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Engagement Portrait Posing Tips

A Guest Post by Travis Hill from The Perfect Pose

engagement-4.jpgIn recent years photojournalism has been all the rage. Just capture the day or moment as it happens. Honestly that is wonderful style of photography that many people enjoy. The problem is, everyone’s doing it. With so many new photographers in the market today, it’s imperial that we set ourselves apart from the crowd. With that being said lets ask ourselves honestly. How many times have our wedding clients not wanted any formal photographs? How many times have our portrait clients asked; “What should I do”? In these situations we cannot simply rely on photojournalism. We must be able to instruct our clients how to stand, how to hold their shoulders back, we as professional photographers need to tell our clients how to look their best. It’s time for us to take control and make the magic happen.

Know your client: Most people don’t think of this when they think of posing. This is the first step in creating a pose. We need to understand our client’s personality; we need to capture who they are. Establishing a relationship with our clients will not only help us understand what it is they want, it will help build trust. Trust is crucial when it comes to photographing clients. I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to do something funky, and then get a strange look from the client. Then I just say “Trust The Photographer”. Because I have already established a relationship with the client, they are more willing to “Trust Me”.

Here are some ideas for posing engagement sessions

When you’re posing a couple for an engagement session, remember they’re in love. They want cool artistic images, but they also want some nice romantic images that show their love for one another.

In this image I had my clients lie on the ground and wrap up tight. Of course they didn’t mind! Let you clients have fun with the pose. Remember just because we are posing people, it doesn’t mean they have stiff and boring. Always be willing to go above and beyond the norm.

engagement 1.jpg

From this pose we can change our angle and have the couple move around slightly to easily create a few more images. Which is always great, because changing the pose just a little can completely change the image. Tell your clients how good they look. This is going to automatically make them look at you, and then almost always they will look back at each other and smile.

engagement 3.jpg

engagement 2.jpg

Now just have your clients sit up for the final image in this series. (He actually grabbed his fiancé and rolled her over top of him. That’s why they are laughing, and she is on the other side of him.) Let you clients have fun, and embrace what they do. Posing is about interacting and having fun more than just telling someone what to do.


Two quick poses you can do every time. Look at me, look at each other! This gives them a photo that Mom is sure to love. Plus they have a shot that looks candid, the photo looks natural and doesn’t look posed, but it reality it was. Something important to remember in posing: No matter how posed the shot is, we always want it to look comfortable and natural.



Don’t be afraid to add some background to you shot. Give your clients some space and take in the scenery. Clients are going to want some artistic photos as well.

Notice the pose in this image. They are not facing me. I have there bodies turned toward each other with them looking at me. This will always help slim your clients.


Get two images from one pose. I almost always have my clients pose where the girl is leaning into they guy. Whether it be sitting or standing. It’s a nice relaxing pose that looks very comfortable. And you can always get two images from this one pose. Simply zoom out and give the image a new look and a new feel.



Now when I think; “what do my clients want to look like in an image”? Usually I think they want to look cool. So you always have to set up a cool looking pose. This doesn’t have to be a pose where they are close together. Just brake them a part and make them look cool!


Travis Hill is photographer from Baltimore Maryland. See more of his work at his studio site, his posing blog and on Facebook.

Get more Posing Tips at What Everyone Should Know about Posing for Portraits

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