that demonstrates the pensive look of the bride looking through the window. Add a little motion to it. For example, you may not open the curtains completely and leave only a small gap between them. The bride will look gorgeous in the rays of a small strip of light. Another option is to use the window as a huge softbox. This pose is suitable for shooting bridal portraits without bouquet or with it.

11. Play with Focus

how to shoot bridal portraits

One of the most common problems when photographing wedding family portraits is the position of the hands. Very often couples do not know how to lay their hands and where to put them, so you have to direct them. For example, a bride can hold a bouquet or put the hands on a dress.

12. Emphasize the Eyes

tips for shooting bridal portraits

A very important point in the wedding portraits photography is the expression of the eyes. Remember that a person can smile not only with his/her mouth. The photo will not look harmonious if only the lips smile and the eyes remain calm or indifferent.

13. Silhouettes

wedding portraits

Creative Bridal Portrait Ideas Using Props

1. Signs

bridal portraits without bouquet

Set of 10 Wedding Aisle Signs

Write about your feelings with a pretty sign



2. Lightning

creative bridal portrait ideas

Wintergreen Lighting 9' Garland Lights

Romantic garlands of flowers, hearts and other sweet things will make your photos stunning.



3. Use Candles for a Magical Mood

wedding portrait at sunset

Long White Candles with Burn Time Upto 10 Hours

This prop is great for the photos taken during a night time/sunset wedding shoot.



4. Use Banners

wedding portraits ideas

Wedding Cards Banner

The newly married status can be represented using the creative banners on chairs, tables, a car, etc.



5. Swings

wedding portraits poses

SATKULL Classic Swing Seat Adults and Kids

Decorate the swing with greenery and flowers and you will get wonderful pictures. This is the best wedding photography prop for beach photography.



6. Use Extraordinary Sunglasses

bridal portraits poses

Tigerdoe Funny Sunglasses – 7 Pairs

Use the sunglasses to make the wedding portraits really stylish.



I hope that my tips for shooting bridal portraits will be useful and you will get stunning shots of one of the most exciting and memorable days in the life of each couple.



Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.




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