By Guest Blogger Lacey Hauptman
If you’ve ever been a part of a wedding photo shoot, or any photo shoot for that matter, you’d know how difficult it is to get a decent photo that puts your best assets in a good light. You’ll painfully scan through thousands of photos with awkward smiles, critiquing what you see as a bloated tummy, flabby arms, and so on. You think those brides you see on wedding magazines have gotten it all down pat? Not quite. It takes the bride and her photographers several takes and techniques to make her look good during those photo-ops on her wedding day.
Be prepared to own that aisle you’ll walk on by following these tips:
Show off the beauty of your wedding dress by choosing poses that help put its best features in the spotlight. If your dress has a stunning lace back and a dramatic train, make sure to pose with your back to the camera.
Whatever the style of your dress, remember to watch your posture and make sure you’re standing at your tallest height while slightly turning your torso for a more flattering silhouette and a smaller waist. And don’t forget to keep your shoulders relaxed, too. This way, your photo will look more natural and less stiff. If taken while sitting down, do the same while positioning your legs gracefully.
If the photo shoot setting is less than ideal (a messy hotel room, for example) for all sorts of contorted poses, make it work by getting creative and brainstorming with your photographer on the best lighting, poses, angles, and other photography tricks you could try that would help make you and your dress look amazing despite your unfortunate backdrop.
- 2. For sleek and sexy arms
Worried about showing your arms in photos? Prepare for this by keeping a few tricks in your bag, like holding the bouquet with one hand instead of the usual two. You’ll look more relaxed this way, as you let your other arm dangle on the side.
Make sure your arms are always slightly away from your body too. You may take a cue from models and beauty pageant veterans by placing your hands on your waist with your elbows out, which will provide the benefits of making your arms slimmer and making your waist look smaller.
Practice holding your arms in the most flattering angle both when holding a bouquet or letting them hang loose for best results.
- 3. For preventing “instant double chins”
Keep your chin raised even when a shot requires you to look down. Keep your eyes at eye level. You wouldn’t want an “instant double chin” or unsightly folds around your neck to ruin your picture, would you?
And while you’re at it, you can try pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth to reduce the double chin appearance.
- 4. For hiding a tummy bulge
Even if you go on a special diet and workout regimen months before your wedding, sometimes your body just doesn’t cooperate. You don’t end up with that small waistline you’ve been dreaming off, or that pooch-less lower belly you’ve been hoping to have. But aside from wearing slimming undergarments and choosing a dress that gives the illusion of a slimmer waist, posing a certain way will help, too. Holding your bouquet loosely in front of you is one simple and easy way to hide any possible tummy issues. Or, if that’s not an option, try some simple body-contorting poses.
Kat Williams of alternative bride magazine Rock N Roll Bride advises to twist your body 45-degrees and put each leg in a slightly different position than the other, then shift all your weight on one leg and stick out your hips. And voilà! A seemingly more proportional figure. Twisting your body sideways will make your waist seem smaller, but never stand in a full sideways position, as this will accentuate any signs of a muffin top. Plus, it will give you those unattractive neck rolls from having to twist your neck to the side to face the camera.
Finally, suck your stomach in just ever so slightly. But don’t overdo it, as this will make you raise your shoulders (making your neck look shorter) and puff out your chest—all painfully obvious signs that you are, in fact, sucking it in.
- 5. For legs that kill
If you’re wearing a non-traditional wedding dress that shows off your legs, choosing the right footwear will make your legs appear longer. Bend your knees a little and vary the position of each leg to make your stance more comfortable. And point your toes while you’re at it.
Standing with your feet side by side can tense the legs and bring out “unlady-like” muscles, so avoid doing this. Each leg shape is different, so play with as many poses as you can until you figure out the most flattering one for you.
And that’s pretty much it. The most important thing, really, is to try not to feel too self-conscious or awkward! Remember when you were a kid, and you would play dress up and twirl like a princess in her first ball gown? This moment should give you the same feeling.
Remember to relax, smile, and let your happiness radiate in your photos. It’s your day, and you and your groom deserve to enjoy it more than anyone else.
Meet our Guest Contributor: Lacey Hauptman is a freelance writer, graphic designer, and stay-at-home mom. She is also an animal lover, a frustrated fashionista, a hopeless romantic, and a Harry Potter nerd. When she’s not fulfilling her wife and mom duties, she enjoys reading YA fiction (which she’s probably too old for) or writing stories, poems, essays, and more.