The majority of us are not professional models. Feeling relaxed and confident during your photo session can be tricky and doesn't come natural to most of us. I have put together some tips and tricks to help you feel relaxed and ready to rock you engagement and wedding photography experiences!
Windows of the soul
You don't have to cheesy smile or even show off your teeth for every photo in fact if I see you are cheesing too much I will tell you to give me less smile. Have you ever heard the term smile with your eyes? That's exactly what I mean. Show me your smile in your eyes and that will help avoid the cheesy smiles and squinting of your eyes.
Everyone can have a double chin even the thinnest of people at the right angle will have this happen. I tell my Brides all the time give me the turtle neck. This is where you lean forward just slightly and pull your neck out like a turtle ever so slightly and bring the chin slightly down. Also a great tip is to place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. This will eliminate or minimize the double chin effect and give your face a slimming appearance.
Baby got back
A great trend that I love is the back of wedding gowns becoming the focal point of the dress. Something that bothers me though is when the back of the dress is covered with a veil or long hair. If you have a dress that has a very detailed back don't hide it, show it off! If you want to wear a veil for your ceremony make sure to tell your hair person to make it easy to remove the veil after you exchange your vows that way we can show it off in the photos and at the reception. Also think about your hairstyle choice and if it will block that amazing back detail.
Bend it like Beckham
No we aren't playing soccer (football for my international friends). The basic idea is to bend at the joints as much as you can. If you look at the photo on the right you can see that Carissa has her knee and her arm bent. It helps to make her feel more comfortable and keep a natural feel to the photo. Of course I will help in positioning and coach you in what to bend without looking too posed and remain natural.
A call to arms
I'm going to tell you a secret. I hate the way my arms look especially in photos. I know I am not alone and Brides tell me all the time that they are insecure about their arms. There are ways to to help make the arms appear slimmer. First is to not press your arms right against your body. Let them wing out slightly and this will shift the arm and help it look smaller. Second is the trend of long sleeve dresses are coming back and I love it!
It can be intimidating to see that the majority of wedding dresses are sleeveless and if you fall in love with a sleeveless dress you can always add sleeves, a jacket, a cardigan, flannel shirt or even a leather jacket. Don't get frustrated and know you have options on finding the perfect dress to help you feel confident with both your wedding and engagement photos.
What to do with your hands? It's a common question I get but, I am here to help. On your wedding day your bouquet is a great way to keep your hands busy and also a great tummy cover up. Holding hands, wrapping arms around each other and pockets are great ways to make you feel more comfortable and less awkward. If you are ever unsure if you look natural just ask. A good photographer will see if you are uncomfortable or looking for a place to put your hands and they will help you adjust as needed.
Don't worry be happy
This is important relax and have fun! The engagement sessions are a great time to get comfortable with being in front of the camera and get some great shots of the two of you in a relaxed setting. On your wedding day all the stress of the wedding planning is done. Let the wonderful vendors you have hired do the work, just enjoy the day and soak it all in. You have worked so hard for this day so relax, have fun and let your happiness shine through in your photos!
Forget everything I just said
Okay not really but this final tip is the most important that makes all the other tips work together. Make sure you have the right photographer! Make sure the style of the photographer matches your style. The right photographer will help you with your posing and see when you are not comfortable in a position. Some poses that look great on one couple might not work for another couple. The photographer you choose should be able to see any awkwardness and put you at ease to help keep you natural and relaxed during your sessions.
I hope this guide helps you feel confident and relaxed during you wedding and engagement photography experience and helps makes the telling of your love story epic!