When it comes to advice on how to look good in photos,there is no one more knowledgeable than your wedding photographer. Whether you would like to look slimmer or curvier, taller or shorter, they are the masters of illusion who can make your dreams come true. With the right angle, lighting and clever composition, you can look like a model in the most important photo shoot of your life.
I spoke to several top wedding photographers and asked them to divulge their secrets to help you get more from your wedding photos.
Posing to Look Slimmer
“It’s all about poise.” Anthony Gould-Davies of Fabulous Wedding Photography told me, “Your posture will make such a difference. Imagine you have a piece of cotton between your boobs, lifting you up and making you stand tall; your shoulders will naturally lower as your head lifts and your tummy flattens.”
Bride turning side on by Fabulous Wedding Photography
Turning your body so it’s at a three quarter angle to the camera, with your weight on your back foot and your front toe pointing forwards, with a very slightly bent knee, will make you look slimmer as it reduces the width of your body on display.
Camera Angles to Create Illusion
There are several tricks photographers have up their sleeves for making brides or grooms look taller or shorter than they really are, if that’s what is required. A higher camera angle, looking down on the subject will create the appearance of a smaller subject just as a lower angle, looking up can create the illusion of height.
Bride with parasol by Fabulous Wedding Photography
Enhancing Your Natural Beauty
It’s not just an old wive’s tale – getting your beauty sleep and drinking lots of water will help your skin look its best. Adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to your water can make it even more cleansing and help to banish spots and blemishes.
Close up of bride by Fabulous Wedding Photography
Disguising a Double Chin
If it’s a double chin you’re concerned with, you can smooth out neck creases and reduce signs of a double chin when you drop your shoulders and lift your neck forward. Raising your eyebrows slightly can also open your eyes and reduce the sign of hooded eyelids. Just don’t raise your eyebrows too much or you’ll end up looking like a ventriloquist’s dummy!
Making the Most of Your Smile
When you smile your whole face lights up and your eyes sparkle and your teeth are on show. It’s the happiest day of your life and a good photographer will capture that. Make the most of your smile by having your teeth professionally cleaned or whitened just before the wedding for added dazzle.
Why You Should Hire the Professionals
All the photographers I asked told me how important it is to meet your photographer before you hire them. I know from experience that you have to find a photographer you feel comfortable with, and if they make you laugh and feel at ease, this will show through in your photographs.
Bride and groom by Clarisa Wedding Photography
Hiring a professional make up artist and hair stylist will also make a real difference to your photographs. A good make up artist will be able to hide the darkest under-eye circles and conceal the worst acne, making sure you look your absolute best.
The same goes with photographers, as asking a friend or relative to take your all-important wedding photos can be a recipe for disaster and is best avoided for many reasons. An experienced professional photographer knows more about lighting, posing and composition, it is not just a case of pointing the camera and pressing a button.
A good photographer will also be able to tell the story of your whole wedding day in album or photobook form, and ensure the prints and mounts you order for yourself and your guests are perfect.
Lisa Green of Clarisa Wedding Photography advises, “Trust your photographer, they have your best interests at heart. If you have suggestions we will be happy to accommodate, but we also know what kind of shots will look the most beautiful. If your photographer offers a free engagement shoot, then take them up on this offer. Having a photo shoot may be unknown territory for some people, having a test shoot will allow you to get to know your photographer and practice poses.”
Stephen Smith at Moments 4 Life Wedding Photography and Videography told me: “One of the most important aspects of the wedding photography coverage is where the photographer captures the traditional formal group shots of the wedding party, family and guests. If these images are to be taken outside, and the weather on the day takes a turn for the worse, you will need an alternative location. During the planning phase of your wedding, ensure you have agreed with your photographer a ‘plan A’ preferred location, but also agree a ‘plan B’ contingency – just in case.”
Jacqui Kenyon told me: “The best tip I can give brides is to simply be yourself and enjoy your day. The best images I capture are when the bride and groom are surrounded by the people they love and are relaxed.”
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.