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Do you want to know how to shoot bridal portrait poses indoors? Bridal shots have always been my favorite thing to create.
A beautiful subject, looking and feeling her best, wearing a stunning dress, in a dreamy location? It's heaven for me!
But on the wedding day itself, finding ideal bridal portrait poses indoors can be difficult. Here's why.
Unless you've booked bridal portraits a few weeks in advance, you're most likely shooting them on the wedding day itself.
In which case, you might find yourself struggling with any of the following. Any of these factors can stop you from gaining beautiful bridal portraits indoors.
So that's why it's essential to have a list of ideal bridal portrait poses indoors to hand.
Having a list of bridal portrait poses you can use will give you confidence that you can shoot in any situation, no matter how messy the room, stressed the bride is, or poor lighting.
Save this post to your phone, refer to it in emergencies, or print it out and put it in your camera bag and wallet. It's great for when you're feeling pressure or when your mind has gone blank, and you know you're only capturing the ‘basic' images, and you know it's not enough!
The total length shot is often the hardest to get, despite being the simplest ‘pose'!
The reason for this is they take up lots of space, especially if the bride is wearing a more oversized style full skirt gown, and often they are getting ready in a small room. It's incredible how quickly the floor on a wedding day gets cluttered with makeup, hair accessories, suitcases, etc.!
But don't worry if you don't have the right light or space to get this indoor bridal pose. I usually leave the full-length ones outdoors, or later in the day if it's raining, where I can take a little longer with the bride and groom on their couple portraits and get some full-length ones then.
So if you can't get the full-length shot indoors during your bridal portraits, you'll always get another chance later in the day.
Opt for some of these shots instead, and you'll still get beautiful bridal poses indoors that your client will love.
Sitting down bridal portrait poses are great for shooting indoors because they immediately reduce the amount of space you need to fit the gown into your shot!
Find a pretty or rustic-looking chair from the ‘getting ready' venue, and sit your bride in it, preferably near the window, so you get lots of natural light flooding in. Give your bride something to hold or ask her to look out the window. This is also a great time to get the bouquet in the shot.
Use a reflector to bounce some light around if it's dark, but often the dress will nicely reflect the light gently around for you!
Get the bride to turn 3/4 of her body towards the window, ensuring most of her head is receiving light, and you don't get this contrasty, unflattering look on the face. Instead, ask her to think about what this day means to her, and there you go! A gorgeous and straightforward bridal portrait pose indoors.
If you have the room and go for the traditional full-body / length portrait shot, quickly ask the bride to turn around. Wedding gowns often have beautiful back detailing that is so often forgotten! The bride will love that you remembered to capture the dress in its full glory.
It's also a quick and easy shot to add to the whole body, length portrait shot. Note – give the bride something to hold, or a place to gently lean or hold on to – like this fireplace because a bride with her arms danging limply by her sides can look odd in a back portrait (actually, in most pictures)!
This is another easy to get ‘extra' bridal portrait poses indoors that your bride will thank you for. And they look soo pretty! They also allow the bride to take a breath and pause during her day, which is a bonus extra for her!
A close-up bridal portrait is another one of those easy shots to get. It doesn't matter if the background is cluttered or if there are lots of people bustling around you. This shot crops tightly in, so you won't see any of it within the frame!
It's perfect for small spaces. And it's a great way to highlight the makeup artist's work too!
For this shot to work, you'll either need a portrait lens or a prime lens. This was shot on the canon 50mm 1.4 if you're wondering. A unique portrait or prime lens will allow you to get up nice and close.
At the same time, you can open up the lens to a wide aperture (even as much as 1.4 will work beautifully if you're focussing on the eyes/lashes). This will gently blur any bad wallpaper or accidental clutter you miss within the frame!
Ideally, you'll want to move your bride to a quiet corner with minimal decor, but look out for details that might also work within the frame. Here I used the bride's bouquet to add extra interest to the image, and it nicely balances out the flowers in the bride's hair.
Everyone always concentrates on getting the ‘ringS' shot (yes, capital S intentional)! But what about the engagement ring? You probably got this on the engagement session, but this is the last time it will ever be seen alone! It's a perfect and precious shot to get.
Ok, so it doesn't strictly make the list of bridal portrait poses indoors, but you will need to get your bride to use her hands to get this shot!
So it does make a list 🙂 and it's another detailed shot that's easy to get as part of an on the day bridal portrait session.
Direct the light carefully for this shot. I faced my bride towards the window, but be careful the shine from the diamond doesn't blow out all the detail! Move your bride further away from the window until you have the right mix of sparkle and detail!
You can also use a macro lens for this shot, but I stuck with my portrait lens to keep my setup minimum and fast. However, it's not hugely detailed, so a macro lens might have worked better (though that could also show up imperfections in a bride's hand. Watch out for flaws and veins and varnish spills if you're going to go macro)!
You can probably tell from my images I LOVE windows, lol! They fill my pictures with gorgeous light that makes the bride look lit, but naturally so.
Be bold when playing with window light / natural daylight. For example, you can see how in the shot above, I've used the same pose for the bride, but I've moved myself and my position. In the first shot, the bride is lit to the side. In the second, I've used a reflector to bounce some of that great light back around the bride and backlit the shot with the window instead.
