When I sit down with a couple who is interested in booking me as their wedding photographer I hear the same thing over and over. “I don’t want to look stiff or posed. How can you help me look great in my wedding photos?” Here are three tips you can use that will make all the difference when it comes to your big day.
Focus on your Partner
The couples who look the best in their wedding photos are the ones that are interacting with one another. They have forgotten the camera and they are enjoying the moment. I tell everyone I work with, “unless I ask you to, don’t look in the camera. Keep your eyes on your partner.” I normally tell a couple where to go and give them some small direction to start. Then I observe what they are doing. If they naturally start laughing or interacting I let them be themselves and capture life as it happens. If they look lost I offer prompts with what to do next. My prompts are designed to get the couple laughing, sharing an intimate moment, or moving. Once they are “in the moment” it’s easy to capture their relationship in an honest way.
Use Your Hands
The next thing I tell couples is to always be touching one another. Hands that are hanging down at a person’s side look lifeless and dead. This means putting your arms around one another, holding hands, touching the other person’s face, tickling, or pulling them in for a kiss.
Bad posture is a great way to create a more natural photo. I’m not suggesting you slump over like an internet troll at the keyboard. I’m suggesting shifting all of your weight to your back leg, putting one hand on a hip, or leaning to one side when sitting. The more asymmetrical your stance is the more natural it will look. Rounded backs can be the exception and generally, people don’t know when they are doing it. So when I see something that is unflattering I tell a client to do things that will help their stance. Sometimes I say, “pull your shoulders back, or bring up your chin for me.” These little movements help the subject not feel like they have to freeze in place while correcting the line of his/her body into a more flattering position.
Bonus Tip: Add Movement
Since photos are moments of time that tell a story movement is important for looking natural in wedding photos. This is often why I ask clients to walk, spin, dance, etc. Sitting or laying down also add variety to a story and are great options that can include movement. Even just the smallest actions (say rubbing your partner’s back, or kissing their hand) can create the movement to inspire a beautiful moment.
Practice Looking Great in your Wedding Photos
An engagement session is a perfect way to learn how to look great in your wedding photos. You can practice being in front of the camera and taking direction long before the big day arrives so you are 100% prepared. Most of my wedding packages include an engagement session. You can check out all of my