A Step by Step Guide To Looking Your Best In Your Wedding Photos
So, you're getting married, huh?! How exciting! If you are anything like I was, I was scouring Pinterest pinning all things wedding and dreaming of my perfect day. I was pretty nervous about what our day would look like in photographs, largely due to not feeling confident in front of the camera.
So, how do all of the women in those photos you've pinned look so flawless, so elegant, so natural and confident in their photos? Well, while I wish the photographer could take all of the credit, the truth is, YOU control how you look in your photos. Yes, we photographers have a responsibility to our clients to be able to pose and direct you in a way that is most flattering but there are things that YOU can do to help you look your absolute BEST in your images.
Here's just five simple things you can do to help make you look your best in your wedding photos:
STEP ONE: Meet your photographer in person
You're probably wondering how this has anything to do with what you'll look like in your photos-bear with me.
What sounds more comfortable to you-
a) Meeting your photographer for the first time ever at the session or wedding and not having any connection with them at all?
b) Meeting your photographer for coffee or having a Skype date to get to know one another on a personal level and get on the same page with what each persons expectations are for your images?
B, obviously. (right?)
Making an initial connection with your photographer is CRUCIAL to how the end results will be in your images. If you aren't comfortable with the person behind the camera then how can you expect to be comfortable with yourself in front of the camera?
STEP TWO: Spring For An Engagement Session
I just mentioned that you can't be comfortable in front of the camera if you aren't comfortable with the person behind the camera, right? Well, after you meet with the photographer in person, the next step is to actually have a session with the photographer.
We photographers like to think of the engagement session as a test run for the wedding. This allows us the chance to work with you in a less stressed environment and figure out what positions and directions work best for you and your fiance and get a better feel for your tastes. This also helps you know what you prefer and you get a chance to see just what exactly you can expect from your photographer on the wedding day.
Oh, If the fiance isn't jumping for joy at the thought of having to spend even more time in front of a camera-bribe him. No shame, ladies!
STEP THREE: Dress To Impress
While this may seem like a given for wedding days, it is not always so commonly expected for engagement sessions (and let's be honest... sometimes the wedding attire could use a little bit of help, too.).
If you want to look your best in your photos then you need to plan to dress your best for your photos.
Girls: While there is a sort of romance in wearing those dressed down outfits while cuddling your man on the beach, you should make sure that those ripped jeans and over-sized sweater are clean, and fit appropriately, and look like they belong in the setting that you're in.
My favorite thing to suggest to my clients is this: bring one casual outfit and one formal outfit. These should be outfits that coordinate well together and transform almost effortlessly so that you have a wonderful blend of images that reflect both your natural style and provide a sense of elegance and grace to your gallery.
Guys: Wear the suit jacket. If it's with jeans and a white T, it works. If it's with a sweater or button up, it works. If it's with jeans or boat shorts, or dress pants- IT WORKS.
This is quite literally one of the easiest pieces you can wear to instantly transform your appearance in your images.
STEP FOUR: Hire a professional for your hair and make-up
I am miser. A penny-pincher. (I learned that word in the 8th grade and have loved it ever since. Thanks Mrs. Garcia!)
I have a really hard time justifying paying for something that I know I can do on my own.
It wasn't until I had my friend, Jillian, do my hair and make-up for a session for me that I realized the true value in having a professional do this for you.
When you hire a pro to style your hair and make-up you are investing in your self-confidence.
For one, there is so much stress relieved from you that you can actually sit down and enjoy a few moments to yourself. Two, they see you differently than you see you, so they can accentuate the best features that everyone else sees too. And then, when you look in the mirror, you are so excited and confident in how HOT you really are. Like dang, this guy about to marry you is marrying up, for sure.
STEP FIVE: Be Yourself
That sounds SO cliche, I know. But, so often I see my clients sharing these amazingly beautiful interactions with their fiances/spouses and as soon as I lift my camera up to capture that moment- bam. They tense up. The laughter that shows your contagious smile turns into something just shy of The Joker's smile, your body that was once relaxed and leaning into your man is now as stiff as a board and awkwardly positioned... you get the picture.
This is where those first steps come into play. If you've met with your photographer and communicated your end goal, you've set up and executed a killer engagement session, and you feel confident in the way you look, then you will be so much more confident in front of the camera and can relax and when the moment comes that your photographer reminds you to breathe and directs you into a pose, you can do it and they can capture that soft, genuine, moment that is going to make you look absolutely flawless.