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  • Writer's pictureBW Photography Studio

7 Posing Tips for Brides to Look Great in Your Photos

1. Pose your Hair

I know what you’re thinking… how do I pose my hair? We don't generally think of hair as a part of the body we can control, but you really can! Long hair can easily become bad hair and it is going to be the first thing anyone notices about you in your photo. There are no rules as to what looks "best" across the board. Everyone will look different with their hair a different way.

The main thing to remember is that you should never let your hair sit on your shoulders. Hair on the shoulders looks terrible and wild. There are five different things that they can do with your hair.

  • 1 - DON’T put your Hair ON your shoulders (It looks messy). It also makes you look larger than you are.

  • 2 - Do put your Hair all behind your shoulders.

  • 3 - Do put your Hair all in front of your shoulders

  • 4 - Do put your Hair all on one side.

  • 5 - Do put your Hair all on the other side.

  • 6 - Do put your Hair up.

Hair on the shoulders (#1) should be avoided at all costs. All of the other hair positions have their place depending on your personal style and the look you are trying to achieve. Hair on both sides (#4 and #5) will depend upon the natural part in your hair. Usually your natural hair part, will lend to one side looking better than the other.

Just keep in mind that in general you want your part to face the camera. This allows more of your face in the photo. Many women see ponytails as the "day-off" hair style, but it actually lends itself very nicely in wedding photography portraits and head shots since you have clean views of your face.

2. Chin (or Ears) Forward

Stand in front of a mirror in a natural pose. What you will notice is that little bit of flabby skin under your chin. No matter how skinny you are, or how good your posture, you will see this; everyone has this. Now while looking in the mirror, bring your chin forward. Don’t point your chin at the mirror/camera unless you want a great picture of what’s up your nostrils (Not attractive). Instead, think about it this way, bring your ears straight forward towards the mirror/camera. Notice how that double chin disappears?

This demonstrates the before and after of bringing your ears forward.

Demo from the side. Many photographers call this "turtling," because it feels like a turtle coming out of its shell. It is a bit uncomfortable or unnatural, but the results are always worth it.

Works the same for male subjects. He is very fit and athletic, but his natural stance is not very photogenic (see under his chin on the left). Bring the ears forward and voila!

3. Lift your Arms

One thing we always get asked to do is “can you make me look thinner” and arms are always a part of that pain point for women taking photos. When people stand naturally, they usually stand with their arms flat at their sides. The problem with this is that first, it usually makes you look uncomfortable in the photo, like you don’t really want to have your picture taken. Secondly, when you press your arm against your body it squishes the arm out and makes it look larger than it actually is.

Check out the difference a few inches makes. The red line is the size of the arm when standing with the arm pressed against the body. The exact same red line was moved over to the second photo so you can see how much smaller the arm becomes when not pressed against the body. See how much slimmer her arms looks?

Just by lifting your arm a little off the body like it’s "floating" and not pressed against you will change everything. You could also put your hand somewhere like on your hip so that it pulls the arm off the body.

4. Leave Space by your Waist (make angles)

Want to instantly look thin? To trim down in photos use your "natural" waist, without adding anything to it. Isolate the skinny part of your torso so it looks as thin as you are. Look at the first photo on the left. The arm in the back has no space between it and the torso, so it visually extends the mid-section. By pulling the arm a little forward, you can see the space, so the waist doesn't have anything adding visual bulk. You will notice she is turned even further towards the camera in the second shot (this usually makes you appear larger), yet visually, she looks slimmer due to the added space.

Look at the red line on the left. It shows that visually width of the body. The same red line is moved to the photo on the right to show how much width the arm actually adds. This rule does not just apply to arms.

Note that anything that will be in the background can make you look larger. A few examples are other people, tree trunks, or light poles. The main point is to ensure that space is shown around your waist.

5. Turn your Shoulders

This is a very simple tip, but important. If you stare at the camera head-on, you look bigger. This can be good if you are a football player or CEO of a big company, but it is bad when shooting beauty or portraits. Facing straight at the camera is great for men, because it makes you look larger and bigger. But for most women, you want to look more feminine and smaller. By turning, you are showing a slimmer profile of yourself to the camera, and therefore look slimmer.