I want to start this post by saying every bride I’ve ever photographed has looked absolutely incredible on her big day – that bridal glow is a real thing! That being said, I know that it might feel a little overwhelming to think about taking photos that you’ll literally look back on forever. Although I genuinely believe our beauty radiates from the joy we have in our hearts, I still wanted to pull together a few practical tips for looking your very best in your wedding photos!
Elongate your neck | Pushing your face forward just a little bit can help elongate your neck and give your face a more flattering look. Think about sticking out your forehead and slightly tipping your chin down. This is something that will definitely feel weird at first, so be sure to practice in front of a mirror (or the next time you and your fiance take a picture together)! With this tip, just make sure you don’t stretch your neck up too much, this will make your neck look larger, distract from your gorgeous face, and give your photographer a front row seat to a view of your nostrils.
Know your angles | Remind me (or your wedding photographer) which side of your face you like best! If you know you love your right side better, just make sure that in most of your photos you’re positioned to the left of your spouse. Also, placing most of your weight on your back leg can help your body appear slimmer when shooting straight on. If you ever took ballet, think about keeping your feet in something close to a 5th position and beveling (popping) your front foot to create some really nice curves! Try to avoid standing straight on (unless you’re walking toward the camera, which is something we have our couples and bridal parties do frequently), as it can create a slightly less flattering look for your body.
Match your makeup | Ensuring that your makeup is a perfect match to your skin tone is a must for your wedding day! If you’re working with a professional makeup artist, you likely won’t need to worry about this as much since they will have a large selection of options to match any skin tone. However, if you’re planning on doing your own makeup for the big day, make sure your foundation is a perfect match! Celebrity makeup artist, Fiona Stiles, says “When a foundation is too pale for your skin tone, it becomes very obvious when a flash hits the skin.” She advises, “Match your skin to your chest and add a thin layer to your neck if your neck is paler (as is the case for most people).”
Place your arms | A little hack I picked up while competing in pageants was to place my hands on the sides of my thighs and then gently pull them up about 2-3 inches. This creates a little bit of space between your body and your arms, which is super flattering. For most of the wedding day, you’ll probably be wrapping at least one of your arms around your spouse, but this is a good option for when you have a free hand (i.e. during cocktail hour candids with guests, certain bridal party photos, etc.). Also, since nearly all brides choose to hold a bouquet on their big day, remember to hold your flowers low (around your belly button) to create the most flattering lines and to avoid covering your gorgeous face and dress with those pretty florals!
Shoulders back, chin up | Having great posture is literally the most basic photo tip in the book, but remembering to keep your shoulders back and your chin up throughout the day can be hard! Think about squeezing your shoulder blades together if you start to feel yourself slouching (this will also make you naturally want to raise your chin slightly, which will help elongate everything from your neck down)! Start practicing your posture now so it becomes second nature by the time your wedding rolls around.
Practice | By now, I’m sure everyone has seen those “30 second transformation” photos on Instagram where someone will take a flattering photo of themselves and then 30 seconds later take an unflattering picture wearing the same outfit to show how drastically different we can look when we’re actually trying to take a great photo! Not everyone who is photogenic was born that way (except for maybe Giselle, pretty sure she was born that way)! Just like any skill, it takes practice to look your best in photos and you can become a more photogenic person if you put in a little work! Take a look at some of your favorite photos of yourself and then try to figure out if there are any patterns showing up. Do you always like to have your hair parted down the middle or your head tilted to the left? Do you think your face looks best when you stand on the right side of your partner? Taking a few minutes to really dissect how you look your best can go a long way to helping you feel more confident in photos! Do your best to start replicating your favorite poses and angles between now and your wedding!
Keep the essentials nearby | If you’re worried about your hair or makeup fading throughout the day, have a bridesmaid, personal attendant, or friend keep a small bag of your essentials with them (blotting papers, lip color, foundation, powder, hair spray, etc.).
Allow your emotions to show | I play around a lot with my couples and bridal parties. Sometimes I ask them to do ridiculous things in order to elicit a genuine reaction. I know it might feel silly at the time, but these photos usually end up being my couples’ favorites! I genuinely believe that these are the images that you’ll look back on when you’re celebrating your 50th anniversary and say, “Wow, what an absolutely great day we had”. Let yourself fully enjoy the moment and feel free to smile your biggest, cheesiest grin every now and then!
Relax and stop worrying | On the day of the wedding, I want you thinking about how excited you are to be married to your BFF, NOT worrying about how you’re going to look in photos. Put in a little work before the big day and then let your body take over when your wedding day hits! I promise you’re going to look drop dead gorgeous. Try not to focus so much on looking your best and instead remember why you (and literally all of your favorite people) are there – to celebrate the love you have for your new husband or wife!
Working on these tips beforehand can go a long way when it comes to looking your best in your wedding photos! Feel free to comment, DM or email me if you have any other questions about looking your best in your wedding photos! I’d love to continue to help however I can.
with love, Emily