Today I'm going to tell you... how to look good!
In my last blog post I talked about the photos that you all love and want: the "as it happens" images.
I know your wedding is not just about those fleeting memories though. Weddings are occasions for family and friends to get together and you may not have been together for a while. You want to record it all.
Today I want to talk about the other photos, the ones you want, but also the ones you dread: the ones you all call "posed".
Actually, I'm going to tell you... how to look GREAT!
After all, if you're going to be having your photo taken loads of times on your wedding day (not just by me but by friends and family too) then you want to know not how to look a bit better than usual, but how to look fabulous. You want to smile when you see an image, not wince, right?
What I hope to show is why you have no reason to dread those more formal images. How they can be really easy. And how to look good in every Facebook image you get snapped in forever more!
I'll do all of that by telling you my secret recipe: I call it the "bar stand".
We always like to do an pre-wedding photo session with our couples. Think of it as a training day - a way to try things out without worry.
We also asked for some pre wedding photo's, this is where Mark really excelled. He came up with a fantastic location close to the sea and beach which was our requirement. He not only turned up two days before the wedding to do the pre wedding photo shot he also went through them with us as we wanted to choose one photo for all our guests to sign on the day. I was speechless with what he produced for us.
Sue and Arnie Bennett
I remember one couple, Lara and Mark, some years ago. They said that they felt really award having their photo taken. Partly this was because they were very different in height. Mark was especially conscious of how he looked.
When we started their pre-wedding photo session we were somewhere out of view of people so that they didn't feel in the spotlight. By the time we finished it had all changed. I wanted to do some photos on a bench with them. The only bench was in the middle of a park with people everywhere. I said that they might not want do that as they would be "on display". Mark replied with words to the effect of, "that's OK they'll all just think that we are celebrities!"
From being shy in front of the camera at the start they were happy and comfortable at the end. And that showed on their wedding photos too.
Preparing for your time in front of the camera like this will help you relax giving you confidence that you're going to get great results that you'll be happy with.
Have you ever been to a pub or wine bar...?
Obviously the answer is, "yes".
At some point a friend turns their iPhone towards you to grab a photo...
...Now, I would love to show you a genuine photo of a client in the "less than flattering" stance that most people adopt in this situation. The truth is that I can't because I delete that photo: I usually take it at a pre-wedding session so they can see the differences for themselves.
Here are, instead, a few shots of Sheila and myself that we've quickly taken to illustrate a simple way to stand that will look great. I call it "the bar stand".
Excuse the surrounds - it's just a space in our loft!
First of all this is the kind of position most people seem to adopt if one goes to take a photo of them. They stand still. Square to the camera. Often bolt upright with a grin.
Yes we've hammed up the grins here.
It's almost as if we remember having photos taken as a kid and being told to "smile for the camera" and "stand up straight".
Let's just soften that a whole lot.
Stand at the bar.
Imagine you're standing at the bar, talking to a friend. Your drink is either in your hand or on the bar behind you. You're likely to do a few things.
Point a foot towards the person you're talking to.
Turn slightly towards the bar (so you can keep your hand on your drink whilst it sits on the counter).
Put a hand in a pocket, or around the waist of your loved one.
Relax a little and put your weight on your back foot.
Tilt your head whilst you listen.
Put a gentle smile on your face to show you're listening and enjoying the discussion (even if it's Great Aunt Gertrude and you really really want to run away because she is boring).
Let's try that then. Here is the original photo again and side-by-side another one that shows us "bar standing".
Ok, finally one of us stood side by side doing a bar stand, or with one of us snuggled in to the chest of the other.
Try that for yourself now. Try the "less than flattering" position. Then try the "bar stand". Flick on your phone between the two.
Here it is again.
Move your feet, put your weight on that back hip, move your hand a touch...
...and even a head and shoulders shot improves. See!
Remember that position on your wedding day and things just got a whole lot easier!
Finally - let me know how that worked for you, and share this with your friends.