So you’ve checked out your photographer’s profile and have carefully chosen someone with a style you like. You scoped out the venue, made a list of shots you want to be captured, and have generally done everything you can to make sure your wedding photos turn out as beautifully as possible.
So the day of, all you have left to do is look your best, right?
Well, sort of. Almost. You’re close.
You’ve seen different wedding photos by now – some from family years ago, many online, and while some were beautiful and magazine-worthy, some fell a little short. If you’ve chosen the right photographer, having the right attitude and pose can mean the difference between looking a bit awkward and out of place and looking like photos from an article in the Knot.
Consider the below tips so you too can strike that model-esque pose on your big day:
It’s a bit of a ridiculous term but, hopefully, it will help you remember what to do. Basically, this word invention, courtesy of Tyra Banks, means that when you smile, remember to smile with your eyes. What does this mean? It means you need to pay attention to what you’re doing with your eyes as well as your mouth. To understand how it feels, try smiling right now and keep your eyes still. Notice how it feels like you’re not using some of the muscles you’d normally use to smile? Now smile and use your eye muscles. Look in the mirror and see how activating different muscles around your eyes changes your face. Choose a pose you like and remember how to hold it.
To get that glint in your eyes, choose a focal point when you’re posing for the photographer. Look at the lens as though you’re smiling right at your partner or an old friend. It will be noticeable in the photos and give your eyes an extra shine.
Tongue and Cheek
Head back to the mirror. Smile while you look in the mirror, and move your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Can you see the subtle differences in your facial structure? Holding your tongue at the roof of your mouth helps to elongate your neck and slim out your jaw, reducing the “double chin” effect that can happen on photos. Done correctly, this pose also keeps your cheeks from pushing out giving you more pronounced cheekbones.
Chin Up and Angled
Have you ever noticed that passport and driving license photos aren’t particularly flattering? The reason is that license photos need a clear picture of you facing the camera squarely so that you are easily identifiable. While we still want your wedding photos to look like you, they don’t need to hold up in court. Angling your chin can mean the difference between an excellent shot and one where your face blends right into your neck. In your wedding photos, try angling your chin up slightly and to the side. This creates more negative space behind you, which provides a much more flattering frame than a head-on shot.
Straighten Your Posture
Check in with your body. Is your back at all hunched? Are you standing up straight? Posture is an ongoing battle, especially if you spend a lot of time at a desk. On your big day, nerves and stress may lead you to bundle up your shoulders, so we suggest you periodically check in and see if you can drop them lower away from your ears. Also, try unclenching your jaw – it won’t help with your posture but it will help you relax so you don’t revert back to your scrunched-up state.
Do Something With Those Hands
You know that feeling of not knowing what to do with your hands? If you have that while posing for a photo, it shows. Hold your partner’s hand, wrap your arm around a loved one, gently brush back yours or your partner’s veil – just remember that your hands complete the pose. If you’re not sure what to do with them, ask your photographer. They will be helping you pose, but may not always be cognizant of every little detail.
Allow yourselves to have genuine moments with your family. Is your brother cracking jokes? Take a minute to indulge his bit. Laughing along with him will give your photographer the chance to capture a genuine moment between the two of you that reflects a real family dynamic. Don’t force it but be yourselves. If you and your partner are having one on one photos and you feel like going in for a kiss – go for it. A good photographer will capture spontaneous magic.
Your wedding day can be pretty tense. You’re worried about a million little details and by the time we get to photos it’s likely the makeup artist was late, a bridesmaid doesn’t like her hair, you realized you forgot your veil and had to send your mother home to get it, and you’ve recently gotten word those cousins from across the country who never RSVP’d are on their way. If you don’t find a way to let go, all that tension will show up in furrowed brows and tense shoulders. Just remember not to sweat the small things. Don’t worry about things you can’t control – in these moments your only job is to smize for the camera.
Confidence is Key
Maybe you don’t like being the center of attention. Maybe you have social anxiety, are an introvert, or just generally don’t like having your picture taken. Maybe the makeup artist didn’t quite et your eyeliner how you wanted it, or your tux isn’t the shade of blue you remember it being. Don’t obsess. Have confidence that you look excellent, and know that the photographer is taking hundreds of shots – they will keep the ones where you look great and delete the ones that don’t. That’s why we take so many.
Notice how stress impacts most of these tips negatively. Remember this is a happy day, and have fun taking photos. Unless you are a model or in media, most people don’t have the opportunity to have such an elaborate photo shoot too many times in their lives. Embrace the opportunity and enjoy!
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