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Nervous about standing in front of the lens on your big day? Don’t be. With this advice from photographers and beauty experts on posture, makeup, and lighting, you’ll love every last image.
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“Too much makeup overpowers eyes and can make them look smaller in photos,” says Donna Newman, a photographer in Miami. “I truly believe less is more.” She favors soft eye shadow palettes of pinks, peaches, and earth tones.
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Take a 360-Degree View
“Make sure your hair photographs well from all angles,” says Jen Atkin, a stylist in NYC and L.A. For example, she suggests placing a low bun at the base of your neck (so there’s not a gap between the style and skin).
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Avoid Double Trouble
Take a deep breath, which will naturally cause you to relax your shoulders and pitch your head slightly forward, preventing the dreaded double chin shot, says Newman.
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Help Out Hair
“Hair photographs skimpier than it is in real life,” says Atkin. She suggests using clip-in extensions to compensate. “They add fullness and are great for giving substance to braids or updos,” she says.
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Go With the Flow
Take a lesson from the Claire Danes School of Ugly Criers: Don’t hold back tears or you’ll end up with a pained look on your face. “Let it go,” says Jose Villa, a photographer based in Solvang, California. “It’s a moment worth capturing. Plus, the expression that usually follows crying is a relaxed and happy one.”
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Shun the Spotlight
Indoor lighting casts stark shadows—especially if your head table is right underneath can lights or a chandelier, says Villa. Work with your photographer and venue to add uplights, which will balance out the overheads.
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Use Flower Power
Instead of clutching your bouquet with your arms flat at your sides (which makes arms look wider), hold flowers near your belly button with arms curved away from the body. This will also hide your tummy and visually whittle your waist.
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Work an Angle
“The body looks best when it’s not shot straight on,” says Newman. She suggests shifting your weight to one foot or positioning one leg in front of the other for a slimming effect.
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Hitch Up Your Skirt
“In photos, I like to have the bride hold her dress like she’s lifting it to walk away,” Villa says. “It looks natural and creates flattering lines with the arms.”