As I used to be a model and spent many hours in front of the camera, and even though I’m only doing your hair for your big day, if the idea of taking thousands of photos seems daunting to you, I would like to give you some advice on how to look your best in your wedding photos. So how do you pose for your wedding photographs to guarantee shots that you’ll actually want to frame or put in your wedding album?
“Wedding pictures can take eons, and grinning through every one can be torture. So if you start to feel your brow furrow, your eyes squint or smile stiffen, feel free to push the reset button.”
Find Your Best Side
No one’s face is perfectly symmetrical and while I’m sure both sides of your face are gorgeous, you probably have one you like a bit better. Take some selfies (or ask your BFF to help you out) and practice posing with your face tilted in each direction. Once you know your ‘best side,’ always pose to put your best face forward.
Contour Your Face
A great picture is all about the angles—and a picture taken with you looking directly into the camera flattens out your natural ones by eliminating the shadows that help to contour your face. While that’s not to say you can’t look stunning in a straight-on shot, if you don’t have exceptionally pronounced bone structure, a slight tilt of your chin (either up or down) and turn of your cheek (to your best side, of course) will help to make your face look more chiseled. Also a great makeup artist can help with enhancing the bone structure through contouring as well.
Mind Your Chin
To make a round or oval face look slimmer, angle your chin down ever so slightly (careful not to create a double chin in the process!). If you have a pronounced forehead, lift your chin up just a bit to create more balance. Regardless of your face shape and chin angle, push your entire face forward a little. What’s closest to the camera will look the biggest, so pushing your face forward a bit will make your body appear slimmer. Alternatively, you can ask the photographer to shoot you from a slightly overhead angle to create the angles without you having to do anything.
Use Your Tongue
Try pushing your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This somewhat awkward feeling pose will help to elongate your neck and reduce the appearance of any double chin. Just practice ahead of time to make sure you don’t look uncomfortable doing it.
Relax Your Face
Wedding pictures can take eons, and grinning through every one can be torture. So if you start to feel your brow furrow, your eyes squint or smile stiffen, feel free to push the reset button: Close your eyes, let your lips fall back into place and relax your face. Don’t hesitate to ask the photographer to count out loud while your eyes are closed. On three, open them and turn on that winning grin.
Don’t Underestimate the Beauty of Laughing
Fake smiles are not flattering, but the same cannot be said for fake laughs. Next time you need to loosen up for a photo, let out a forced “Ha! Ha!” And then do it again. And again. The ridiculousness of it will make you and everybody else laugh for real. And that photo will be a keeper.
Stop Trying So Hard Not To Blink
Don’t freak out if you happen to blink when the shutter snaps—with digital cameras, it costs nothing to shoot another frame or three. If you’re notorious for blinking in pictures, go ahead and try to perfect your timing, but don’t rely on opening your eyes wider or they’ll get drier and be more apt to close. And for those who wear glasses, consider taking them off if you’re around bright lights or a flash is being used. It’ll prevent glare.
Accentuate Your Arms
The key to posing your arms is to keep them away from your body so they’re not smushed against your torso, causing them to photograph wider than they actually are. One of the most flattering poses is to put the arm closest to the camera on your hip to accentuate your waist and slim your arm. Just be sure to tuck your elbow so it’s pointing behind you and not out to the side. Feeling too posed? Just make sure your arms are lifted ever so slightly off your body or hold the person’s back next to you to conceal your arm altogether.
Love Your Legs
Even if you’re wearing a gown that completely conceals your legs, don’t forget to pay attention to them. Either bend one knee (even the littlest bit) so you don’t look stiff or cross your ankles at your calves to elongate your legs and make your hips appear narrower.
Angle Your Body
Turn your body so it’s at a 45-degree angle or so you’re facing the person you’re standing next to in order to put your body’s depth (not width) on display, which, for most women, is more flattering.
Stand Up Straight
When you’re feeling self-conscious, you may be inclined to shrink into yourself. But slouching won’t do you any favors, so try to rock the good posture instead. “I try to think about being a ballerina or pianist at a recital,” said a past bride. “I put my shoulders back, chest forward and pull my belly button in toward my spine. The better posture I have, the thinner I look!” Remember: You can still be relaxed while maintaining good posture, so don’t forget to take a few deep breaths and let the tension out of your neck, shoulders and jaw.
Have fun, laugh and be you. You want your pictures to capture the essence of the occasion, not to look posed. Feeling stuck and uptight with all eyes on you? Look away from the camera, or have a moment with your love, and then come back to it. Or when all else fails, dance around a bit!