How To Pose A Large Bridal Party: A Photo Tutorial With trish

By Mariah Ashley

A large bridal party can be intimidating for both the bride and the photographer. If it’s your wedding day you might be wondering how your photographer is going to wrangle your unruly friends or if you’re the photographer you may be stumped by what to do with so many people. There are only so many possibilities right? A large bridal party comes with inherent restraints, photographically speaking, right? That’s what I thought before I started compiling the photos for this blog post, but I was WRONG! I couldn’t believe how many different versions of large bridal party photos we’ve taken! It all starts with this little lady, the posing genius herself, my partner in crime, Trish!

largebridal party1aI should probably back up just a bit before I launch into the awesome examples of Trish’s posing prowess and tell you that we approach the “Formal Photographs” portion of the day as a team of two with very distinct duties. I can not stress enough that this is a TWO person job, unless of course you are Super Human, and in that case good for you, that must be cool. Trish and I do not possess super powers so we rely on this team approach to NAIL it every time.

 

Basically, one person should assume the role of the photographer (that’s me) and the other the role of the artistic director (that’s Trish). Here’s why…

Anytime you are going to snap a formal photo there are roughly 8 main decisions to be made be for you can take the photograph. In addition, the 8 decisions require both the left and the right side of your brain to be working simultaneously, which for some of us can be a challenge. Since Trish and I often joke that we share the same brain, it made sense for us to split our brain in half to tackle the formal photos. I’m in charge of left brain tasks, which makes me responsible for the technical stuff, anything organized or systematic. Trish handles the right brain decisions, anything creative or intuitive. Here are the 8 decisions that need to be made and how we divide them:

large bridal party1b largebridalparty1cAlright, so now that you know all about our team approach, here are some of our all time favorite Large Bridal Party Photos!

THE TRADITIONAL

Lined Up Traditional: Weddings are a formal affair, so sometimes traditional is the way to go: everyone lined up nice and even and lookin’ good. We’ll often start with this pose as a way to get everyone warmed up. This is the pose they are expecting, sometimes it’s best not to get too “creative” too soon, you don’t want to make the bridal party nervous or uncomfortable, so break them in a little before you spring your more “interesting” ideas on them.

Bridal Party0001

Stacked Traditional: A slight variation of the above, with ladies and pretty bouquets down front.Bridal Party0002

Spaced Apart Traditional: This version just gives everyone a little room to breathe {and umbrella coverage} but still a nice formal feeling.Bridal Party0003

LADIES ON ONE SIDE MEN ON THE OTHER

Organic Ladies and Men: Everyone looks relaxed and natural.

Bridal Party0004

Whimsical Ladies and Men: Structured yet playful!

Bridal Party0005

Stylized Ladies and Men: Just plain cool.Bridal Party0006

STRAIGHT UP

Full Length Straight Up: I love how the bridal party mimics the vertical lines of the trees in the background.

Bridal Party0007

Party on the Half Shell Straight Up: I love the bridal party anchoring the photo combined with element of the monochromatic horizon of the sand and ocean.

Bridal Party0008

THE SQUEEZE IN

Full Length Squeeze In: These are your best buds right? You can’t help it if you’re wildly popular! This pose really shows the love.

Bridal Party0009Cropped Squeeze In: For Extra Squeezyness.Bridal Party0010

VANITY FAIR

This might be Trish’s specialty. If you’ve ever read Vanity Fair then you know what we’re going for here. Everyone gets to show their own little Fair- Flair!

Bridal Party0011Bridal Party0012

SPOTLIGHT ON THE LADIES

Full Length Spotlight: Show the pretty scenery and gorgeous dresses.

Bridal Party0013

Closeup spotlight: Show the gorgeous faces and pretty flowers.Bridal Party0014

SPOTLIGHT ON THE MEN

Closeup spotlight: For maximum handsomeness and personality.

Bridal Party0015

Full length spotlight:  For GQ posing.Bridal Party0016

LADIES VERSES MEN: WHO CAN DO IT BETTER?

When we photograph the bridesmaids and the groomsmen together, we like to challenge ourselves to come up with something cool and different in the same location.

Whose background is better?Bridal Party0017

Whose pose is better?Bridal Party0018

Who can snuggle better?Bridal Party0019

ACTION!

Sometimes the mood calls for a little movement.

Ladies Gotta Twirl

Bridal Party0020

Boys gotta jump off of stuff.Bridal Party0021

Bridal Party’s gotta skip across a field holdin’ hands.Bridal Party0022

ADIRONDACK CHAIRS

As a culture we cannot get enough of Adirondack chairs. Why is that?

Adirondack chairs on a cloudy day.

Bridal Party0023

Adirondack chairs on a sunny day. LOL.

Bridal Party0024

NATURAL ELEMENTS AND ARCHITECTURE

It’s really fun to incorporate the unique elements of your location into the composition of your photo.

Exhibits 1-5.

Hot Men on a Cool Porch

Bridal Party0025

Shady Ladies (I can say that because I know Ashley will think it’s funny)!Bridal Party0026

Stripes UP one side and DOWN the other.Bridal Party0027

Water Feature.Bridal Party0028

Watering Hole.Bridal Party0029

If you are a photographer, hopefully this post will help you tackle those large bridal parties and if you are one of our clients now you know you can relax because the snap girls have got it covered! Because I LOVE me some BEHIND THE SNAPS photos, here are a few more gems from the vault of Trish in action for your viewing pleasure!

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Trish in her natural element.35

Good question.

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38Now get out there and pose that large bridal party!

  1. Amy

    April 12th, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Great post ladies! I am curious what lens focal length you use for these large groups? If we have ample space we will try to use the 70-200 as close to 200 as possible, even with larger bridal parties.

  2. Mariah Ashley

    April 13th, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Amy, yes! We also love to use the 70-200 at 200 when possible. Our other go to lens is a 24-70 for tighter spaces. 🙂

  3. Alex

    December 28th, 2015 at 11:36 am

    love the examples and tips on execution!

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