wedding photographer tips

Your wedding day is approaching. And that means that pretty soon someone is going to be snapping a boatload of pictures of you and your beloved. Are you prepared?

Having a camera aimed in your direction for hours on end isn’t something you’re used to – unless of course you’re a hotshot celebrity. Do you know how to look your best for the camera? To help you out, I asked wedding photographers across the country for some insider tips on how to look fabulous. Here’s what they had to say:

Just Be You

1. Be Yourself. Don’t try to look or be anything other than yourself. If you are self-conscious about a certain thing and it manifests itself physically, it will ultimately come through in the photography … Be your best self and you can ensure that the photos will indeed portray you as your best self. Jonathan Canlas, Canlas Photography

2. Relax. We’re often our worst critics when it comes to pictures. Remember that you want to be seen the way others see you too. While you want flattering photos, you want to make sure that it still looks like you in the pictures. Shane Snider, Shane Snider Photography

3. Laugh! It’s flattering on everyone. Melissa McClure, Melissa McClure Photography

4. Think about the moment. Capturing the romance of the day, the emotion, excitement & intimacy is what it’s all about. Don’t look at your photographer, look at your new spouse and savor it all. Your photographs will be amazing & true. Kate Harrison, Kate Harrison Photography

5. Forget the camera is there and try your best to be playful and warm. Sarah Rhoads, Sarah Rhoads Photographers

6. Have an engagement session. This is so valuable for client and photographer. The clients have an opportunity to relax and be in front of the camera and the photographer can get to know his or her clients. By the time I am at the wedding we are friends and this makes everyone more relaxed! Susan Adler, Susan Adler Photography

look good in wedding photos

Get the Look

7. Practice in the mirror! Study your face and figure out the best smile (or maybe you like your serious face better) and angle for you. Melissa McClure, Melissa McClure Photography

8. Be comfortable. For engagement and portrait shoots, wear clothing that is flattering, but comfortable too! If your 6 inch stilettos are hurting your feet, it will show in your face! Melissa McClure, Melissa McClure Photography

9. Keep makeup and eyelashes normal and classic. Steve Dohring, Photographer

10. Mind the lens. Try to not allow one part of your body to be closer to the lens because it will make that part appear larger than the rest of your body. Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

11. Get in position. To make your neck look more elongated, drop your shoulders and raise your chin. Imagine that you are being pulled by a string from the top of your head. Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

12. Be prepared. If you are prone to have flyaways or random frizzies in your hair, have a toothbrush with hairspray on standby! One squirt and swoop will tame most frizzies and help your hair look super smooth for pictures. Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

13. Have white chalk handy. White chalk hides stains on wedding gowns. If you are worried about grass stains, general dirt or in case there is a spill on your wedding day, make sure to have some on hand! It works in a jiffy and no one will know but you! Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

14. Dab. If you are planning on getting married in the summer and want outdoor photos, oil dabbing strips are a MUST HAVE! Make sure the groom has a hanky too. Sweaty photos are not pretty! Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography


Strike a Pose

15. Not head on. To look thinner, keep your shoulder to the camera and avoid facing the camera straight on. Hide behind the groom a bit or tuck into his armpit to slim yourself down. Steve Dohring, Photographer

16. Don’t look down. To avoid a double chin, have the photographer shoot from above the eye/face level. Tilt the head a bit sideways to hide the chin and have the photographer avoid shooting from the side. (I also remove as much of the double chin as possible in editing with Photoshop.) Henry Chen, Henry Chen Photography

17.  Hand on hip. Every girl feels insecure about her bare arms in a strapless dress. The remedy? Instead of the arm laying flat against the torso and making it look wider, simply toss the hand on the hip. It will make the arm much more toned looking. Sarah Rhoads, Sarah Rhoads Photographers

18. Angle yourself. Balance your weight on your back foot and cross the other foot in front of the other in a T fashion. Pop a hip towards the camera but at an angle. This is universally appealing and slimming, especially when combined with hands on the hips. Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

groom on phoneSee the Light

19. Natural light is your friend! Getting ready in a room with windows makes for great pictures. Not only is the light beautiful, it is also flattering and makes your skin look amazing. Opening the shades whenever you can will add a lot to the pictures in any situation. Will and Lauren Aves, Aves Photographic Design

20. Make sure your reception is well-lit. The best wedding receptions seen in magazines have lighting covering the dance floor and on the cakes and table arrangements. Consider hiring a lighting company to light your reception or ask the venue/band/DJ to light your reception for you. The pictures will be amazing and you won’t regret it! Will and Lauren Aves, Aves Photographic Design

21. Don’t let it get TOO dark during dancing. DJs and bands love a dark dance floor to entice people to get loose. Photographers, of course, want this too and want to get fun dance shots of the crowd, but we need a little light to focus on people. Ask the venue ahead of time not to turn off the lights entirely. Also, during your first dance, have spotlights! Will and Lauren Aves, Aves Photographic Design

22. Use spotlights. If you are planning a candlelight ceremony, be sure to have a spotlight shining on the area where you will be saying your vows. Will and Lauren Aves, Aves Photographic Design

23. Prevent the squinty look. If the sun is really bright, close your eyes and ask your photographer to let you know when s/he is going to take the picture. Open them when s/he tells you and that will eliminate the ‘squinty’ look. This also works if you typically wear glasses and do not want to wear them for portraits. Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

Love Yourself

24. Love yourself. After photographing hundreds of brides I can tell you that every single bride is beautiful on this day, regardless if they consider themselves plain, overweight etc. The transformation is always astounding. Accept it, believe it and be confident the camera will see it. Steve Dohring, Photographer

25. Be happy. Happiness is beauty! Susan Adler, Susan Adler Photography

Photos: Amanda and Phil, Geoff White Photographers

Photo One: Amy and Michael’s Intimate Wedding

Photo Two: Elizabeth and Ryan’s Intimate NY Wedding

Photo Three: Katie and Darren’s Cuisine-Inspired Wedding