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Firstly, a quick few tips on how to pose (or not to pose) to achieve natural, candid pictures :
- Be Happy
- Have Fun
- Be Spontaneous
- Be Yourself
Each part of the wedding day has unique features or events that happen to distinguish it from the next.
During the getting ready events, the Bride and Groom reading a love letter from their future husband/wife before walking down the aisle can create some natural emotions without them being forced or staged.
Family members from the Bride and Groom’s families often are meeting for the first time, which creates an exciting energy and great candid moments to be captured.
As the Bride & Groom exit the ceremony as newlyweds, the guests throwing confetti as a fun congratulations makes for some fun natural pictures of the new married couple.
Note, not all ceremony venues allow confetti so check with your venue’s event co-ordinator. We can recommend an eco-friendly confetti option – read about eco-friendly water-soluble confetti here or you could always make confetti out of a bunch of leaves from the forest like Lauren & Tim did here.
Every wedding has moments where the Bride and Groom are the focal point of the day, all the guests wanting to congratulate and spend time with you. These moments are worthy of be captured as they naturally happen.
While many parts of the day can be captured naturally as they are prompted by things happening or by people’s interactions, there is always an element of the day that requires more portrait style pictures. Portraits are typical defined by the people looking at the camera, and posed to be more flattering. Portraits include pictures of the newlywed couple along with family photos. During these ‘formal portraits’ I still like to keep a natural approach but adding in some direction to ensure everyone is looking their best while still enjoying the process so they are smiling in the finished portrait.
If the idea of taking thousands of photos on your wedding day seems daunting, you’re not alone. Unless you’re a professional model, you’re probably not accustomed to having a photographer follow you around all day or being in front of the camera for hours on end.
So how do you pose for your wedding photos to ensure you’ll actually want to frame or put in your wedding album?
Don’t take my word for it, Ive taken these tips from The Knot’s article where they caught up with lifestyle and beauty expert Alexis Wolfer, the author behind Radiant Bride, a beauty, wellness, fitness and fashion guide to looking and feeling your best in time for your wedding. Below are tips from the Radiant Bride book on how to look completely natural in your wedding photos.
1. Find Your Best Side
“No one’s face is perfectly symmetrical and while I’m sure both sides of your face are gorgeous, you probably have one you like a bit better (even if you don’t yet know it!). Take some selfies (or ask your BFF to help you out) and practice posing with your face tilted in each direction. Once you know your ‘best side,’ always pose with your best face forward.”
2. Contour Your Face
“A great picture is all about the angles—and a picture taken with you looking directly into the camera flattens out your natural ones by eliminating the shadows that help to contour your face. While that’s not to say you can’t look stunning in a straight-on shot, if you don’t have exceptionally pronounced bone structure, a slight tilt of your chin (either up or down) and turn of your cheek (to your best side, of course) will help to make your face look more chiseled.”
3. Mind Your Chin
“To make a round or oval face look slimmer, angle your chin down ever so slightly (careful not to create a double chin in the process). If you have a pronounced forehead, lift your chin up just a bit to create more balance. Regardless of your face shape and chin angle, push your entire face forward a little. What’s closest to the camera will look the biggest, so pushing your face forward a bit will make your body appear slimmer. Alternatively, you can ask the photographer to shoot you from a slightly overhead angle to create the angles without you having to do anything.”
4. Smile Naturally
“The key is to smile like you do in real life—and not as big as possible. When you smile largely, your cheeks puff out and your eyes squint, which isn’t the most flattering of poses. Instead, practice relaxing your face, opening your mouth ever so slightly, and thinking of something that makes you happy—like spending the rest of your life with your significant other.”
5. Use Your Tongue
“Try pushing your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This somewhat awkward feeling pose will help to elongate your neck and reduce the appearance of any double chin. Just practice ahead of time to make sure you don’t look uncomfortable doing it.”
“Tyra Banks popularized the term as shorthand for smiling with your eyes—and it works! You know when you smile how your eyes squint, the corners turn up, and you look slightly up? When you pose, try to replicate that look, even in non-smiling shots. The result will be a more approachable, happy look, even when you’re not actually smiling.”
7. Accentuate Your Arms
“The key to posing your arms is to keep them away from your body so they’re not smushed against your torso, causing them to photograph wider than they actually are. One of the most flattering poses is to put the arm closest to the camera on your hip to accentuate your waist and slim your arm. Just be sure to tuck your elbow so it’s pointing behind you and not out to the side. Feeling too posed? Just make sure your arms are lifted ever so slightly off your body or hold the person’s back next to you to conceal your arm altogether.”
8. Love Your Legs
“Even if you’re wearing a gown that completely conceals your legs, don’t forget to pay attention to them. Either bend one knee (even the littlest bit) so you don’t look stiff or cross your ankles at your calves to elongate your legs and make your hips appear narrower.”
9. Angle Your Body
“Turn your body so it’s at a 45-degree angle or so you’re facing the person you’re standing next to in order to put your body’s depth (not width) on display, which, for most women, is more flattering.”
10. Stand Up Straight
“Great posture goes a long way in making you look happier, healthier, more fit and more confident. It also affects how you feel, giving you more energy, which you’ll need!”
“Have fun, laugh and be you. You want your pictures to capture the essence of the occasion, not to look posed. Feeling stuck and uptight with all eyes on you? Look away from the camera, or have a moment with your love, and then come back to it. Or when all else fails, dance around a bit!”
I hope these tips help you with how to pose for your wedding photography.