5 Keys to awesome wedding photos
So you’ve booked an amazing photographer and are so excited about the day you and your husband finally receive your wedding album! But what if the day is flawless, the weather glorious and your photographer on form but YOU are the one who ruins your own wedding photos? If you hate having your picture taken and suddenly forget where all these arms are supposed to go then read on. A brilliant wedding photographer will be able to coach the best out of you no matter how robotic you get, but here are some tips to remember.
1. You are a relaxed ‘S’
A woman’s form is all about curves. No matter your size or shape, whether large or angular, you have curves and accentuating them is what will bring a soft femininity to your photos. I’m not talking about sticking out your butt and boobs, but thinking of your entire body as a gently curving ‘S’ shape. Starting with your head, there’s a reason the slicked-down-against-the-skull look isn’t a poplar bridal hair style. You want volume in your hair because it’s the start of your ‘S’ shape. The hair goes out, neck curves in, bust out, waist in, hips out, knees in. That’s why a lot of photographers will have you kick out your foot behind you, it’s another ‘out’ part after your ‘in’ knees. A good photographer knows that women do not do that naturally, and won’t make you do that, but that’s the theory behind it. Don’t pop up your foot, please. Rather put one knee in front of the other (as long as your dress is full length!) which will bring out the ‘out’ hips and then ‘in’ knees before flaring out at the foot of your dress. Keep your arms away from your waist it so as not to add bulk to that ‘in’ part of your body. Keeping your shoulders down, nice and relaxed will bring out the gentle ‘in’ curve of your neck. Don’t go pushing parts out and sucking bits in, just think of your whole body as a gentle, relaxed ‘S’. Say it out loud: ” I am a relaxed esssss”
Your wedding photos are telling a story about the start of your marriage. While having your wedding photos taken with your new husband, your primary focus should be on each other. Relax into your usual way of being together, talk, kiss, laugh, touch. Don’t stand there waiting for your photographer to bark orders at you, that will only result in unnatural images. We have all seen those pictures where the couple have been so painstaking posed that you can see on their faces they are ‘waiting’ for the photographer to push the shutter and they can release it. A great photographer wants to create images where you look relaxed, natural, in love and like a human. Be yourselves together so that you recognise the people in the photos later. Love the way he makes you laugh? so does your photographer! Connect with each other, talk about the ceremony, laugh about what your cousin is wearing. Your photo shoot should be about the two of you together, not about the photographer.
3. Get off Pinterest
We love Pinterest, really. It’s amazing to see so many ideas in one place. There are thousands of jaw-dropping wedding photos on there but as far as using Pinterest to make your own wedding photos better? No. Your wedding photos should be a unique creation that shows a connection distinct to your marriage. Copying a picture directly from Pinterest limits your photographer’s ability to draw out authentic emotion. Also, there are a lot of things we see that you do not. Most of the best images on Pinterest work because they are a flawless combination of a thousand tiny details all working in harmony. Stunning light, designer clothes, model bodies, epic scenery and a different photographer’s vision are all at their peak in those images and copying them will only result in second-hand, second-rate images. Rather let your photographer find the best light available to you, choose the right moment between you guys, and work with what they are given to produce one-of-a-kind images worthy of being pinned themselves.
4. Body Language
Weddings are stressful. Things go wrong, weather is impossible to control, decor doesn’t look like it should and people don’t behave according to your plan. But what you are freaking out about on the wedding day will not matter in a years time and you will certainly not even remember in 20 years time. What will last is the emotions that you have written on your body that come screaming out at you when you look back at your photos. I’m not saying you should relax about everything, (well…you should, but you can’t and that’s understandable). But you do need to be able to train your body into looking more relaxed and happy so that when you look at your images, you see a delighted new bride, instead of some pseudo-disaster written all over your face. Keep your shoulders down throughout the day, imagine someone is gently pulling your shoulder blades down and back. Not only will this lengthen your neck as in point #1, but you will look like the most wonderfully relaxed bride even if the flowers are the wrong shade of mauve. Keep your jaw relaxed too, as tension there will make you look angry at your groom instead of panicked about the weather. Pop a few rescue tablets with a swig of champers and shake out all the tension for at least an hour during photos. Then go back to silently seething at everything if you must.
If you love your photographer’s work, then let them work. They see potential where you do not. They see the problems you don’t. They have done this many times before and are skilled at what they do. Step back and let them search for the beauty. Get your guests to give them some space to work their magic. Get your mom out of their hair by giving her permission to be a relaxed, champagne-fueled ‘S’. Your photographer will thank you for it in beautiful imagery that lets you relive all the most beautiful moments in the most flattering way.