On your wedding day, you want to look (and feel!) your best—and you'll definitely want that to translate into your wedding photos. Since wedding photos are one of the most important aspects of the day (and generally a big investment), it's understandable to fret over posing, especially if you tend to freeze up in front of a camera. If positioning yourself for those effortless, elegant shots feels like hard work, know that you're not alone. To ease your anxiety, we asked a stylist and wedding photographer for their tips and tricks to posing confidently. With their advice as a guide, you're bound to feel more relaxed once the camera starts clicking, which actually leads to better photos.
According to New York City-based photographer Jen Huang, tight shoulders—usually the result of holding your breath—can stiffen up your entire body. "I always ask brides to take a deep breath and relax their shoulders," she said. "Their entire mood changes, their posture improves, and the tension in their faces disappears, allowing for a natural, realistic expression."
Embrace natural, silly poses.
When it comes to flattering facial expressions, natural is best, so don't rush through your session and be sure to follow your photographer's cues to loosen up. "When I pose brides and grooms, I wait and watch for natural expressions, laughter, and conversation to spontaneously erupt," explained Huang. Asking a bride and groom to walk and kiss at the same time, say, often elicits giggles as they fumble around. It may feel a little silly, but it creates photo-friendly moments.
Be mindful of how you hold your bouquet.
"Brides and bridesmaids tend to hold their bouquet up high, near their face, but this covers the torso—which can be unflattering," said Huang. Instead, position the bouquet lower, down around your belly button. Hold your arms with a slight bend to them and at a finger's length away from your body to engage your muscles for a leaner, stronger look.
Ask for help.
"On professional photo shoots, you'll have a photographer, makeup artist, and stylist," said Julie Sabatino, stylist and founder of the Stylish Bride. So why not have a team like this for your wedding photoshoot? "Designate a friend or hire a professional to help keep long dresses away from any dirt, straighten bow ties, and help everyone look their best."
"When you're trying to capture a large family shot, you want to give the idea of close relationships," says Huang. She suggests standing as close together as possible, arms around each other. "I often ask family groups to stand uncomfortably close—it sounds humorous, but spaces between people can make it look like they don't liek each other. Touch and proximity are necessary to get a photo with a sense of intimacy."