Posing for your wedding photos can be a daunting prospect. Some people love being in front of the camera, but for some, there’s nothing worse! If you need a little guidance in how to pose naturally and confidently in pictures, here are some practical tips on how to pose like a pro for your wedding photography.
First of all, speak to your wedding photographer and let them know you will need some ‘coaching’ on the day. A good photographer will be able to tell you how to stand, position yourself and pose to get a flattering and natural shot. Try to relax and take direction, even if it feels unnatural!
In the meantime, while you’re waiting for your big day, it’s time to get researching and practising! Grab a few wedding and fashion magazines and flick through to see the kinds of poses the models adopt. You don’t need to try to emulate any crazy high fashion poses for your wedding photography, but it can be useful to study the way models shape their bodies to accentuate or hide certain areas and features.
Take a good look at your own body in the mirror and be honest about what aspects you feel less confident about, and which parts you’d like to show off. Make small changes to a standard pose by tilting your head, twisting your body and moving your hips – it’s amazing what a big difference a small movement can make!
When you move into a pose, make sure it’s comfortable. Posing in an uncomfortable position will soon show in your face, so if it feels wrong, change it until you can relax. It’s important to remember to breathe, too. Holding your breath will bring tension into your body and your expression. Breathe easily and relax your body into each pose – this will help to create natural and confident images without you even trying.
Standing at a slight angle to the camera is a flattering technique. Whenever you’re straight on or square to the camera, you will look your widest. Even just a 45 degree tilt will slim your figure while accentuating sexy curves. Remember your posture, too. Slouching makes you appear shorter and squatter. Imagine there’s a thread running from the top of your head to the ceiling which is keeping you standing straight. Drop your shoulders back and lift your chin slightly. Standing with good posture actually makes you feel more confident, too!
There are certain poses that are unflattering no matter your size or shape, and there are also ways to combat problem areas, or parts of you that you’re less confident about. Here are a few pointers for perfect posing:
- If you don’t feel confident enough to look directly into the camera, try a side-glance out of the corner of your eye – it’s a little bit cheeky and will make you smile
- Side-on profiles tend to make your face look flat and two-dimensional. Rather than posing completely side on, turn your face to a slight angle.
- Lift your chin a few degrees to elongate your neck and pull any wrinkles or loose skin tight. Avoid tilting your head up too far though – you don’t want the camera to be looking right up your nose!
- Photos taken from above tend to be very flattering, with the high angle helping to make the eyes appear larger and brighter.
- Holding your arms close to your body squashes them flat and wide, so always hold your arms slightly away from your body (in a natural way of course – you don’t want to look like a cowboy about to draw…). Putting your hands on your hips is an easy way to do this, or holding your bouquet with your elbows slightly bent. Similarly, if you are leaning against a wall or your partner, try not to lean in too hard as it will have the same squashing effect.
- Standing flat-on to the camera will make your waist look thicker than it is. Again, a 45 degree does wonders for nipping in your waist and accentuating your hips. Position your legs at slightly different angles rather than keeping them locked straight. It may help to lean your weight onto one leg and let the opposite hip stick out a little bit.
- Smile with your mouth open. Closed-lipped smiles are often tense and look false. Even opening your lips just a tiny bit will help to relax the mouth and create a natural smile.
Find your comfort zone
Ok, so no matter how much practice posing you do, you still might be feeling worried about performing on the big day. Well, the good news is, the main thing you need to do is relax and have fun! A professional wedding photographer should be experienced enough to give you easy direction and know exactly how to shoot pictures that will make you and your partner look fabulous. If you’re feeling really nervous, however, these pointers might help you find your comfort zone in front of the camera:
- Take some deep breaths in all the way from your stomach and relax your jaw, neck and shoulders as you exhale.
- Take a moment to give your partner a hug and a kiss. After all, they are the reason you’re taking these photos! Get a dose of loved-up feelings and then try a few pictures. Natural images with you snuggled up to your partner are always the ones that look the best.
- Pretend you’re somewhere else! Close your eyes for a second and pretend you’re alone with your partner. Relax into a natural position and try not to think too hard about how you’re standing.
- Ask your partner or friends to make you laugh – natural smiles and laughter make you look your most beautiful, and those are the expressions you want to remember on your wedding day.
- If you feel silly looking into the camera, try some shots where you look off to the side, slightly upwards or a demure downward gaze.
- Trust your wedding photographer – even if you think the pose you’ve been placed in must look over exaggerated, if they tell you the picture is going to look great, it’s likely it will!
- Practice, practice, practice! And not just in front of the mirror. Get a trusted friend or your partner to take some practice pictures of you so you can see how your poses look on film.
Finally, enjoy yourself! Wedding photographers are used to working with brides and grooms who feel nervous about their pictures. Trust their advice and try to relax into your photo shoot, thinking of all the wonderful moments of your wedding day. If you’re feeling the love inside, it will show on the outside and you will look fantastic!