Everyone wants their wedding photos to look like something out of a bridal magazine. In a perfect world, your album would be page after page of perfect shots, where you and your spouse look like a pair of supermodels: beautiful, relaxed, and totally in love—with both each other and the camera.
Unfortunately, not all of us are models. In fact, some of us are downright uncomfortable in front of the camera! It doesn’t matter if we’re taking a silly selfie with our friends or posing in front of a professional—the photos always come out looking forced, awkward, and embarrassing. How can you avoid such a disaster on your special day? Here are a few tips to help even the least photo-friendly couple feel more relaxed for their wedding pics.
Find the Right Photographer
On the day of a shoot, the photographer’s job is twofold: to snap the perfect image and get his or her subjects to feel at ease. Your photographer should connect with you and your sweetheart, crack jokes between shots, compliment you when a pose is just right, and generally make taking your wedding photos a great experience. Of course, not every photographer will vibe with every couple, so it’s important to find a photographer whose personality suits yours.
When you begin looking for a wedding photographer, don’t be afraid to meet with a few different candidates. Even if you’re madly in love with the work in someone’s portfolio, you may not connect with their personality and if that happens, your photos will NEVER look as good as those ones you adored.
Meet with different photographers until you find the one that feels like both a professional and a friend; if your photo shoot feels more like friends hanging out, you’re bound to look more natural in the finished product.
Take Your Time
Many couples try to squeeze their wedding photo shoot somewhere among the festivities, either spending the cocktail hour taking photos or staging a quick shoot right before the ceremony. In a way, I understand the logistics behind this: you don’t want to get into hair and makeup too early, and good lighting is important if you want excellent images. However, this time-crunched approach to wedding photos is a nightmare for people who aren’t comfortable in front of a camera.
If you want to make sure you have lots of great wedding photos, you need to give yourself plenty of time to get comfortable. Consider booking the photographer for an extra hour and getting ready a little earlier than you’d originally planned. Yes, this will mean waking up early (and possibly touching up the makeup before walking down the aisle), but it will be worth it when you see your model-worthy pics.
This tip might seem counterintuitive. If you want to look natural in your wedding photos, why would you spend time practicing your poses? The reality is that most of us aren’t aware of our bodies throughout the day, and the ways we sometimes stand or smile can be very unflattering. By practicing your poses in the mirror, you can figure out what works for you (and what doesn’t).
In the mirror, practice smiling and standing in poses you might use during your wedding photos, such as holding a bouquet. This will help you determine where to put your arms (pro tip: leaving a small gap between your arms and torso makes both your arms and waist look slimmer). It can also help improve your posture and find your “good side.” Best of all, the more you practice these things, the more natural they will become, which means not just great wedding photos, but great photos forever!
Look Your Best
It’s a simple fact that when people feel great about how they look, they are more confident and at ease. On your wedding day, you’re bound to look especially great (all those hair and makeup people are pros for a reason), but you might still have lingering insecurities that can hamstring your confidence when it comes time to take the photos. Odds are, you know exactly what those insecurities are, so take some time to correct them before the big day arrives!
Are you uncomfortable about your smile? Consider whitening your teeth for a little boost of confidence. Worried about a double chin? Tuck your tongue to the roof of your mouth when you smile; this will elongate your neck and minimize any appearance of a double chin. Wishing you had a more fresh-faced glow? Get a facial a few days before the wedding! These little things can make a world of difference in how you feel, and feeling great is the key to getting a beautiful photo.
With these tips, anyone should be able to take excellent wedding photos. Your wedding day will be one of the happiest days of your life—and now, you’ll be able to cherish the pictures of it for years to come!