Do you want to know the number one comment I get from my couples the first time I walk into their engagement session?
“We’re pretty nervous because we’re both super awkward in front of the camera.” <—–That’s it right there.
So without further ado, this is for you all. The folks who think they are awkward (but certainly are not) and want to know how exactly they can feel a few notches more confident before stepping in front of the lens on your wedding day. I always prep my couples with guides to help calm nerves, but these 8 tips for looking your best in your wedding photos will help you glow the way you want to! And no, I’m not talking about spray tans or teeth whiteners, I’m talking pure confidence people!
1. Building a Timeline
Your photographer knows the best lighting during the day. Work with them to build a timeline that will allow for your formals to be taken in the most optimal light of the day. This means trying your best to avoid the harsh noon light. If you can’t avoid that, make sure you hire a photographer who can slay any lighting situation! Having light on your side will make a huge difference in your session. Trust that who you’ve hired knows what they are talking about when it comes to light.
Choosing a location for your formals is key. Granted, a great photographer can work with whatever you throw at them, but scoping out a few spots near your ceremony or venue that gives killer views, or stellar backgrounds, will make those photos that much more grand! Your photographer should be able to suggest some locations to you as well. Keep in mind. What you see with your eye is not always what a photographer sees. There may be a time where your photographer wants to shoot behind a building. You may think to yourself “this is so ugly, why is she making us shoot here?” TRUST! Your photographer has a different way of looking at things; which is exactly why you likely hired them!
3. Know your Body
It’s important to really know yourself when it comes to posing for wedding photos. Do you have a good side? Let’s try not to pull an Ariana Grande and demand only being photographed on your left side, but letting your photographer know if you prefer a side to you is good! I usually always put my brides on camera right, because then we get to see that bling, but if my bride specifically tells me her other side is better, we switch! And don’t worry if you forget to mention it; I always ask before I start shooting! If you are conscious of a certain body part, just let us know! It is your photographer’s job to make you look and feel your absolute best in these images.
4. Chin. Down.
It’s really true. Keeping your chin down and out from your face helps avoid any unflattering shadows on your neck and avoids adding any chins we don’t have. It may feel very weird, but trust me when I say, the weird feeling is worth it!
5. Just relax
We all do it. We have these poses in our head and visions of what we expect ourselves to look in the photos, so we try to pose our self or force that laugh. I’m guilty of it too. But the most important thing to looking natural, is to stop thinking about posing and simply relax! Those shots you see on Pinterest of couples looking all in love? They are likely candid shots of the two of them being themselves. Those moments are the “in between moments.” They happen in-between poses and shots. So do yourself a favor and give yourself a break to relax! A shot of liquor never hurt either.
6. Meet your Photographer
Life is busy and I know that. But it is super important to meet your photographer in person, or at least Facetime, before the big day. Building that relationship and trust will help you feel more comfortable in front of their lens and take a load of stress off of your shoulders. It will be a friend photographing you then, not just a vendor. Establishing some type of a relationship before the big day is key to making sure you are prepared for the wedding day.
I always stress the importance of the engagement sessions to my couples because it is purely practice for the big day. You get a sense of how I direct you; I get a sense of where you need direction. The poses I go over in the engagement session are the same poses we do on your wedding day. If you don’t get the chance to do a session with your photographer before the wedding, you can practice at home! Selfies are amazing and can help you learn what side of your face you like best, what smile you prefer and how you look when you make certain expressions.
8. Get physical!
You’re getting married; don’t be afraid to touch each other! I’m not sure why, but many people feel that if they get touchy-feely in the pictures, it’s going to come off too sexual or weird looking. Not the case (I mean unless you get carried away!) Can you imagine how weird it will look if you don’t touch? Hold hands, stroke her cheek, look in love people!
If awkward is something you feel that you simply can’t avoid, let your photographer know that you have these feelings. They will surely be able to coach you into the best session and photos you will ever have! Just remember, the point of these photos are to showcase the two of you and your love on this day. Don’t think too hard about what you’re doing and it will all fall into place. Oh, and hire a great photographer too!