Say Cheese! Five Tips to Look Great in Wedding Photos

There are those people who love getting their picture taken. I see them on Top Model–lifting a shoulder, smiling with their eyes, finding their light. Some of them are pretty, and some of them are “interesting” as Tyra says. Some have big ears, a gap between their teeth, a masculine jaw.

It’s not that they’re all beautiful, but they do all love getting their picture taken.

Then there are those people who hate getting their picture taken. They’re in the back of every family picture (they will automatically go to the rear line, even if they’re four feet tall and the rest of their family plays for the Knicks). Sometimes, they’ll hold a baby in front of them.

Or they’re the photographer…finding themselves much more safe behind the camera.

I hate having my photo taken. That’s why I first picked up a camera. It’s also why I went into marketing. So even if someone else did accidentally take my photo I would have the final say as to whether or not it would be published. (Hint: The answer is always no. If I had a picture of the president smoking crack with a tranny prostitute, but I couldn’t crop myself out of it, I would destroy the photo and forgo the millions of dollars I would surely make from it. That’s how much I hate looking at photos of myself).

I say that because I’m always cognizant of the fact that when I take pictures during the weddings at the inn, there are clearly some people more comfortable getting their photo taken than others. And I will tell you–sometimes the most beautiful people don’t like being in the crosshairs of a 35mm lens, and sometimes the “interesting” people just love it. Want to know who looks awesome in photographs? The people who throw their head back, laugh, and stop worrying if their arms will look fat in the photo.

I have a couple of suggestions for folks who don’t like being the center of attention. Because *anyone* can take a good photo. Seriously. You just have to remember a couple of tips:

1. Be comfortable. Forget the camera is there. You’re not a model…and you don’t have to worry about keeping your neck long or looking like a broken down doll. Make a face at the person standing next to you, laugh a lot, and hope that the photographer gets the shot the second after you *stop* making the face. That’s when you’re the most beautiful.
The photo below is how one couple “loosened up”…wait until you see the shot that it helped to set up!
2. Wear a striking color, and pick a beautiful background. You may have seen that Saint Augustine was just named one of the 10 Prettiest Towns in America by Forbes Magazine. I have a news flash for you: visitors to Saint Augustine look prettier when they’re here, too. I’m serious. It’s the light in the ancient city, and the spectacular backgrounds, and the fact that people are so happy here. So if you’re going to get married, pick an awesome background. And wear a color that you look great in…imagine how different this would look if the bride had decided to wear ivory. She still would have been beautiful, but she might not have looked so “POW!!!”
3. Do something unexpected. Don’t pose; be yourself. If that means that you would jump up on a ledge and start walking like you’re on the balance beam in the London Summer Olympics, do it. If you want to play with a passing dog, or pet a horse while you’re walking around town with your photographer, do it. Jump in a hammock, smell a low-hanging flower, bite your new spouse on the ear. The best shots are the ones that you look most like yourself, and the ones that look most like yourself are the ones where you forget that you’re a bride and groom, and for a second you’re just a boy and a girl (or a boy and a boy, or a girl and a girl). Just a couple in love, and having fun. And everyone looks awesome when they’re having fun.
4. Kiss your new spouse as often as possible. This isn’t hard advice, is it? Really, though, kissing your spouse reminds you why you did this in the first place…and everyone looks good when they’re getting kissed (plus, you don’t have to worry about blinking as the flash goes off). But remember: no tongue. Never. Save it for the honeymoon.
5. Study the Kardashian swivel. If only Kim had spent as much time working on her wedding as she spent perfecting a stance that would make her hips look shapely and her waist look smaller. Obviously, you care much more about your wedding than she did, but it doesn’t hurt to spend 15 minutes (no more!) thinking about how to stand. Put one foot slightly in front of your other (or even cross them; it’s a cute look!), turn your shoulder slightly towards the camera, lean into your new hubby, and smile like you’ve never been happier in your life. Because, hopefully, that’s the truth!!
Enjoy your beautiful photos!!!