#1 Mucho Importanto!
Never stand straight on to the camera. No matter how thin you are (or are not) turning your body 45 degrees to the left or the right is much more flattering than being square on to the camera. Most people automatically square their shoulders to a camera and that will make someone look their widest possible in the finished photograph.
#2 Save your back…and look AWESOME!
Everybody does this when they are in bored waiting in line somewhere….. they put their weight on their back leg and slightly bent the front knee to rest it. Now turn the toes of the front leg towards the camera. This give an angle to your body that appears natural to the viewer. It flatters most body types and is an great overall position to look good in as well as to save your back from the stress of being on your feet for an extended period. Now slightly bend “IN” the knee of your front leg – the one you unlocked to rest. This gives a woman back her “S” curves and is much more flattering to the female body. Even though your legs are under your dress doing these things will greatly change the way you look – even in only head and shoulder photographs. The results can be seen in your shoulders and hips – making for a much more pleasing look.
#3 P-R-E-S-E-N-T “Flowers”!
The flowers need to be held parallel to your body so they can be seen properly in your photographs. Often brides hold the flowers at an angle so when they look down they see how pretty they are…too them. However, that displays the flowers at an awkward angle to the camera that doesn’t look flattering to the cameras. As well, hold the flowers down near your waist with your elbows bent. Too often when brides get nervous or to help because the flowers are heavy they bring them up closer to the bust line…giving the appearance in the photographs that you are hiding behind the flowers
#4 That SINKING feeling
Often on grass a woman’s heels will sink into the ground. Causing her weight to be distributed incorrectly for a more flattering look in the photographs. To counter act this it’s best to stand more on the balls of your feet. Remember, what often “feels natural” often doesn’t look nice on photographs. Photographs are a two dimensional space that you have to manipulate to add back the third dimension. It’s all about what looks good in that “one degree” of an angle the camera sees.
#5 Double chins…. Be Gone!
This is going to sound weird, but remember a camera only sees from one particular angle. When done correctly this technique will have amazing results. Extend your neck out and forward to the camera, then lower your head back to your normal viewing angle (while still keeping it extended forward). Often people raise their head and keep it theRE when doing this technique – that’s a no no…bring it back down to the normal height you keep your chin at – just slightly farther in front of your shoulders. When done correctly the camera will never be able to tell that your head is 2-3 inches closer to the camera than normal, except the excess skin under your chin will be stretched taunt. Instant double chin be gone!
#6 Come on out – we gotta SEE YOU!
Most often the groom is larger & taller then the bride. Often brides put their arms around their groom and sink in and under the mans’ shoulder. This is a great technique if the bride is wider then the groom and done correctly, but 99% of the time it ends up making the bride look proportionately awkward next to the groom – not having the expected slimming effect you would think it has. Let him slide in slightly behind you.
#7 Arm Wrestling Anyone?
Speaking of being taller, the taller person needs to have their arm higher when two people are putting their back arms around one another. When a bride (who is usually not as tall) puts her arm on the top over his, it distorts her shoulder, make A bias line in the dress and overall is unflattering for her. Let him have the upper hand…this time! 🙂
#8 Oh this is cool – NOT!
Photographing down from a higher camera position generally has a slimming effect on all subjects. Photographing UP to a person has a tendency of adding strength to an image, but needs to be done very selectively as it comes with a cost. Unless the person working the camera fully understand how the human body works and how to present it in it’s best way, this is a perspective that can add MAJOUR weight to the subject and easily over emphasize minor double chins, a little extra padding, etc. and turn them into major issues 10x larger then they are in real life. I’ve never had a bride say ” Oh PLEASE make me look heavier in our photographs than I am in real life!” A talented photographer knows how to correct those things from happening, but also knows when what angle should and should NOT be used in the first place.
#9 Be pro-active …no STRANGLING!
Guys don’t know any better. BEFORE they do the inevitable and put their arm around you pressing your veil into your back and pulling on your hair so your neck snaps back like you are being pulled by your hair (which you are!) WARN them they always need to have their arm UNDER your veil not over! This saves your veil, your hairdo, your neck muscles and prevents a fight on your wedding day…everybody win!
#10 A little Dab’ll Do Ya!
They say women don’t sweat they “glow”…call it want you want but when big areas of your face are super shiny in your photographers you still aint gonna like it! Have access to a kleenex or small towel to dab the perspiration off your face. It’ll make a hug difference in the final photographs. Especially since today there are so many photographers who never do ANY artwork on their images to enhance them (what ever happened to taking pride in your work?).
#11 BONUS TIP! , and most important overall……Hire a “REAL” Professional Photographer!
A real pro knows these and a million more ways and techniques of how to make their subjects look their absolute best in their images. Today so many couples are cutting corners and hiring unskilled cheap photographers to photograph their wedding – thinking that it’s easy and really the camera does all the work – wrong! These are the same brides I see crying after their wedding when they come to me and ask me to try to fix up the horrible photographs they received from the cheap photographer they hired …or their uncle, or friend, or whatever…often costing them much more to FIX their BAD photographs then if they just hired someone talented in the first place. It’s disheartening to see so many couples cheat themselves out of awesome wedding memories in an effort to save 1-2 thousand dollars. Make it a cash bar, cut back on the meal, go for daisy’s instead of orchids flown in from China for flowers, hire a DJ over a live band, fly economy instead of first class to your honeymoon…… cut back Anywhere BUT YOUR MEMORIES! When everything is said and done, the meal will be forgotten, the hangover gotten over (hopefully) and your dress is packed away forever (what – you’re thinking you are going to wear it to work next Thursday?) ALL you have left for memories ARE your wedding photographs! They are your future heritage and the memories that you are starting to build today. Why cheat yourself, your children, your grandchildren, your great grand children, etc. out of your heritage to save a few lousy bucks?
Sorry little Johnny, your mom and I’s wedding photographs turned out so horrible we refuse to show them to anybody…but I will say we had an open bar at the reception!