How can I get the most out of my wedding photos? This is something many brides (and grooms!) struggle with – since most of us aren’t used to being photographed, it’s normal to feel worried about how you’ll look in your wedding photos. But I promise that every bride I’ve ever worked with has looked beautiful and elegant, so you don’t need to stress!
Over the years, however, I’ve learned a few helpful tricks to ensure you are camera-ready on your wedding day. From lighting to posing, there are a few things you can do to look your best in your engagement or wedding photos.
Here are my six professional tips for helping you learn how to look good in wedding pictures, even if you’ve never had a professional photoshoot before.
1. Poses make a big difference
How to pose for photos may not be something you’ve thought about, but to look amazing in your wedding shots, try this: turn your body about 45 degrees to the side, swivel your shoulders towards the camera, plant one foot slightly in front of the other, and put all of your weight on your back leg. It simultaneously slims the waist, lengthens the legs, and makes you look taller. It’s always good to show angles and curves by bending your arm at an angle and gently resting your hand in the front – but try not to pose with your hand on your waist.
What can ruin a wedding photo? One thing to watch out for each time you’re having your photo taken is the dreaded double chin. Avoid it by sticking your neck out just slightly when posing. I’ll always help my couples throughout our photoshoot, though, suggesting poses and backdrops that will best suit your style.
2. Stay hydrated
How do I prepare for my wedding photos? The pre-wedding week is always busy, but try to eat well, hydrate, and get enough sleep. This might sound very simple, but when you’re well fed, watered, and rested, you’ll feel better and look better.
On the day itself, I always try to remind my brides to eat some fruit and vegetables and drink lots of water, especially at the start of the day. You’ll feel more comfortable in your dress when you’re hydrated, and drinking lots of water also preps your skin for makeup application.
3. Prep your face to allow your natural beauty to shine through
One of my top tips to look camera-ready for your wedding photos is to get a facial about a week before your wedding. By clearing your pores of dead skin cells, you’ll uncover a more radiant complexion that will shine through in your wedding photos.
(A word of warning: you don’t want to do a facial, or any other beauty treatments, within the day or two before the wedding – it could make your face inflamed or red, especially if you have a reaction to one of the treatment products.)
A facial isn’t completely necessary, so don’t feel you have to have one – the most important thing is to always allow your natural beauty to shine through.
4. Go with the flow
It’s important to give yourself the chance to enjoy your wedding day, because it goes by really quickly! All of those special moments you’ve dreamed of for so long are finally happening, so try to forget about the camera and the lights and just savor the present.
Trust the photographer and/or videographer to do their job to capture all the intimate and big moments, from your walk down the aisle to those special getting-ready laughs with your bridesmaids in the morning.
I often find that candid snaps, compared to the more formal shots, are the personal favorites of my clients. There are meaningful stories behind each photo, reminding you of friends, loved ones, and beautiful moments in time.
5. Natural light is key
We’ll utilize natural light as much as possible throughout your wedding shoot. Making the most of that gorgeous, golden light is the best way to get photos that look natural, timeless, and stunning.
To achieve this, it helps if we know the sunrise and sunset timings and the schedule of your day so that I can find the best lighting in each location. If you’re getting ready with your bridal party at a hotel, try to reserve a room or suite with large windows, so we can take advantage of the natural light streaming in.
The golden hour, shortly before sunset, gives us gorgeous light, so we’ll try to plan around that time of day for couples’ portraits. If you’re able to sneak out of your reception for a quick shoot, that’s amazing, or you can plan your day so that golden hour occurs after the ceremony but before the reception.
6. Rehearse different expressions and movements
Wondering, “How should I prepare for my first wedding photoshoot?” It sounds odd, but if you’re really nervous, there’s nothing wrong with rehearsing expressions in the mirror.
Try out different movements, poses, and angles, seeing what you like and what works well for you. This might help you become more comfortable in front of the camera as well. If you have time before your wedding, it can also help to book an engagement photoshoot or pre-wedding shoot with the photographer you’ll be working with on your wedding day.
I find that meeting my couples, getting to know them, and finding out more about their interests, passions, and love story makes the wedding day go much more smoothly – it’s like I’m meeting up with old friends! This is why I often recommend an engagement shoot beforehand, if you have time.
Please reach out if you have any questions about your wedding photos or how you can prepare for your upcoming shoot – I’d love to hear about what you’ve envisioned for your wedding day, and discuss how I can capture your beautiful wedding story through film.