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Charlotte Wedding Photographer

Capturing Life, Creating Memories

©2019 BW Photography Studio

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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.


The red line shows the full width of the model when standing straight forward. A small turn to the side gives a photo that is still the subject facing the camera, but in a slimmer profile. It also shows her curves, which makes her look more feminine.

Just remember not to go to far. Usually you should go no further than a 45 degree angle from the camera. Going further than that to the side can accentuate areas that protrude from your body, like your belly or breasts. Remember these are not set in stone rules and depending upon your goal, you and your photographer may adjust them. Meaning if you want to look like the overpowering boss, then turn your photos straight towards the camera. You will look larger and bigger.


6. The “Squinch”

We notice that the moment we take a picture, they tend to open their eyes wide open. This makes you look like a dear in headlights. Most of us have an eye that is slightly more open than the other. So we use the “squinch” to give you even eyes and a fierce look. So how do you “squinch”? Basically think of just putting pressure on the bottom lid of your eyes. Don’t Squint… If you squint your eyes, they are basically closed. That means you’re putting too much pressure on the bottom lids. Instead find a happy medium. It takes some practice but once you master it, you will have a fierce, even look in every photo you take.


Notice how much more fierce and confident the model looks in the picture on the right. You will also notice that his eyes also even out in size. It makes him look more confident and more model like just by using the “squinch” with his eyes.

7. Don't Let your Nose Break your Face

This one is a bit more complex, but still important. When you don't want your face facing forward, you have to turn to the side. Assuming you don't want a full profile where you only see one side of your face, you will usually be at a quarter turn to keep both eyes in the frame. If you draw an imaginary line down the side of your face, this line is the line that cannot be crossed by your nose. While your photographer should know to look for this before they take a picture.. If you already have this in mind, you can make things go faster and know your best angles over time.


If you turn too far and the nose crosses this line, it "breaks" the natural curve of the face. It creates the "Pinocchio" effect and extends the length of your nose.

You can avoid this by turning back towards the camera slightly, until your photographer can see a little bit of space between the end of your nose, and the side of your face. You don't want to break that line or it makes you look like you have disproportionate facial features.


Bringing it All Together



Here's a checklist you can follow for your next shoot.


  • Your Hair is behind one shoulder, in front of the other

  • Your Chin is forward to create a strong jawline

  • Your Arm is lifted from the torso

  • Your Waist doesn't have any visual extenders

  • Your Shoulders are slightly turned

  • Your eyes are “squinched” but you are not squinted or wide open

  • Your face is not too far turned/Your Nose doesn't break the line of the face

All these things will help you look and feel more like a model and give you the advantage on your next photo session.


To book your professional session, contact us at www.bwphotostudio.com

About BW Photography Studio

We are Creative, Clean and Different. As a group of Charlotte Area wedding photographers our passion is storytelling. Founded in 2012, our studio has been recognized as the best wedding photographers in Charlotte area by various publications, websites, and groups. We’d love speak directly with you and provide more information on our Charlotte Wedding Photography Packages and introduce you to our team!


We strive to be industry leaders in the wedding photography field and hope we can assist you in capturing your memories that will last a lifetime.

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