Women always want to look our best in front of the camera and there are tricks pro photographers have up our sleeves to help you with that. Unless you are a supermodel paid to be extremely aware of body positioning and how it translates on camera, most of us just do the same thing over and over that we think is the most flattering. In this post I want to give you tools you can use to be more confident to change it up and move around for your best Engagement and Wedding Portraits.
While in quarantine during COVID19, I created a few shoots with my daughter using what we had available to us. In our first shoot together which I posted here, we used a white Amsale dress we had purchased for her High School Girls Cotillion Presentation (that was canceled due to COVID19) with foraged pink dogwoods for a bridesmaid look. I did a studio setup in our garage and then used a field near our house to shoot at sunset and brought my assistant along (socially distanced, of course) to video behind the scenes to include some visual direction for you.
The three most effective tips I want to share with you are…
2. Creating angles with your body
These three tips alone can take an image from an average picture to an amazing portrait.
Posture is so very important. Standing with your neck tall and shoulders back conveys confidence and elongates your body. This is a cue I have to give constantly on wedding days. When we relax, we often slump and it looks sloppy in images. Stay relaxed in spirit, but stand tall and confident. In the example below you can see how posture and angles make her look regal and confident and show off the lines of the dress to flatter her figure.
Creating Angles with your Body
Bends are your friend. Creating angles with your arms and legs creates space in the right places can accentuate your waist and distract from places you don’t want accentuated. Angles also move the viewers’ eyes around the image instead of focusing on one area. It’s also important to shift your weight away from the camera with these angles. Anything closer to the camera looks larger. Here are some examples of my cues:
- Stand with one leg out in front and knee slightly bent, shifting your hip and weight back, instead of towards the camera. This allows your dress to follow your shape and flatter you the most. The one cue alone will change your images dramatically.
- Slightly bend your elbow or put your hand in your pocket.
- Turn one shoulder towards the camera. Standing square to the camera makes your shoulders look broad, which is good for guys, but not for ladies.
- Hold your flowers with your elbows slightly bent or with one hand and flowers down by your side.
- With tall posture you can also angle your head down towards one shoulder.
- Add hands by your neck or running through your hair. This adds another elbow angle and shows off your ring.
Movement causes fabrics to be fluid, allows for natural angles in the body to happen, and gives a more relaxed feel to the scene which lends to a more editorial style in your images.
- I love walking shots. As you walk, look towards the light, at your groom and at the camera. If you are walking away from the camera, glance back over your shoulder.
- Fluff your dress or twist with it. Movement also allows your dress and bouquet ribbon to catch the breezes.
I hope these tips help you feel more confident in front of the camera. I always recommend an Engagement Session for every bride. It’s a great opportunity for us to get to know each other better and for you to get more comfortable in front of the camera and practice these tips before your wedding day. Interested in booking a portrait session? I would love to connect with you! Say hello and find out more.