23 February 2008

10 Tips for Brides - Getting the Most out of your Wedding Photographs

One of the most commonly said things by brides and grooms when it comes to the wedding photography is "I hate having my photograph taken", often followed by "I don't want posed photographs because I look dreadful when I pose".  And yet most people are spending somewhere between £1,500 and £3,500 on their wedding photographs - that's a lot of money to spend if you are then not going to like the finished product!

So here are my tips on how to get the most out of your wedding photographs.

  1. Book a photographer you can trust and that you get on with - it is likely that out of all your vendors your photographer is the one who you will be with most of the day so it is important that you like the people who will be with you for so long.
  2. Make sure your photographer knows about any types of photographs that you particularly dislike, or any parts of your body that you are self conscious of, such as the tops of your arms, or your nose - for example, I heard recently of a bride's mum who doesn't want the bride's tattoo to show in any of the photographs, and if the photographer knows this beforehand she or he can position the bride so that her tattoo can't be seen in the types of photographs the mum is likely to want.
  3. Remember that your photographer can't work miracles, so if you don't like the tops of your arms, get a dress that hides them.  Whilst the sleeveless dresses may look good on some people, they are not necessarily the right dress for everyone.
  4. If you are holding flowers when you are being photographed, position then at an angle, or place them at your hips - holding your flowers at boob height will bring your arms and elbows in next to your body and that makes all of us, no matter how slim we are, look twice our size.  So lower your hands to around belly button height, and move your elbows slightly out from your body.
  5. Wherever possible remember the photographer's mantra of 'where there's a joint bend it' - so if you stand with your arms straight down at your sides, again this makes you look wider than you are, whereas, if you bend your arms, perhaps placing one hand on your hip, and the other on your thigh, slightly bent, then you will show off your narrow waist.
  6. If you are a larger lady, avoid sitting down to be photographed if you can, unless your photographer is taking a photograph of your face from above you - lifting your chin up to the camera will smooth out your neck, and will get rid of any extra chins.  Also, turning your feet and body to be at an angle away from the camera will help you to look slimmer too - most of us look broader when our shoulders are straight on to the camera.
  7. Think elegance for the girls, and relaxed for the guys - keep a picture in your minds eye of elegance, and always position yourself as if you have just passed out of finishing school.  So you might want to practice positioning your feet when you are sitting down so that you tuck the ankle of one foot behind the heel of the other, even if your feet are not going to be in the picture.  This takes your legs off at an angle which looks more elegant than having your legs going straight down from your knees to your feet.
  8. When you are holding hands with each, avoid finger lacing, or any other hand holding that looks like you are a white knuckle ride!  It looks so much more tender if the groom gently holds the fingertips of his bride.

  9. At some point in the ceremony, and many times afterwards, you will be invited to kiss each other - now whilst the passionate tongue down the throat kiss might feel wonderful it doesn't translate well in photographs, so practice gentle, prolonged kissing, a la the 1940s romantic movies - you'll have fun practicing if nothing else!
  10. You don't always have to be looking at the camera for a photograph to look great - look at each other, look off to the side of the camera, perhaps at friends who make you laugh, or lean your foreheads together and close your eyes.
  11. More Tips for Brides next week - I found myself coming up with much more than 10 tips afterall!

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