• Elizabeth Nelson

A Cheesy Free Posing Guide

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

I am all for a delicious cheese, but when it comes to posing and taking photos for an engagement session or wedding, having a more natural and free flowing approach warrants the best, and most memorable poses.

Every couple is going to have a different idea of how they want to look. Some of you will be very vocal about this and some will be very shy and as a photographer I have learned to read your body language in order to determine what you all really want. Typically we will have had some time to discuss, prior to the session, to determine what you are looking for. But if not, I like to stick to some very basic poses that almost everyone can nail.


Let's start off with a hug type pose. Embracing is very natural because it is something we do in our everyday lives. It is a good way to start out our session because, as a photographer, I can very quickly tell if you are more comfortable with some more intimate forms of PDA or if hugs and holding hands is as close as I am going to get. It is as simple as me telling you to hug each other and then I can start snapping away, capturing you and your partner in a very natural state of being. And who doesn't like a good hug, am I right?


From there I will have you look up at each other, which results in some epic smiles and potentially some laughter. These are the moments I love to capture because of their effortlessness.

During an engagement session, a somewhat large part of the photoshoot is going to be surrounding the beautiful ring. I like to get a little bit creative and up-close. One way I do this is to have you and your boo stand belly button to belly button, a phrase I tend to use a lot. Then I will ask that the left hand be brought up and placed gently upon your fiancé's cheek. Soft hands will sort of caress the jawline so that I can come up nice and close and show off the ring while you two are being all cute and dreamy with one another.

One of my all time favorite poses is the surprise hug! It is very simple and is literally the best way to capture some natural true expressions, in my opinion. The best way I have found to do this is to simply have one person stand closer to me, and the other person a couple paces back. Usually the only real instruction I give is some advice on how to wrap your arms around your spouse to be. With this pose, if your arms are too high up near the neck when you come in for your surprise, it can look a little bit like you are choking them, and that's not what we want. Once everyone is set I like to say,

"Ok, whenever you are ready"

and then let the magic happen.

From there, if you are up for it, I like to just play. This means I like to throw out some experiences and just capture you and your bae's interpretation of said experiences. A couple of my favorites are,

  1. Practice your first dance

  2. Go on a little stroll while holding hands

  3. Get in nice and close and visualize your wedding day

  4. Remember back to your first date

These are wonderful photography moments because it portrays who you are as a couple. No two people are going to move in the same way as you both and it is so unique and memorable. Generally, if needed, I will through out some tips such as what to do with your other hand while you are walking, or where to place your hands on their back or waist. A general rule of thumb for all my gentlemen reading this, or who are being forced too 😜, When you want to put your hands in your pockets, place all fingers in and leave thumbs out or hook your thumbs only. Now ladies, hands on the hip is always a good fall back placement for a loose arm, but most likely you will have your hand placed somewhere on his chest, shoulder, back or arm.


They key for natural photos is to keep everything loose. I know that kind of sounds like a blanket statement, but it is true. Photographs will show when your shoulder are tensed or when you are holding in a breath. Keeping things loose and flowing is the absolute best way to achieve a natural pose.


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Phoenix, Arizona  elizabeth@nelsoncinematic.com  480-268-5795

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