10 Quick Tips for Looking Better in Photos
While shooting candids, capturing those unplanned, fleeting moments full of genuine emotion is my personal aim for my wedding clients, most of us want to have at least a few posed photos of our Big Day. These do not have to take a long time, and can, believe it or not, be quite fun. Typically, your photographer will help you choose a good location (or several), so as not to disrupt the flow of your event, and he or she will help you pose comfortably. But following are a few quick tips to help you and your partner increase the odds of loving your posed images:
1) Even the skinniest person can look distorted in a lens. Slim yourself by turning at a 3/4 angle towards the camera. Placing one foot in front, towards the camera, will lengthen your body, and turn you naturally and just slightly towards the camera. Have you noticed that most women on the Red Carpet strike a similar pose?
2) Along similar lines, the "hand on hip" pose will do the same thing for your arms. Make sure to point your elbow back, not straight out, and it will provide tone for your arms. Granted, this is a very stilted pose, but if you can practice, and make it feel natural, you may like the results. (Again, see Red Carpet poses). Keep this in mind, too, when holding your bouquet. Try to avoid 90 degree angles with your arms- hold your bouquet lower than you might naturally... or try a one hand hold.
3) No one, not no one, likes a fat or double chin. As such, lean in! Don't make yourself uncomfortable, but the more you can point your chin upwards and toward the lens, the less chance for shadow and double chins underneath.
4) Avoid direct sunlight. Not only will bright light make you squint, but it doesn't do much to hide flaws. Soft light in front of a window, or in the open shade will be much more forgiving. Work with your photographer to scout some good locations at the time of day you will most likely be shooting your event.
5) If your wedding or shoot is outside, darken your makeup- more than you would usually- especially your brows. Daylight will wash you out slightly and adding more contrast with makeup will make for more beautiful shots. (Have you ever seen how much makeup movie stars and anchorwomen wear?!)
6) Take time, just the two of you (well, 3- don't forget the photographer), to go for a walk together, relax a little, just "be"... often your photographer can use a longer lens to give you some sense of privacy while he or she captures these wonderful, natural, celebratory moments together, without the crowds.
7) Speak up! If you have hired a photographer who likes to pose you, let him or her know if you aren't "melding" with the pose; make sure you like what they are suggesting. Better yet, do a little research online for poses you like and discuss ideas and suggestions with your photographer before your wedding day. Visiting your site with your photographer before your wedding day is a great way to explore options for location, lighting and pose ideas.
8) Props can be fun! If you are in a vineyard, use the grapes. On a lake? Is there a boat you might get in? Do you have photos of your parents' weddings? Copy their poses, or pose with their images. Wagons, cars, skiis, masks, hats all make for fun options.
9 ) Look at your photographer when you are posing! Often there will be many guests taking pictures at the same time (though, check with your photographer about this- many prefer that guests refrain). Remember, you are not paying your guests to take your picture. You will want to have images of yourselves looking at the pro, not off to one side.
10) Smile! Often nerves can get the best of you, especially walking down the aisle. Remember to enjoy yourself, be genuine, linger- there is no rush, kiss slooowwwlllyyy! Enjoy it all and show how you feel! Leave the rest to your photographer.