Different ways to pose group formal photos.

Every wedding is unique and group portraits are more than just a formality. Though you may be more interested in the intimacy of modern portraiture, the group portraits are often some of the most cherished images from a wedding. I am making this post so show some different ways to go about it. Hopefully these examples will help you decide how you want your group photos to look. This is especially important for those who like to control every detail. Naturally, those who would rather not have to think about it are welcome to just leave it up to my discerning eye. Nevertheless, it may be a good idea to pick one and show it to your bridal party so they know ahead of time what they should look like. This can help speed up the process and give us more time to concentrate on the stars of the show.

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This is an example of my favorite kind of posing. The groomsmen have their hands by their sides, except for the groom who faces inward and holds the bouquet with the bride. The bridesmaids hold their bouquets at chest height. It is customary for the groomsmen to be on the right side but it’s not a requirement by any means.

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In this example, the bride wanted the part of her hair as viewed from her left side, so we placed the bridesmaids on the right. She also felt more comfortable holding her groom’s arm than for them to hold the bouquet together. I would never suggest for the groomsmen to pose themselves holding their hands together in the front (the crotch grab) but we did it for this one shot and later changed it. The idea is that, however comfortable it is to stand like that, it draws attention to an unwanted area.

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This pose shows the bouquet held in one hand by the bridesmaids. The groom is holding the bouquet together with his arm around his bride and the groomsmen have one hand their outside pocket with the thumb out. Depending on the cut of the suit it can look good to unbutton the jacket so it doesn’t bunch with the hand in the pocket. The far right groomsman should have been closer and the next one in should have been not so close to the guy in front of him. They also should all have the same chest angle. We adjusted, but I loved the expression of the flower girl in this one so I wanted to show it.

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Lastly I wanted to share the idea of pairing up each bridesmaid and groomsman with the person they walked out with. This works best with even numbers, but if there’s a different number on each side we can always double up. I love the idea of these poses but I think they are best left until after the initial formal poses. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding anything I did or did not mention and be thinking about how you would like your formal photos to look. These don’t take up much time in the wedding day, and once they are done the fun really gets going, but a little thought can guarantee that you get everything exactly the way you want it.

Comments (3)

  • The last image in the post, was that one exposure or did you light/shoot each couple and then photomerge in post pro?

    • It’s a single exposure but there’s some targeted adjustments in post to make up for the falloff in lighting for the further away couples. Thanks for the question.

    • – Any wedding that indeculs flower bashing has got to be a winner! Seriously, what a fun, and unique wedding I really enjoyed looking at these You did a beautiful job documenting their day!

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