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HOW TO POSE FOR AMAZING WEDDING PICTURES - EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT A MODEL

Posted on April 24, 2018

Every newlywed couple has one or two of their best wedding pictures hanging on their wall or sitting on their mantel. In this age of social media, they’ll probably want to post a few wedding pictures Facebook or Instagram as well as other social media pages. People love great pictures of themselves, especially ones that are flattering. Flattering portraits are a great way to remember one of the best days of your life and are also great conversation starters. Everyone wants to have a picture perfect wedding and great wedding photos to display, but achieving that mantel worthy shot is not always easy. Unless you’re a model or an actor, you’re probably not used to standing in front of a camera. Many people are not aware that there are actual techniques and rules for posing and looking good. Sure there is the occasional selfie or group photo at a party but none of those can really compare to posing for bridal portraits. There is often a lot of pressure when posing for wedding photos because unlike those amazing photos that you see in all those bridal magazines, your wedding day is not staged and you usually won’t get a do over. A little practice in front of a mirror will help you get past the fear of being in front of lens. This article will help you come up with different poses so that your pictures are not static and you always look good.

BELOW: Action Posing, If you feel awkward simply standing in front of the camera, you can break the awkward ice by simply walking. One sequence can become several different poses by changing where each person is looking. For this photo the couple is looking at each other. I also shot the couple looking forward smiling as well as the groom looking at the bride and the bride looking at the groom. This photos of Stacie & Jason was taken at Broken Sound Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida.


Most good photographers will help you with posing. However, it is really up to you to convey the facial expression which comes in part from being confortable with your photographer and confident that your poses will look good. In part, it’s the genuine emotion that helps bring the photographs to life. That being said, here are a few tips to help you pose for your wedding pictures. Also, these posing tips will apply for your honeymoon photos as well as other vacation photos.


ABOVE For this casual bridal photo of Jessica and Steven, Steven shifted his body weight to his back leg. This allowed him to lightly place his forward foot on the ground resulting in a very slightly bent knee. This may seem subtle but the end result is a more relaxed casual portrait. This casual wedding portrait was taken at Boca Raton Resort and Club.

Put Your Best Foot Forward
When posing for a wedding picture, it is advisable to shift most of your weight to your back foot. Since you only need one leg to stand, one foot takes your weight and your other foot becomes your posing foot. By doing this, a girl has many different options in regards to the leg without the weight. For example, you could cross one leg behind the other for a pose with more attitude. This pose usually results in very flattering pictures and is also very simple and versatile.

BELOW, Use your hands to create a more intimate look. Using hands in posing is a good way to become more comfortable with your pose. Hands also create a connection point between the couple. Remember, too many hands will ruin the photo. I always tell my clients, "One Hand Per Person Max" You don't want her hand on top of his hand on top of his other hand. This photo of Erin and Matt was taken at South Beach Park in Boca Raton, Florida


It’s All in The Arms
Instead of having your arms hanging limply at your side, which is often unflattering, you could always stand next to each other and put your “inside” arm around your partner’s waist. Then you can either hold hands in front or the groom can put his hand in his pocket or hold the brides hand - these are classic poses that will add a sense of timelessness to your photos. They are also really simple and you can use them when taking pictures at the beach during your Florida destination wedding or the balcony of a beautiful hotel.

BELOW: Here is Erin and Matt again, For this photo taken for their engagement session, I used a telephoto zoom lens. The telephoto lens creates what is know as compression. It's this compression effect that pulls the ocean in the background closer to the couple. The telephoto lens also flatten facial features making a more beautiful portrait.


Remember that it usually looks better if one hand is doing something in the photo. For example, a hand on a girl’s hip or the groom holding his jacket closed will always look better than a hand hanging straight down.

BELOW: In this photo of Rachel her hand helps guide the viewer to her incredible eyes. This photo was also shot with a telephoto lens 105mm which pushed forward the defocused background separating Rachel from the colorful background. This photo was taken at Marisol Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, FL


Lens Magic
I am going to let you in on a well kept secret - whatever body part is closest to the camera lens appears bigger. If you want a slimmer waist, push your hips away from the lens and lean the top part of your your body toward the lens. In short, you should move whatever body part you want to emphasize closer to the camera and push away whatever part you want to diminish. Only an inch or 2 will make a huge difference. Following this rule will help the camera serve you.

BELOW: Here is another example of how a telephoto lens helps to make the background look closer to the bride and groom. This photo of Denise and Alex was take at the Boca Raton Beach Club.


