Posing is Not Dead! | Why I utilize posed portraits in an unposed market | Iowa Wedding Photographer



Guys, posing is not dead!

Believe it or not, posed portraits is not a dirty word. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart! Other photographers will know exactly what I am talking about, but if you don’t let me give you the down low.

Many photographers are doing “unposed” or strictly documentary styles of shooting. This is when there is very little to no direction given, and they let you interact with each other. They might ask you to whisper something silly in your ladies ear to make her laugh but the idea is to have organic interaction and just let you do you.

This sounds great, but if you’re anything like me in front of the camera anything “natural” you do is going to be completely awkward! (I always think I’m doing something cute only to discover I thought wrong.)

“I look awkward in photos, someone needs to tell me what to do with my hands!!”

I totally get what you are thinking. “Saying Cheeeeese and smiling at the camera does not really get very great photos either.”  Yes, you would be right and I would agree the term “Cheeese” needs to be eliminated.   So how do we solve the problem of not looking awkward, but also getting genuine emotions in your portraits? The solution is knowing how to direct and teach you into poses that make you feel comfortable and confident!



One thing that has always stayed true with my photography is my love for curating and pose composition! I’m always learning and trying new ways to make “posing” feel more natural! I recently took an online course on posing and it has CHANGED my life!  Teaching you how to

do some simple poses then building off of these allows you to interact with each other, while also creating moments together!

“Directed posing allows you to learn how to position, then you can focus on interacting with each other!”

Now, dont take this post the wrong way, I think there are lots of documentary photographers who are amazing and create beautiful images and know how to do their craft well! What I have noticed is this trend for everyone to become a documentary photographer and totally do away with posed portraits and that makes me sad!  There is still a need for those classic bride and groom photograph, or your family formals. As an Iowa wedding photographer, lots of my brides are very traditional and want posed portraits. Even if you don’t, chances are your Mother or Grandma will.



“A healthy balance of directed posed portraits and candid documentary gives you the best of both worlds on

your wedding day.”

Any wedding day is going to have some documentary styled shooting involved, because you want to have coverage during the ceremony, and get photos of special moments organically as they happen.

I personally feel that having a good engagement session going over the basics of posing makes the wedding day go by so smooth! A current wedding I just did, all the portraits took maybe an hour total, 1.5 hours tops! And we got a ton of portraits!! They remembered how to get into the basic poses and looked so natural! It was like magic!


“Choose a photographer whose style you are

 most comfortable with.”

There are so many benefits to knowing how to pose your couples! Posed does not equal stiff and meaningless, and they can provide and show just as much love and emotion as the unposed method.  Ath the end of the day, make sure to find a photographer whose style you are comfortable with. But remember, posing is not dead!

Kirstie Veatch

Capture Life Portraits


Leave a Reply

  1. grace ann says:

    Love, love, LOVE this! Agree 100%. It doesn’t have to be just one or the other like everyone says. I’ve always striven for a healthy balance between directed posing and candid documentary in all my photography.

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I'm Kirstie! Living in Des Moines Iowa with my hubby Todd, our son James and two dachshunds! I'm a Coffee addict and Reality TV junkie.  Working with women owned business owners is my passion and I can't wait to make some magic with you! 

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