One of the most exciting parts of saying “yes” are all the gorgeous moments of love you and your partner will capture together up until the last second of your wedding day. You’ll look back on these photos for a lifetime, so making sure you look and feel amazing in them is key. The woman behind the camera of Vanessa Joy Photography, a wedding photographer in the NY/NJ area, has a few tried-and-true ways to nail your photos – starting with your engagement session. Take it away, Vanessa!
Tips for Taking Beautiful Engagement Photos
#1 – Ignore the Photographer
Ok maybe you won’t completely ignore them, but the majority of your photos should be about you two. Unless you’re a professional model, constantly interacting with the camera will cause you to seem stiff.
When you look at your wedding and engagement photos later on down the line, you’ll want to remember how you felt that day, not how you were posed. Being more involved in spending a great time with your fiance or spouse than worrying about how you look or feel will result in better photos.
Try This: Focus more on your significant other during a photo shoot. Laugh with them, be lost in the moment with them, and do you best to let everything else fade away.
#2 – Strut Your Stuff
We all want to highlight our best features. The best way to do this is to bring any part of your body that you love, closer to the camera.
Love your eyes? Lean your head slightly towards the camera and tilt your chin slightly down to cause you eyes to open more. Love your hair? Make sure it’s blown-out or nicely styled and stays more in front of your shoulder than behind. Love your shoulders? Don’t be afraid to throw a little sass at the camera and do some cute over-the-shoulder poses! Want to show off your waistline? Make sure the your hands aren’t ever flat by your sides. Bring your arms and elbows ever so slightly away from your waistline so the camera can clearly see it.
#3 – Be Your Own Photoshop
This tip is exactly the opposite as the previous. Any parts that you’re not too fond of, or want to appear slimmer, move them away from the camera. Objects that are farther away from the camera are perceived smaller than they are.
For example, if you want your arms to look slimmer, be sure to always have a slight bend in your elbows and bring your elbow more towards the back rather than out to the side. Have hips that don’t lie? I hear ya girl! Just stand slightly sideways instead of dead-on to the camera and lean on your back leg (causing the one closest to the camera to bend). Not only will this make your hips appear smaller, but you’ll love the sexy curve it’ll give to your whole body.
#4 – Chin OUT (not up or down)
This may be one of the biggest mistakes I see people make in wedding and engagement pictures. So many people want to avoid having a double-chin so they pick their chin up. All that does is show the camera more of the neck you’re trying to hide. Occasionally, people will do the opposite and tilt their chin down. Unfortunately, this can emphasize any extra neck skin that we’re trying to disguise.
Try This: Think like a turtle and pop your head out of it’s shell. Try to create as much space as possible between the front of your shoulders and the back of your jaw, almost like a chicken does during his cluck-cluck head bob. Bringing your face closer to the camera while keeping your body and shoulders where they are may feel completely weird, but it’ll make you look amazing!
#5 – Like and Trust Your Photographer
You may not have thought about this before, but your photographer is the one vendor that you spend the most time with before, during and after your wedding. Not only do you have to trust them with your precious wedding memories and knowing all of the above secrets to making you looking amazing, but you should like them too!
Try This: Imagine (or actually do!) going out for coffee or a drink with your photographer. Do you think you’d like hanging out with them? Does he or she seem like a person that can handle stressful situations with ease and grace? If so, then you’ve struck gold!
Remember: Your wedding and engagement photos are not for you.
Sure, you’ll enjoy them, hang them on your walls and relive your wedding day while sipping on champagne and eating the rest of your wedding cake on your 1st anniversary and beyond.
But, here’s the secret. These precious photos are for your children to discover one day. For your grandchildren to learn how your story (and theirs) began. They’re part of the legacy that will forever live in your family. I know as a NJ and NYC wedding photographer I hope to create that legacy for you and make you look amazing too!