You could also have your photographer zoom in for a more flattering appearance. Telephoto lenses create what’s known as compression which flattens facial features. Have you ever watched a televised sporting event in which the camera is far from the athletes? Notice how the background appears to be right behind the athlete when it’s actually a far distance behind? This is telephoto compression at work. Lens compression in a wedding photo makes the nose appear smaller, flattens the eye sockets and pushes back the chin. It’s better for your photographer to stand further away and zoom in than be too close and use a wide angle. As a South Florida Wedding Photographer, I’m always shooting at the beach. Since the beach offers lots of room, it’s easy for me to stand far away and zoom in. This creates the illusion that the person being photographed is standing much closer to the water.

BELOW: You could see in this photo how the groom "Joey" has his weight on his right foot. This allows him to slightly place his left foot forward making a more relaxed portrait. In order to show more of the bride " Marissa's" dress I did what I call a relaxed separation pose. She is not fully attached to the groom but offset by simply having her arm hook the groom's arm.


Emphasize Your Best Side
Perfectly symmetrical faces are rare, meaning that although both sides of your face look the same there are subtle differences to be seen. It is for this reason that you will often hear people mentioning their ‘good side’; this is the side of their face that they find more appealing. If you do not know which side is your best, you could always take selfies with your face tilted towards the left and then the right, you can compare them side by side and decide which side you like best. You could even get a friend or a partner to help you out. Once you have a ‘good side’ you can emphasize it while having your bridal portraits taken.

BELOW: By placing all his weight on one leg this groom was able to use his other leg to complete this pose.



Take Action
Action photography is a good way to take your mind off the your expression while doing something. Just smile and walk. Have your photographer stand in front of you and walk backwards while you walk towards your photographer. The act of walking will help break that frozen “deer in the headlights” facial expression. If walking as a couple, you have many options. You could both look forward, or you could look at each other. The guy can look at the girl or she could look at him. By using the walking pose a photographer can shoot many different poses in only a matter of seconds.

BELOW: Another walking action shot. For this Florida Beach Engagement Photo the bride and groom took a walk along the shore line. I had to have them walk past me several times until her dress blew in just the correct way.


With all these tips and tricks, you can now confidently take amazing wedding pictures. I have been a South Florida wedding photographer for a while now and I have learned that nothing looks better on camera than a genuine smile. So here’s one last piece advice on your wedding day be happy, stay relaxed and be yourself, it is your day after all.

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First Look: From the Perspective of a Top Wedding Photographer

Posted on October 11, 2016


Wow. One simple word but what makes it special is the meaning behind it. There will only be one time when the groom and bride will see each other all dressed up in their wedding attire for the first time. The way the groom lights up when he sees his future wife in her wedding dress will be unforgettable. The smile the bride wears knowing that in a few minutes the man of her dreams will officially be her husband will be timeless. Its an intimate private time for the couple by themselves before going out to celebrate their love in front of all their family and friends.


A first look is a moment usually arranged by the couples wedding photographer wherein he is staging the first time the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony.


Your weddng photographer should be an expert at arrangng the perfect first look location that is not only beautiful but also private. Most of the time, the wedding couple wants the first look moment to happen in a secluded location away from distractions and other people. However, this is not always the case. I have also set up the first look in locations where parents and the bridal party can watch as well. Its very important for your photographer to check with the bride and groom to make sure its ok for others to watch.


Once the bride and groom have been brought to the first look location and the groom knows the bride is ready and waiting, he can tell the groom to turn and see the bride. Its also at this moment that your photographer should turn off the need to jump in and pose the bridal couple. The few seconds when the groom actually sees his bride is the same time when your photographer should back off and photograph this moment as a wedding photojournalist . This means no interference and no posing. Your wedding photographer should let the moment happen and simply capture whatever happens. Too often the photographer is too quick to jump in and and pose the couple. Interfering during this time is a huge mistake because it disrupts an intimate moment between the bride and groom and eliminates the opportunity for the photographer to capture the true emotion of the first look.


While a first look is not a requirement for the weddings we photograph, we highly recommend it to couples as there are many advantages in doing a first look.


The wedding day is huge big event for every couple. It is quite normal that they will feel a bit jittery. The first look can help to ease the wedding day jitters of the couple. Some brides are uneasy about the groom seeing her in front of all the guests. A first look will give the couple time to savor this moment privately. This a special moment between the couple that they dont want anyone else see.


In addition to executing a first look between the bride and groom, your photographer can also organize a first look between the bride and her father. The moment when a brides father sees his daughter in a wedding dress for the first time is very emotional. This special moment should be photographed in such a way as to capture the feeling of both the bride and her father.

(Below) - The emotional first look between the bride and her father.