It was such a beautiful window I wanted to use it as a feature itself, not just for lighting my bride! So look for pretty windows to include in your shots. But if the windows are nondescript or unattractive, blur them out with a broad depth of field and use the light instead to create a pretty and easy bridal portrait!
Your bride will have taken a long time to choose accessories that are meaningful to her. For this bridal portrait pose indoors, I moved from where my bride was standing, posing for her ‘back of the dress shot' to stand to one side and requested that she turn her head.
Getting beautiful bridal portrait shots is how much you can move yourself to get the most pictures from simple poses. It's a beautiful shot, framed gently by the flowers directly in front of us, echoing the flowers in her hair.
You could do the same with earrings, a bag, a necklace, etc. Be sure to ask your bride if she is wearing any unique accessories she might want to be captured = such as an heirloom necklace, brooch, etc. Often a bride will be wearing something that belonged to or reminds her of a missing family member, but unless you ask, she is most likely to be so consumed with other things on the day that she might forget to tell you.
This isn't a particular bridal portrait pose but a shot you can create as your bride gets ready.
You will be directing it, so it looks like more of a reportage shot; it's more of a posed one. It's created with help from you for the best image possible.
For example, in this shot, I requested that the bride get ready near that big beautiful window, and I ensured that the background was as clutter-free as possible.
You might not be officially posing the bride, but as you are directing the image and ensuring it's as beautiful as possible, it's not strictly ‘reportage style' either. A bridal portrait pose ensures that all attention is still on the bride and creates a unique picture the bride will love.
A word of warning with this bridal portrait pose – don't attempt to capture this shot halfway through the actual makeup is done! This isn't about creating a reportage-style image!
To make this a beautiful bridal portrait, you'll need to ensure your bride is almost ready. Not sat wearing a dressing gown with her hair in curlers!!
The bride wants to look still and feel her best, don't make the mistake of thinking she wants EVERYTHING captured. Although many brides say that they do, often they don't imagine themselves halfway through stuffing a croissant in their mouths with zero makeup on with a ton of mess around their feet that comes as a result of many people in one room!
It's your job as someone posing the bride to understand what your client wants – is it this kind of image above, or the one I just mentioned? I know what most brides would say! Of course, you can opt for both, but if you want to capture a memory of your bride as she gets ready, aim for one where it is practically camera-ready and likely to be doing some top-ups.
And direct your client into good lighting, the makeup artist too!
This is another of those bridal portrait poses indoors that are easy to capture and you can gain when you're shooting any of the other poses. Shooting in this way – achieving multiple poses from minimal actual ‘posing' enables you to gain maximum shots with minimum fuss, which brides will thank you for!
I was taken from the sitting down pose; again, I moved around her and asked her to look down! So simple yet so effective!
This is a great way to capture the results of the hair and makeup and any bridal accessories. Your bride will love looking back on shots like this in future years. It also gives her a few quiet moments to sit and reflect, away from the busyness of the day.
These are so easy to take! After your bride has had more traditional portraits, keep her seated (or stood) in the same position. Then ask her to think of something funny or ridiculous her partner has said or done. She will be laughing or smiling in a second, and you need to flip your camera from portrait to landscape and shoot!
Keep the focus on the eyes for a happy and natural portrait that shines.
The veil shot is an excellent place for you to get creative. Veil shots often mask a lot of detail – the bride's face, for example. So use that to your advantage and play around with it. Use it to create atmosphere, softness, and romance – all the things a veil is perfect for.
Ask your bride to lift it a little, play with it, look down, straight at the camera, shoot the veil from behind, etc. There are no rules for the veil shot; make sure you capture it as your bride most likely won't ever wear one again!
Close-up dress details count! Look for lace, trimmings, waist details, belts, pretty sleeves, ribbons, and tiebacks. Don't be afraid to focus on these areas – your bride picked the dress most likely in part for those precise details! So don't be scared to capture them.
Brides rarely get their dresses out of the closet once worn on the big day, but they frequently look through their albums and images. So it's precious to have pictures that remind them of why they chose their dress and what it looked like – not just the overall vision, but the close-up detail that counts.
It's surprising how easily you can forget a shot of the bouquet! Yet the bouquet is another one of the details the bride will have spent hours choosing and will likely contain her favorite flowers, be tossed to her maids or dried to remember her day. It's worth more to her than just a snapshot taken from a distance with a long lens!
One quick zoom-in or close-up shot is all it takes to ensure you have another simple yet powerful image for your bride to cherish.
Mirrors are excellent at bouncing light around in a dark room. Mirrors naturally reflect the light and illuminate your subject; they're frequently beautiful objects to include in an image.
Use them to photograph the bride putting on her earrings or a unique and creative way to gain a full-length portrait.
These are 16 beautiful bridal portrait poses indoors that can use.
What do you think? We'd LOVE to know if this was helpful! Which is your favorite portrait to gain on a wedding day?
If you liked this post, you'd also find this one helpful. Our top tips on working with a bride to gain beautiful bridal portraits, including our magical words to help her relax instantly in front of the camera! Read it here.
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