As a photographer and a recent bride, I realize the importance of knowing how to get those desired photogenic, relaxed poses. I like to give the brides I work with a bit of a coaching session before the big day. So naturally, I wanted to share some of my knowledge with others to ease their journey during the wedding day. Enjoy!
1. Posture – Working that Spine
This definitely makes the biggest impact. Be aware of the way in which you are standing. Try your best not to hunch over as it will look unnatural in photos and will shorten your body.
Tip: If you feel yourself slouching, straighten your lower back while dropping your shoulders down towards the ground and back a couple of inches. Check out the difference in Photo 1 with lovely Danielle slouching and Photo 2 with a more lean look.
2. Looking fab while sitting down.
Same principles apply to posture when sitting down. Most of us spend many hours sitting down working away on our computers, and unfortunately this doesn’t work in our favour when it comes to posture. Its easy to lean into the chair or slouch down since we are so used to this behaviour.
Tip: When sitting down, crossing your legs will automatically prop your body up. Also, try to put most of your weight on the back of your toosh, this will elevate the spine. Check out the difference in Photo 1 with lovely Danielle slouching and Photo 2 with her legs crossed and straightened back .
3. How to avoid the stiff look?
Very often it is assumed that good posture is synonymous with looking stiff and pompous as if you are frozen in time. We’ve all seen those vintage photos of our great grand parents standing side by side looking mortified in front of the camera. This is definitely not something we want to emulate, so here is how to avoid it.
Tip: To look more relaxed in your body language, try not to plant your feet at shoulder width but rather put one foot slightly in front of another, while setting your body weight on the back foot. This is a timeless trick that changes the feel of the picture from stiff to comfortable almost instantly. Check out the difference in Photo 1 with lovely Danielle standing with feet at shoulder width apart and Photo 2 with crossed legs and weight on back leg.
4. What do I do with my arms?
I decided to talk about arms because I encounter many brides who are uncomfortable with this body part when posing. The answer is always simple: our arms are large limbs and are made to focus on functionality. The best way to use your arms is to give them something to hold or do – flower bouquet, wedding dress, veil etc.
Tip: When holding a bouquet try to avoid sharp 90 degree angles but instead let your bouquet fall on the side of your body. Check out Photo 1 with the sharp angles and Photo 2 with a leaner angle of the arm.
5. Breathe in!
Much like during meditation or yoga, taking a deep breath relaxes our body and facial muscles, not to mention our spirits. Although the difference is subtle, you will feel refreshed and awakened with a few deep breaths.
Tip: Take a deep breath to give yourself a mental and physical break, so that you can come back refreshed. Check out Danielle after a deep breath in Photo 2
So what if we are not holding a veil or a bouquet, what do we do with the hands then? Firstly, make sure that you are not making a fist, or spreading your fingers too far apart. This comes across as an aggressive gesture in photos. Also, making sure that all of your fingers are visible makes the hand look complete.
Tip: In order to make sure that your fingers look relaxed – make a tight fist and release it. This will leave the fingers in their most natural shape. In Photo 1 I asked Danielle to make a fist with her left hand and to bunch up her fingers on the right. Versus Photo 2 where her hands are relaxed.
7. Lips – what are they good for?
Well the obvious answer to that questions is always – Kissing! But what do we do when we can not feel our face since we have kissed over 100 people on the cheek and have been smiling since 7am?
Tip: Even though this will sound silly, I will tell you that this is an actual trick that professional models do in order to refresh their face after a long shoot. Here it is folks – motorboat your lips – this will bring the blood flow back and will enhance those smiles. Photo 2 shows an example of refreshed smile after motor-boating her lips.
8. Eyes, the window into our soul.
Eyes can be difficult to pose, since we communicate a lot through our gaze. When photographing my brides I often ask them to share about their happy place. While thinking and talking about it, their eyes smile and their faces lift naturally.
Tip: Looking away and slightly fluttering your eyes will give you that relaxed and dreamy look. Try not to bulge them open, this will make you look surprised. In Photo 2 I asked Danielle to think about her happy place and she relaxed her eyes. Where as in Photo 1 she looks suspicious with a strong gaze.
9. Accenting those curves.
All girls are beautiful in their own way, what photographers do is capture their beauty and give them a few tips on how to enhance those curves.
Tip: The best way to accent your figure, try to make an “S” shape with your lower back and toosh. Take a look at Photo 1 where I asked Danielle to push her lower back against the wall and Photo 2 where I asked her to create a gap between her lower back and the wall, thus creating the curve.
10. Have fun!
Its hard to be completely aware of every body part and still feel relaxed. My final advice would be, take a deep breath and do what is fun for you. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself and your love for each other.
Thanks to the fabulous team who helped me put together this look!
Model: Danielle Tremblay
Gown: Madison & Roberta at Blu Ivory Bridal & Evening
Logistics: Christine Moore at White Watermelon Event Design
Make-up: Pamela Price at Priceless Beauty
Hair style: Melissa Noelle at Arrowbow Beauty
Bridal Bouquet: Vahini Franklin at Blue Blossoms