A couple can also personalize their first look. Aside from capturing the priceless moment of the groom seeing the bride for the first time, the photographer can also capture some fun and creative photos such as the couple holding hands while hiding behind a wall or door as if drumming up the excitement more. Another good idea is to capture the brides face as she stands behind the groom or her shooting the groom from behind before the groom faces her bride for the first time. Some couples exchange gifts or read their letters to each other. The possibilities for getting creative photos are endless.


A first look gives the families an opportunity to have their portraits taken before the ceremony. Getting the family portraits earlier in the day will make the timeline of your wedding day more streamlined and as soon as the wedding ceremony concludes, everyone can go and enjoy the cocktail hour without having to worry about taking any more formal photos. Doing this will alleviate any rushing in getting all the bride and groom and family photos done. Also, if your ceremony is at late afternoon, doing a first look will also allow photos to be taken while there is still natural light which is a great advatnage as well.


What if you dont want a first look? We assure couples that not doing a first look is ok and we will work with the couple to orgranize an advantageous timeline according to their wishes. We always discuss the benefits of doing a first look, but are happy to arrange the day whatever way the couple prefers.


If there is no first look, then coverage usually begins with photographing the bride and her bridal party along with her family. The groom is somewhere else so that he doesnt see the bride. Afterwards, the bride will have time to relax while we will photograph the groom and his groomsmen and his family.

(Below) - The bride walking down the stairs toward the groom is a dramatic way of revealing the bride to the groom.


After the wedding the ceremony, the couple, the bridal party and family members will do the group photos during the cocktail hour. Its much easier to get away with not doing a first look if there is a good amount of time between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception. For example, if the ceremony is over at 2PM but the reception doesnt start until 5PM, you will have enough time to finish all the group shots. This is often the case with a church wedding, but not necessarily if the wedding is at a hotel or other similar venue.

(Below) - This phone booth provided a fun way for the bride and groom the share the first look.


(Below) - The grandmother seeing the bride for the first time.


We hope this article has been somewhat helpful in explaining the benefits of doing a first look, however, we undertand that every couple is different and our ultimate goal is to be able to produce the best possible photos for our clients  no matter how they would like to arrange their wedding day. We have years of expertise at working with all kinds of schedules and requests, so couples should always feel free to have a discussion with us about exactly how youd like your wedding day coverage to unfold.


(Below) - Before the groom actually saw his bride we had her do a little posing from behind frosted glass.


(Below) - This album page is dedicated to the first look between father and daughter.


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Fun for all – the fabulous Photo Wall

Posted on March 19, 2013



Why not make your wedding the talk of the town? Adding our photo wall to your wedding reception is a great way to get your guests involved with an interactive, fun element that they can all enjoy. We provide some costume elements for guests to use while posing in front of the photo wall. Items such as silly hats, colorful feather boas, glasses and all kinds of wigs make for some totally fun and wacky photos.



You literally never know what to expect when guests pose in front of the wall – and that’s part of the fun for sure! The real fun is when we process the pictures and then, if you wish, post them on Facebook for you to share with your friends and guests from the wedding. At the wedding itself, the photo wall is pretty much self- sufficient. Guests put on whatever costume elements they want, and then strike a pose in front of the wall. One guest must push the fire button that activates the countdown to the camera firing. Once the camera flashes, the photo has been taken.



We have a really classy looking background that works for any wedding theme or event. These photos are great to print later and send to guests who posed at the wedding. They will be delighted and definitely get a chuckle when they see the pics! If you want more instantaneous pictures, we do offer printing on the spot at the wedding. The photos are great quality and can be printed as 4x6 or 5x7 photographs and even customized and placed into custom folders as wedding favors. Either the photos can be imprinted in photoshop or the folders can be ordered with your names and wedding date imprinted on them. This is a totally unique and fun wedding favor – not the usual stuff that is given away at weddings as favors. Guests will leave with an amusing memento of their time at your wedding.



The photo wall literally can transform into any theme you wish – we can use other costume props that you supply plus add some more of our own. It is such a great way of having an interactive element at your wedding – guests who don’t even know each other will group together to take a funny picture in front of the photo wall. As a South Florida wedding photographer, I see all kinds of gimmicks at weddings. This is much more than just that. The high quality photos that are produced here are usable by the bride and groom, can be easily shared online or printed as gifts for guests. It is a practical and fun addition to any wedding reception or party alike.

We have some great promotions in terms of adding the photo wall to your wedding, so please feel free to give us a call and ask any questions you may have. We look forward to incorporating our photo wall into many clients’ upcoming wedding packages and witnessing the enjoyment they and their guests will have from its presence.







Jeff Kolodny Photography, Inc.

