Even professional models occasionally fall victim to an unflattering photo. No matter how good we think we look in the mirror, a truly bad photo can make us feel miserable. So if you’re about to be married, make no mistake, you will be in the spotlight and knowing how to photograph well so you have many beautiful memories to look back on is important. What follows are eight practical tips for looking flawless in your wedding photographs.
Unless you’re being posed in a formal portrait by your wedding photographer, chances are that many of the photos you’ll find yourself in will be fun, casual or romantic shots. As much as you may think that ‘posing’ for these types of photos will make you look better, the fact remains that loosening up and having fun will almost always make for a more flattering picture. Photograph: Lucid Photography
2 Stand tall
Your mother has probably told you a thousand times! Standing up straight really does make a difference to how you look. Not only will it elongate you in photos, it also gives you an instant dose of confidence. Photograph: Lucid Photography
3 Chin up
If you’re taking a photo where you’re looking demurely down at your bouquet, try to keep your chin up and your eyes down. When you look down with your head instead of your eyes, your face loses the light and your chin doubles. Photograph: Jon Jarvela Photographer
4 Learn to smile for the camera
Smiling can be tricky when it comes to photos. Too big a smile, and your eyes squint and cheeks puff out, but not smiling at all can make you look angry. Instead, go with the ‘natural’ smile you often do when the camera’s not on you.
Relax your face and open your mouth slightly, so that your lower lip matches the curve of your upper teeth. This is universally flattering, and allows you to decide how much teeth you want to show. Not a fan of smiling with teeth? Learn to smize (smile with your eyes, for the uninitiated.) This takes a little practice, but when done correctly it can completely change your photos. Photograph: Lucid Photography
5 Angle your face
Unless you’re being snapped by a professional photographer, it’s a good idea to avoid direct face-on shots. Why? Because there’ll be an absence of shadows, which could make your face look wider or larger. Instead, stand slightly sideways and tilt your chin a little bit upward or a tad downward. From there, be sure to look at something just above your natural line of sight. Photograph: Chelsea Parsons Photographer
6 Position your arms
Squashing your arms hard against your body can make them appear larger than they actually are. Instead, subtly separate your arms from your sides so they’re barely touching. Putting one arm on your hip is an old Hollywood red carpet trick for making arms look beautiful. Photograph: Chelsea Parsons Photographer
Your face is glowing, your dress looks amazing, but your hands are clenched in a weird fist. Your hands look tense. It’s understandable to forget about your hands, but aim to keep them just as graceful as the rest of your look. Photograph: Lucid Photography
8 It’s okay to be a little vain
Stand in front of the mirror or camera and get to know your favorite angles and facial expressions. After all, hundreds or even thousands of photos will be taken of you on your wedding day, so there’s no shame in wanting to look your best!