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Wedding Photography is one of my favourite subjects, so when I was contacted by Stormy at Stormy Sloane PhotographyI was delighted that she wanted to write something for me, especially when she told me her subject matter, more about being in front of the camera and not behind the camera…………Hope all you brides to be find it helpful!!!
How to Look Jaw-Dropping Gorgeous in Your Wedding Photos: A Guide for Anxious Brides
When thinking about topics to write about for this guest blog post, a lot of ideas crossed my mind. As I’m a wedding photographer myself, it would be easy for me to offer pros and cons of particular styles of photography, remind you why your wedding photography budget is so important, scheduling advice, etc. However, I’m also a former bride, and in contemplation of this post I decided to write about the one photography topic that was most important to me when I got married…how do I make sure that I don’t hate the way I look in my wedding pictures?!
So, I offer you a few bit of advice I’ve learnt from spending time on both sides of a professional camera;
1. Hire a photographer you like and trust.
I cannot stress this enough. You need to like your photographer’s style because it’s representative of how your own images will look. You need to like your photographer’s personality because you will be handing him or her an all-access-pass to your inner circle on one of the most important days of your life. But…you need to trust your photographer because it’s a recipe for absolute disaster if you don’t. Let me explain…
On your wedding day, your photographer is going to need you to smile at a big metal camera like it’s the happiest thing you’ve ever seen. They may need you to stand in a way that feels awkward, and they will certainly need you to let down the walls on your most emotional, special moments . A good photographer will be able to make all of this seem like second nature, but even the best photographer in the world is going to struggle if you secretly think he or she is a blooming idiot.
If you trust your photographer, more often than not you’re going to end up with perfectly lovely images and a wedding day that flows smoothly, and if you don’t, your album will be filled with expensive pictures of you looking slightly annoyed. Meet with potential photographers, and pay attention to how you feel when you walk away. You should be feeling confident that he or she is going to create fantastic images of your day with ease. If at any point the words annoying, offensive, or argumentative cross your mind, find someone else. You’ll thank yourself later.
2. Get your model face on.
I used to work as a hostess at a restaurant where my job was that of a glorified doorstop. I opened doors, greeted people, and made general chit-chat with customers. Working with several other teenage girls, we had some dramatically bad days with attitudes to match… but not ever at work. Why? If you had a bad day at the restaurant, you could count on the boss coming up to yell something like “I don’t care what kind of (insert expletive here) day you had. I pay you to be happy, and you’re going to smile and be happy or you’re going to go home.” He yelled loud, and he meant it.
The amazing thing is, it worked every time. I can’t count the number of times I slapped on a fake smile only to find an hour later I was actually feeling pretty alright again. It’s mind over matter.
I’ve also worked with plenty of successful models, and you know what? They have cellulite and hate their thighs just like you and me. What makes them different is a selective memory – they simply force themselves to forget about whatever body parts they don’t like, every single time they step in front of the camera.
I recommend you take a page from their playbook and mentally give yourself permission to feel beautiful before you start a session with your photographer. Even if it feels ridiculous, take a few minutes in the car or on the train and talk yourself through it. It’s important because I find that the ability to look great in wedding pictures isn’t actually about how you look – it’s about how you feel you look. If at any point you find yourself worrying about your jiggly arms, you need to tell yourself to shut up. If I was there, I would tell you myself.!
The point is, you’re only going to look as beautiful, as happy, and as natural as you give yourself permission to look, so don’t get in your own way. If you need a push, just reflect on this: that man standing next to you thinks you are so incredibly gorgeous/ fantastic/amazing/fabulous that he wants to spend every single day of the rest of forever with you, and he’s got a ring and a tux to prove it.
3. Don’t go it alone.
I do my own hair and makeup every single day, so in the interest of budget I decided I could handle doing it on my wedding day too. Technically, I did handle it, but it was not ideal.
I wasn’t anticipating the tidal wave of nerves that appeared (out of nowhere) a few hours before the ceremony, and it made it difficult to focus on the task at hand – namely, drawing a straight line with my eyeliner. I forgot my USA to UK electrical socket converter and had to be rushed to a store to get another one. I didn’t have enough bobby pins, I didn’t give myself enough time, and I didn’t have someone to take over when I felt like I was going to have a little diva panic attack. When I finally got in the wedding car I was thirty minutes late, and I felt rushed, stressed, and frazzled.
If you can squeeze your budget enough to allow for a professional makeup artist and hairstylist, I whole-heartedly recommend it. Since my own wedding, I’ve seen time and time again the kind of magic these creative professionals can wield on nervous brides, and it is well worth the cost. Not only will you avoid the kind of fiasco I created for myself, but putting yourself in their hands will allow you to feel confident that everything is being taken care of. You can relax, have a glass of bubbly, and just spend a few minutes being happy you’re about to walk down the aisle!
If you can’t afford the pros, get your friends to help you. Odds are, whatever you were going to do yourself can be done just as well by a trusted bridesmaid or friend, and probably with much steadier hands.
(all photos credited to www.stormysloane.com)
A bit of info on Stormy:
My name is Stormy Sloane, and I am a wedding and lifestyle photographer for crazy-in-love couples. Really, I’m just a twenty-something American girl in love with three things – my British husband, my fancy-schmancy camera, and great Mexican food. I dislike cooked carrots and Wagner.
It is my opinion that photography should be fashionable, modern, and beautiful, and I won’t settle for creating anything less. I’m currently based in London, but I love to travel so please feel free to get in touch no matter where you are!
For more information on Stormy go to:
Great guest post – some really great tips in there!
Brides Up North
This is such a useful post.
I too was so worried about not liking my wedding photos as I have a thing about feeling I’m not particularly photogenic.
In the end I had a great day and that really shone through the photos – I ended up with some fantastic shots, slightly disbelieving that I could look that good! Of course, a great photographer helps with that as they’ll offer excellent posturing advice and help you to relax.
I think spending as much as you can reasonably afford on a photographer is a very wise investment.
Great post. I especially agree with the comments about giving yourself a pep talk. Having self confidence speaks volumes in your body language, facial expressions and the way you carry yourself. This will translate into photographs. Part of the confidence coaching I carry out involves training clients to do that very thing. Even if you don’t believe it at first, the more you do it the more you will start to feel it.