Even with the best photographer, one of the most challenging parts of your wedding day is likely to be posing for photographs. Being in front of a camera is just an unusual experience for most people. What looks good in in real life, doesn’t always look good in a photo, and vice versa. It can be hard to feel if you’re doing it right.
My hope is that you’ve hired a great photographer that’s going to make the process as comfortable as possible, but regardless of who you’ve hired, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself and become more comfortable posing for photographs.
In no particular order:
Keep Your Back Straight, Regardless of Your Position
You’ll probably never hear your photographer say, “hunch your back over”. That’s because in photographs, a straight back almost always makes you look better.
There are there parts of your spine to consider. Your Cervical spine, which goes from the base of your skull to the bottom of your neck. Your Thoracic spine, which goes from your shoulder blades to the top of your lower back, and your lumbar, which is your spine just above your hips.
You display great posture in a photography by always keeping your cervical and thoracic spine straight, and bending your lumbar slightly by tilting your hips forward slightly.
You can practice this by watching yourself in the mirror and imagining that a string is lifting you up from the top of your head. This will make you taller and more attractive in photographs. The more comfortable you get with this elongating motion, the easier it will be to pose for photos on your wedding day.
Keep Your Weight to One Leg
Even in a close up photo, the way you stand makes a difference. Evenly distributed weight can make you look confident at best, and rigid or uncomfortable at worst, If you have a tendency to distribute weight between your legs evenly, practice shifting the weight to just one leg, doing so will affect your whole body.
When you shift weight to one leg, you elongate one side of your body and introduce a more dramatic twisting motion when you turn head. Especially in a wedding dress, this helps you appear relaxed when you may otherwise be putting energy into holding a pose.
Learn to Relax Your Hands
How often do you think about your hands? Compared to how small they are, they’re a pretty big deal in photos. Our mind puts a lot of importance on our hands and when they look strange in photos, we all notice. They can become a big distraction.
Generally, in photos, your hands should look relaxed, and free of tension. But, for many people, tensing or stretching their hands is one of the ways they express stress. On your wedding day, you might find yourself unconsciously playing with your hands. If you do this during your photos, it will almost certainly look weird.
Try to notice when you’re tensing or stretching your hands. Practice returning your hands to a natural, relaxed state by balling them into a tight fist, and then slowly releasing until your thumb and index finger are just barely apart.
Take Deep Breaths While You’re Posing
When they’re posing for photos, many people hold their breath. This results in only a fraction of a second while they look good, and then they look like they’re straining. If you hold your breath while you’re posing, your body language and facial expression will gradually become more tense.
Instead, breath in and out of your pose. Taking deep breaths forces you to straighten your back and can flatter your shoulders, as well as keep you looking relaxed and capable of holding the pose longer.
On Your Wedding Day
Your wedding photographer shouldn’t expect you to be an expert model. They should help you make this process manageable and fun. But, if you practice some of these things, you’ll free your photographer up to focus on other creative aspects of your photographs. He’ll love working with you all the more for it, and you’ll get even better photographs.