How to pose with your props

Guest Chelsea Hendricks: Musings of a Model Part III

For our final post, we are talking about all of the things that you have in your arsenal of “props” for a wedding day. Getting a picture of all of the things that are special to you is great, and even better if you can capture the look on your face when looking at that item. Here we will give some great suggestions and examples of how to hold, interact with, and use those items for an amazing photo!

Chelsea says,” Props usually can either make or break a picture, but luckily for bridal photography, you’re sure to have some beautiful florals, greenery, & textures that more often than not further enhance the beauty of the blushing bride. That being said, your typical bridal props include the following: the veil, the dress, the bouquet.”

  • Veil
    • “Veils have a way of taking every bridal Kodak moment to the next level. With the flick of your wrist, you can create the dreamiest images, the veil slowly floating while the bride bathes in natural sunlight. Truly picturesque!” advises Chelsea.

Fun fact: My veil was more expensive than my dress! Now, not a lot of people can say that, but I wanted a simple slim, breezy, satin gown for my walk down the beach and I loved it. The Swarovski crystal-outlined veil was the icing on the cake! So I wanted to keep my veil very safe, and you might too. Give it some special attention for your pictures and then tuck it away safely for the rest of the night so you can move freely and not have to worry about its safety.

Next: the dress

Photo: Ralph Vandale (@ralphvandale)

“The dress? How can the dress be a prop!? Ah, my dear, the dress is the most IMPORTANT prop. Most of the bride’s planning is centered around her appearance, & the dress is la piece de résistance. You can create curve and delicate silhouettes all by the placement of the skirt, train, & the direction it moves. So when you’re jamming along to your bridal playlist, don’t be afraid to have the Marilyn Monroe moment, & give that skirt a good twirl!” says Chelsea.

I love this advice! Think about the day that you tried on your dress, did you only stand in front of the mirror and look at the front? No- probably not. You did a spin, turned slightly and looked at the back, maybe even did a little dance like Lizzo just came on the radio – just to make sure you could m-o-v-e. Bring THAT to your wedding pictures! It’s who you are and it will translate in that photo for everyone to see for years to come.

The Flowers:

Photo: Heather Sherrill Photography

Chelsea had some great points, “Whether you’re coyly peeking above the arrangement, dangling it delicately as if it’s weightless, or holding it regally, your bouquet will bring life & color to your images, and help to extend the movement you’re creating. One word of advice though, try to avoid as much as possible holding it like a baby or like you just won Miss Universe. We’re going for Vogue bridal here, not necessarily like you’re ready to give an acceptance speech.”

Want to know a secret to all of those pictures where the flowers are super lush and perfectly positioned in front of the bride? The photographer is going to say this repeatedly: Lean the bouquet towards me. I always give my brides a “thumb button”, it’s two pearl pins positioned in the exact spot where your thumbs should go to hold the bouquet comfortably. This also helps keep the elbows in and the wrists straight, but the bouquet is tilted in the direction that is best for the design. Yes, it is calculated -haha- it’s a mathematical observation that I always take the time to get just right for you!

My other favorite floral item to pose with is an Installation! They aren’t just there for the experience, use that big beautiful arch, wall installation, or magical stairway to the fullest extent. Whether you’re peaking through the hanging flowers and greenery or posing with your whole family on that staircase full of color, it makes for a wonderful backdrop. Your guests will love it too as it will most likely become your “selfie-station”.

Last, but certainly the most used, is your SPOUSE!

Photo: Ralph Vandale (@ralphvandale)

Yes, I called them a prop, but only in the most sincere way :). The reason your soul mate is the best thing for you to pose with is because they are going to evoke the feelings out of you that will create the most natural expression of love and happiness. However, Chelsea and I both agree, do what is natural for the two of you and not “poses” that you would never do together. If you are a couple who goes out dancing together, or maybe took some classes for your first dance- please get some amazing pictures twirling and doing that dance on your own. But if this is something you don’t do normally, let me tell you, when you try to do it the first time for a picture it will look as awkward as it feels. I mean, it may elicit some laughs and that is always good for the pictures, but the act of twirling probably won’t be your favorite picture. What do you do together? Are you into athletic activity? Walk together holding hands, run toward each other, let them lift you up.

Are you all about the snuggles and just hanging at your favorite places?

Lean into each other back-to-chest, put your heads together (like the picture), Chelsea said ” create a mirror image where you are both doing the same pose side by side”, and get a smoke bomb and play.

Is one of the reasons you love him/her is because they always make you laugh? Have them talk to you throughout the pictures. It will make you both more comfortable!

These are just some ideas, but the best advice is to do what you normally do together and you will show your happiness just by being with each other. I hope you have learned from these blogs, as well as become more confident and ready for any photos you may have coming up. I know I am all about reading helpful tips! I would love to hear from you: check back soon for my next Wedding Advice Blog.

Heather Sherrill Photography Shoot:

  • Model: Chelsea Hendricks @miss_Chelsea_hendricks
  • Photographer: @heathersherrillphotography
  • Florist: @elizabeth_satinandstems
  • Dress Designer: @curvycustombride
  • Jewelry: @salamejewelrydesigns

Ralph Vandale Shoot:

  •  Photographer: Ralph Vandale (@ralphvandale)   
  •  Hair & Makeup: Cassie & Dee Media (@cassiendeemedia)     
  • Location: The Sanctuary at Penn     
  • Male Model: Sean Grenfell (

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