All couples get nervous on their wedding day and your wedding photographer is there to help you relax and achieve your perfect photographs. Beautiful make up, hair and (of course) the dress or suit will help you look the part, but getting a natural facial expression is the key to stunning photos. The number one secret to looking gorgeous on your big day is to have fun! That way your lovely smile and laughter will brighten your face and make your eyes sparkle.
A professional wedding photographer can achieve a lot with soft lighting and photography techniques, but making you feel comfortable is the only way to get pictures of you looking your best. My style of photography is journalistic which means I move around the room taking candid pictures, capturing a loving hug, smile or laugh.
There are a few ways to help you feel comfortable and confident as you pose for your wedding pictures. So here is my guide on how to get flattering shots:
Think about how you are standing before your photographer takes a photo. Straighten your spine and stand up tall, then take a few breaths to relax your shoulders, creating a natural posture. You never see a celebrity on the red carpet stand straight on to a photographer so you shouldn’t either. Photographers will often ask you to angle your body three-quarters to the camera as this is more flattering. Put one foot slightly in front of the other, with your weight on the back foot.
Where are your hands? A rogue hand can ruin a picture. Put your hands on your hips, gently clasp your hands together or lean one hand on the wall or a table. Be conscious of your hands and feet as you pose. Hold your bouquet if you feel uncomfortable about where to put your hands. Having said all this, hands can also make lovely wedding photos if your photographer creates a beautiful picture of you holding hands as you walk out of the ceremony or a close up of your rings side by side.
Try to avoid awkwardly staring into the camera by looking slightly off to the left or right or above the camera. Your photographer will direct you where to look. Walking away from your photographer and turning back to look at them always makes a nice picture. Looking down at your dress creates an intimate portrait picture. But what will make your best pictures is your photographer catching you glancing at your new husband or wife and take a picture of your natural, loving expression.
Don’t say cheese! Practice smiling before your big day. It sounds silly, but smiling every time you pass a window or mirror will make you feel more relaxed on the day and happy you know your best smile. Modern wedding photography styles avoid lots of awkward, posed photographs, but many couples still want a few group shots. Try opening your mouth a tiny bit when you smile to relax your face.
Trusting your photographer is so important, you want to know that when they ask you to do something you know it is in order to get a beautiful picture. Try and meet your photographer before your wedding day and if time allows arrange a visit to your venue with your photographer or an engagement shoot.
Essex wedding photographer Gregg Brown is based in Saffron Walden. Click here to see galleries of photographs Gregg has shot at wedding venues in Essex.