A wedding cinematographer’s guide to posing the couple

When I first started making tutorials for wedding cinematographers, I knew I didn’t want to cover common topics. If I could go to YouTube or Vimeo, search for how to do something, and have a million results show up, I didn’t want to cover it. My goal from the beginning has been to create tutorials and reviews that I would want to watch. Most of my tutorials actually come from me searching for how to do something online, realizing no one had explained it well, learning it myself, and then deciding to make a tutorial sharing it with others.

I’m over-simplifying here, but when I think about wedding film-making (or any type of film for that matter), I often split things into two categories: technical and creative. The technical side anyone can learn, and sub-categories of it include camera selection, frame rates, ISO, navigating editing software etc. Pretty much all of this can be learned online or by reading a technical book, without ever actually picking up a camera or editing software and using it.

The other category, creative, is the one I want to talk about today. This category covers everything that cannot be learned without actual hands on experience. It isn’t so much “how” to do something, but “when,” and “why.” When should you move the camera a certain way? Why do you tell the couple to do something a certain way for the video? This creative category is something that I have been working on for my past six years of filming weddings.

Because I know some of you are going to ask what my shirt says...

Because I know some of you are going to ask what my shirt says…

Today, I want to share with you one small sub-category of the creative side of wedding film-making, and that is how to pose the couple. Up until this point, all my research has shown hundreds of tutorials for how photographers pose couples, but I have yet to find even one for how cinematographers should do the same. This tutorial is my attempt to change that situation, and make this part of filming the wedding day, a little easier for you. In it, I go in detail about how I setup the couple for filming, my philosophy for why I pose them certain ways, and some practical ideas for how you can create genuine laughter, smiles, and joy in your wedding film.

If you have any techniques or ideas for how you pose wedding couples, I would love to hear them. And as always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave one below or get in touch.

Enjoyed this tutorial? I would recommend checking out my Wedding Film Establishing Shots tutorial, as well as my tutorial for how wedding cinematographers and photographers can get along better on the wedding day.

This tutorial, and all wedding clips in it was filmed with:

Sony A7Sii
Sigma 50mm 1.4
Sigma 24mm 1.4
Sony Zeiss 135mm 1.8

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