Posing Tips for Brides

Photo courtesy of Spotlighting

You may not think about posing for the camera until you are actually in front of it. In fact, you assume your photographer will tell you how to pose. This is true of any decent photographer. However, it doesn't hurt to practice ahead of time. This lets you figure out exactly how you want to look, and after that the photographer can further fine tune your position. Every curve and angle on your body stands out in a photo. Wrong angles can give you harsh shadows, a double chin or make you look heavier than you really are. The best positions usually have your body pointing in different directions, so your head will point in the opposite direction as your shoulders, while your hips will aim in the same direction as your head. Once you are in these basic positions, your photographer can move you further into fun or more flattering positions. 

Start by positioning your head. Extend your neck so it feels graceful but not overextended. Watch yourself in the mirror to see how it looks. Examine your face to see if you like one side more than the other. It may sound funny, but most people have one side of the face that is more symmetrical than the other. Tilt this side toward the camera. With a long neck, turn your face slightly away from the camera. If you look straight ahead, your face can look one-dimensional. Tilt your chin slightly down but don't push it into your neck or you'll have a double chin. Your photographer will also try other poses like standing above you or shooting from over your shoulder. This further extends your neck and gives you smooth, flawless lines. 

 Photo courtesy of Headshots Hawaii

Once you are comfortable with your head position, consider your arms and shoulders. Your shoulders should be angled in the opposite direction as your head. Never aim your shoulders straight at the camera. This is a position that football players use, and it's probably not the look you are going for. Push your shoulders back, so they look comfortable and natural. Do not slouch. Slouching affects your entire body posture. Raise the shoulder that is closer to the camera ONLY if it natural to do this. This doesn't mean you should lift your shoulder up when the photographer is taking your picture. Instead, you could lean back, ever so slightly or raise the foot that is closest to the camera. If you are sitting, some photographers will even put a wedge or block underneath you to raise one side. This is only used for headshots. Place the hand and arm that is closest to the camera in a natural position, on your hip or draped across your body is ideal. Hold your arm away from your body so that your bicep and upper arm isn't pressed and flattened against your torso. If this happens, your arm will look wider than it really is, and lose definition. Keep your hand that is closest to the camera visible and make sure your fingers are long and elegant rather than folder or closed. Don't let your arm block your waist. If you are self-conscious about the size of your waist, you can use something else, like your flower bouquet, to obscure it sightly. 

Photo courtesy of Allison Davis Photography

Stand with your hips angled in the opposite direction as your shoulders. Sometimes the photography will change this position, but generally if your hips are shoulders are turned in opposite directions, your waist will appear more slender. This is something that all women can appreciate on their wedding day. Put most of your weight on the leg that is furthest from the camera and stand with your other leg slightly bent. The two legs should not be lined up. Even though your legs are under your wedding dress, their position will affect your whole body. Plus, your shoes will show in some shots so you don't want them to be lined up with each other. If your legs are perfectly parallel they will blend together and you will look like you only have on leg. How wide you stagger your legs depends on each shot and what the photographer is going for. In some poses, you may even lift your leg and rest it on something, like a bridge railing, or if your photographer is playful -- on your husband's back. 

Even after you practice posing, don't forget to trust your photographer. Photographers like to keep things interesting by trying something new. Go along with it, if the shot doesn't work, you don't need to include it in your album. But, if it does work you may end up with an amazing, unique image. 

Photo courtesy of Media CollegePhoto courtesy of Indian Shaadi