Whether you are camera shy or love posing for your Instagram fans, this is the article for you if your ambition is to get wedding day photos that you’ll love looking back at year after year!
With the joy of modern cell phone cameras and the convenience of digital photography, there has never been a time like now for snap-happy activity and online sharing. But even though we are used to taking fun selfies and making coffee shop moments eternal, wedding day photos is something that couple may feel slightly worried about before the event.
That fact that wedding photography is so expensive also brings on some extra level of anxiety around the photographs – it often raises the bar of expectation even higher. The staged photos are especially an aspect that couples can feel apprehensive about – the pressure to get “perfect pictures” can get intense!
This doesn’t mean you need to spend months practicing your best modelling face – a few simple tips will help you feel more natural in front of the camera and smile each time you see the result.
Surf the wave of wedding day happiness
Good news – you will have a natural advantage of glowing with joy on your wedding that no amount of highlighter or beauty filter can compete with. Simply being yourself, smiling with your groom as if the camera wasn’t there will instantly enhance any photo. The love couple feels is impossible to fake and will make the shots more and more gorgeous as the day proceeds.
A skilled wedding photographer knows how to capture this in an authentic way for pictures that they feel proud of sharing in their own portfolio. His or her job is to document what each couple feels about each other, and when they nail it the right way it leads to fabulous and romantic pictures that you’ll both love. All you need to remember to do is to relax, enjoy and allow yourself to feel and live the happiness in the moment.
Gone are the days of trying too hard – what matters is that you don’t freeze into position – and try to forget about the Instagram “pout”.
It is all about photographic angles
Over-posing is definitely out, but you are probably already aware of what angles tend to work best for you in photos. The full front head-on picture can be unflattering but what works in favour for everyone is the 45 degree angle. If you are wearing a fitted gown and want to make the most out of your waist and hips, try facing the camera at 45 degrees, putting one leg slightly in front of the other and all the weight on your back leg – this will narrow your midsection, give more shape to your hip and thighs and give your silhouette a lovely S-curve that will make you look a million dollars in your fitted dress.
To narrow your waist in an Aline gown, also try the 45 degree angle, twist your torso more towards the camera and tilt ever so slightly backwards whilst relaxing your shoulders down. Your midsection will look slimmer and your stature more upright with the elegance of a dancer. Remember to no shoot the chest out – just think upwards with the front of your body, and back with the back of the body, whilst firming the lower belly inwards.
It is always best to try to keep arms slightly away from your body, so don’t press them into your sides. It can be hard to figure out exactly where to put them, but whatever you do try to not shield yourself with the arms. (Most of the time, they will be embracing your groom).
When it comes to your bouquet, the best position is to hold them at the waist in front of the belly button. This is something you can practice at home to make sure you are not hiding behind your flowers.
Try to always keep your shoulders relaxed back down. When you feel tense –as you might if you are uncomfortable in front of the camera – the shoulders can hunch upwards and this is something you should try to avoid as you’ll look uneasy too. Relaxing them down will make you feel more relaxed too.
When you pull the shoulders back and down, and draw the stomach in you’ll automatically get a good posture that looks graceful in photos. Keep your chin mostly lifted without tilting the head back – this will make a noticeable difference to both portrait and full length shots.
The slightly tilted head, chin down (but not in) is a flattering head position that will enhance your cheekbones and temples.
Keep the face relaxed – if you are trying hard to look “like a hottie” on Instagram, you’ll loose the authenticity of yourself and your bridal look.
Improving your posture can be as easy as taking a few yoga, pilates or ballet lessons during your engagement. It is not a must but you’ll be aware how to be more mindful of your posture and what muscles to engage when.
Choice of photographer matters the most
Ultimately, the angle that matters the most is that from the photographer. If your photographer is not skilled, or doesn’t knows when to press the shutter, it won’t matter what your posture is like – so really take your time to find the best photographer you can afford, who has a portfolio you love, credibility through good reviews and a manner you feel comfortable to be around. They also need to be able to make you feel confident and relaxed – so as you can hear they need to have quite a few skills for everything to be 100%.
You’d have to be incredibly lucky to find an up-and-coming photographer with a low rate who’s talent overshadows their lack of experience. So even if it is tempting, just know that it is a risk and you’ll be much more at ease during your engagement and wedding day (and much more likely to be pleased with the result) if you can at all times trust the photographer to do a great job.
Being a wedding photographer isn’t only about taking great photos – but also being familiar with the movements and natural flow of a wedding. They’ll need to understand social situations on this scale well, read family dynamics and be able to quickly memorize a lot of information about your wedding day. As well as knowing where to be at what time – as they’ll only get one chance to take certain photos – they ultimately need to possess a certain amount of skill and intuition which can only come with years of experience.
Have a test session – take engagement photos
How do you find all this out? You need to have worked with them already even before the wedding – this is why you should always do an engagement shoot with the most promising photographer. This will not only give you vital insight of what this particular photographer work looks like in person, and what they are like to work with, but it is obviously also a great practice run for you to get a sense of what is is like to be photographed together. This will relieve you of a lot of “photo stress” on the wedding day as you’ll already be familiar with the process and have a chance to build rapport and understanding with the photographer.
Be authentically you
When it comes to your bridal look, there is unnecessary pressure on traditional brides to go “all out” when it comes to make up. But even though you wan’t to look a million bucks, it is actually advised (at least by us) to stick to a look which is close to how you’d normally do your makeup. Your makeup artist and hair stylist are going to make sure you get a long-lasting and flawless look, but if you don’t normally don false lashes, curl your hair or wear contouring, then you might look back at your photos later not feeling entirely in tune with the person you see in the pictures.
Throughout this blog we stress the importance of doing your wedding your way and bypass the imagined “musts” – and this extends to your bridal look as well. You really don’t need to switch to a look which feels faked for your wedding album. If your inclination is towards subtle and understated, keep a natural look for your wedding as well, just making sure it is as transformative as you want without changing who you are.
Forget about trying to look like a fashion magazine model. Let photographs form a casual part of the day, basically just try to pretend that your photographer isn’t actually there. Those real moments, shot with a documentary style makes for the best photos both for you, for your family and guests. The pictures will come out beautiful; you’ll look at ease, the most joyful and the most radiant. Get married, eat, drink and dance in a way that just falls naturally and make the most out of the moment. The photographer will take thousands of photos and make the selections of the best shots so try to forget about that picture when you know you pulled a face as there will be so many others too! And you never know, one of those candid and authentic photos where you are both laughing your heads off might just become your favourite?
If all this information has come and gone on your actual wedding day, just trust your photographer who’ll be able to take the most flattering angles and coach you if needed.
Enjoy your wedding day to the fullest and you can be sure your photos will reflect this in a gorgeous way.
A good idea: share this article with you groom, wedding party and family members as they might be feeling the same way around photos!