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Fabulous Oceanfront Venues for an Unforgettable South Florida Wedding

Posted on March 11, 2013

(Below) Wedding party in action. This beach action shot was taken on the beach at The Palms Hotel, Miami. The open beach is a great place for this type of wedding photograph because there are fewer distractions in both the foreground and background. However, the sky and sand make for a beautiful wedding scenic.



Everyone knows that the great state of Florida has hundreds of miles of pristine beaches, perfect for that destination wedding. Not only that, but what some do not realize is that the various parts of the state have beaches that are very, very different in appearance and atmosphere. Whether you are looking to have a destination wedding on the West Coast or East Coast areas of Florida there are a great number of incredible oceanfront venues to choose from that will allow you to plan a wedding with stunning views and beaches for your out of town guests to enjoy as well.



The photo below, shows the amazing view looking down Fort Lauderdale beach. Taken from the roof top courtyard at the Pelican Beach Resort. Looking down at the coastline always makes a great destination wedding picture.



Florida also offers a host of barrier islands or keys that offer some terrific venue options as well. All these beautiful locations are perfect for creating amazing photographs. On the West Coast, there is Marco Island home of the magnificent Marco Island Marriott. A large resort hotel, the Marco Island Marriott has something for everyone and is a desirable location for destination weddings as well as a choice of locals as well. The Marco Island Marriott offers a wide, white sand beach and calm gulf waters both of which are quite a contrast to the beaches on the island of Palm Beach on the opposite coast. The waters on the East Coast in general are more lively, with many sightings of cruise ships in the distance and a popular spot with tourists all up and down the coast from Jacksonville down to Miami.



(Above) Another photograph with the bride & groom kissing in the ocean. The Pelican Beach Resort makes for a fabulous background.



Some other great spots for destination beachfront wedding venues would be the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami that is actually on the island of Key Biscayne. While somewhat isolated from the heart of Miami, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne offers a spectacular and quiet beach along with superb grounds and an all around ultra classy atmosphere. Located on the mainland on Miami Beach there are a host of wonderful venues to choose from as well. As a South Florida wedding photographers, I often work at these venues and enjoy all that they have to offer as far as amazing scenery for picture taking as well as some interesting architectural features each venue has to offer.



Miami Beach weddings can be affairs to remember for sure. Some great oceanfront venues to be sure to check out are The Palms Hotel & Spa, The Ritz-Carlton South Beach, The Fountainbleau, The Loews Hotel, W Hotel-South Beach and The National Hotel. Up the coast a bit, another great area for South Florida beachfront weddings is the area between Hallandale Beach and Fort Lauderdale. This highly popular strip of South Florida real estate is home to a huge number of high end oceanfront venues such as the Westin Diplomat Hotel, The Harbor Beach Marriott, The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach, The B Ocean Hotel, and the The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale just to name a few. When you drive up just a little further, there is the Delray Beach Marriott and the Seagate right in the heart of Delray Beach where there are many great restaurants and shops to explore. Once you venture just a bit north, you’ve got several magnificent venues for a truly spectacular Palm Beach wedding. They are The Breakers, The Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach and The Four Seasons Palm Beach. The Breakers, of course is a large and opulent hotel on a gorgeous strip of Palm Beach.



(Above) Many South Florida venues offer ballrooms with views of the ocean & beach. When choosing one of these ballrooms the fantastic view also doubles as the room decor . It may take less flowers and room decor to create a beautiful wedding reception when the room itself offers such a wonderful view.



(Above) Often an attractive couple mixed with a palm tree and a great sky is all it takes to make a stand-out photograph. This couple decided on an early morning wedding which provided great soft lighting for the photo above. This shot was taken along a peaceful stretch of beach in Fort Lauderdale.



There is simply no place like it anywhere. The Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach and the Four Seasons Palm Beach are also beautiful and extremely classy venues offering the best beach views and the 5 star service their guests expect.

Whether you are looking for a more quiet laid back atmosphere for your wedding and the soft sands of the West Coast or the lively atmosphere of the East Coast and whether a destination wedding or not, you can plan a fabulous South Florida wedding at a beachfront venue that suits your taste and budget. As a South Florida wedding photographer, I assist couples quite frequently when they are looking for the perfect South Florida wedding venue.




(above) This couple had their destination wedding at the Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach. Since the weather in South Florida is always wonderful a beach engagement shoot is always a grate idea. Visiting South Florida to plan your destination wedding is a great reason to get away from the cold weather of the northeast and enjoy a warmer climate.



Jeff Kolodny Photography, Inc. (561) 965-9582

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Check out this slideshow of my photography.

Posted on December 10, 2012



whitewed from Jeff Kolodny on Vimeo.


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