1. Enjoy the moment
The easiest way to get a natural smile is to think happy thoughts or imagine something funny. I often ask a couple to share their feelings about the wedding so far. Some of the best photos come when you forget you’re being photographed. So once you’re in position for a photo, try not to look at the camera all the time. Concentrate on each other rather than what your photographer is doing and interact with each other.
2. Relax your hands
Hands easily show awkwardness so avoid clenching your fists or curling your fingers. Try holding the bouquet in one hand and putting the other hand on your hip. This accentuates your waist too. If you’re sitting down, gently clasp hands together (keeping fingers unlocked) and rest them on your leg. For grooms, it’s easy, just put one hand in your pocket.
3. Hold your arms slightly away from your body
If you hold your arms straight down by your side, your upper arms will be pressed against your body, which flattens them and makes them look bigger than they are.
4. If it bends, bend it
Bent arms look more relaxed than straight ones, so hold your bouquet loosely in the hand nearest the camera then bend your elbow so that your bouquet is at waist height.
5. Mind your posture
Good posture can really improve how you look in photos. It will ensure your dress sits properly and help you look more confident too. So whether you’re sitting or standing, keep your spine straight. But remember to relax your shoulders to avoid looking stiff.
6. Avoid being sqaure on to the camera
The classic model’s pose is to stand at an angle of about 45° to the camera. Put your weight on your back leg (the one furthest from the camera) so your hip sticks out, then point your other leg towards the camera. (That’s feet in 4th position for the ballet dancers among you!) Similarly, if you’re seated, sit slightly sideways to the photographer and turn your upper body back round to the camera. This will make your legs look longer. Crossing your legs visually reduces the width of your body, too.
7. Time your smile
A natural smile can soon look stilted if you try to hold it too long. So when your group photos are being taken, try to relax between each shot then smile at the last moment.
8. Practise in front of the camera
The thing that will help you relax the most in front of the camera is your photographer. So choose wisely and book someone you have a good rapport with. Have a portrait shoot before your wedding. This will give you a chance to get to know your photographer better and practise posing. It gets all the nerves of being photographed out of the way.
9. Remember to breathe
Don’t suck in your tummy. That often means you hold your breath, which makes it hard to give natural expressions and will make you look tense. Breathe normally and you’ll look more relaxed.
10. Allow plenty of time
It takes time to create good photographs so don’t expect masterpieces in five minutes. Most wedding photographers will recommend at least 20 minutes to create bride and groom portraits. If you only have 10, that’s fine, just be realistic about what can be achieved.
I truly want everyone to look their best on their wedding day and get the most out of their wedding photos. Today I am going to focus on what you can do to actually look your best. I am not telling you to do anything that makes you feel unnatural or uncomfortable. These are just pointers. And this is not just for the bride or groom; everyone who might have their picture taken on the day of the wedding should take note — so listen up bridesmaids and groomsmen!