I’ve wanted to write this post for sometime and I get asked by many of my makeup and bridal clients “how do I pose for the camera” and “what photos should I get my photographer to take”.
Being part of the bridal preparations in the morning, I’ve meet many a photographer with varying styles and attitudes...the bride always gets nervous upon having her photo taken and they can suddenly seize up or go completely the other way and be beyond caring as it’s been such a build up to this point, plus there can be a lot of commotion and stress in the getting ready part of the morning.
One thing I will say is that you have paid for this day! It’s your day (and of course your beau to be) but it’s your moment. You don’t want to look back and think what you should have done differently, you should look back and remember those significant moments of the day with fond happiness.
Below I will give you some tips on how to pose naturally and those ‘must have’ photos to be captured in the morning.
1. Don’t get the photographer to take makeup of you or your bridal party without any makeup on. These pictures won’t make your album...lets be honest! Yes you get photographers wanting to capture the process but whose process? Get your makeup/hair done first before snaps are taken. I have regularly done what I call ‘fake makeup applying’ to brides whereby I’m holding a makeup brush to their face, pretending to powder or adding an extra dab of lip gloss. Your more inclined to keep these photos than ones of you bare faced and tired in your PJ’s.
2. Get a photo of you alone after you’ve got in your dress, either looking into a mirror or standing in an alcove of a window looking away from the lens. If there’s a particular feature of the dress you fell in love with why not get it photographed with you in it. You may love the back of the dress, it’ll look much better on you than just a picture of it hanging lifelessly on a hanger. So here’s a tip, you wearing your dress and slightly turn your head down towards the area you love.
3. If you have children, get a photo of you with your children alone. The best one is to have them either side of you and them looking up at you and you looking down at them. But it depends on their age, if they are younger than 5 its best to sit on a chair with them beside you. It’s natural and loving plus they are more likely to smile at you than pull silly faces or blink straight at a camera lens. I suggested this for a few weddings and every time I see this particular photo it’s always a favourite.
I know adding children to the getting ready mix is a stressful thought but delay their arrival to just before you go or 15/30 minutes before you leave. They can see their mummy looking like a princess and you can gush over how cute they look in their outfit.
4. Get photos of your flowers, I personally spent a lot of money and thought about the design of my bridal bouquet....I can’t help it, I just love flowers. Get a photo of you with your bouquet looking down at it or holding it, or gazing at the row of buttonholes and bouquets when they arrive. If the photographer needs to take photos whilst you are getting ready, this is something they can do in the meantime.
5. Photos of your personal touches. It may not make the album but these little touches you have actually thought deeply about and planned for your wedding day. Be it your blue Manolo Blahnik’s, favourite perfume, jewellery or sentimental pieces. The photographer can busy themselves arranging these items just so and capture them. A bridal client of mine attached little picture brooches to the stem of her bridal bouquet showing loved ones who had sadly passed.
6. A photo of your dress...it’s the one! You spent a good part of a year finding it, trying it on, umming and arhhhing, having it altered, dieting, having it altered again and so on and so on....it becomes a person ha ha well not quite, but most dresses are usually called after women’s names. Get a photo of your dress, but please find a decent hanger to display it on. Again, your photographer will take the dress away with care and find the right place to get the shot, usually in natural light.
7. Photo of someone close fussing over you. Now not everyone has their mother with them on their wedding morning. They may however have their best friend, sister, maid of honour, daughter etc, these people are special to you, so get a photo of just you with them, ready in your respective outfits. A natural in the moment pose could be them doing up the back of your dress, adding your veil to your hair, placing a necklace around your neck, fluffing your dress out etc.
8. A “ready, getting ready” shot. Now this shot is sometimes difficult to achieve if time is against you. But I always plan time in my schedule to allow this photo opportunity. It’s where your ready and your bridal party are ready, in terms of that hair and makeup are done. It could be a shot of you all in the matching robes you’ve bought for the wedding morning or just all of you laughing looking at the bride, clinking glasses or you giving out bridesmaid gifts.
9. Your carriage awaits...a photo with your mode of transport unless it’s from the local taxi firm ha ha! Again wedding transport is expensive and if you’ve shelled out on a horse and carriage, a vintage motor or a novelty car then get a photo, these are your memories of the day.
10. A photo of you reading or receiving a gift. Again have me on hand for touch ups (again another ‘fake makeup’ applying photo opportunity) as this can be a real tear-jerker moment. Reading a letter from your partner or receiving a gift can be a little over whelming but it’s so lovely to have this part captured.
And remember just be yourself and enjoy this special day. You’ll be more natural in your poses and the photographer knows how to capture you.
Wedding Photographer Manu Mendoza based in Hampshire has some words of advice for bridal shooting.
“The getting ready room has to be tidy, a big window always helps and it’s important to have the most important people with you during the getting ready stage as otherwise they won’t be in the photos… you can find more tips from Manu’s website.
Nicci from Adorelee, a Chichester based wedding photographer also shares Manu’s view regarding the getting ready room.
“De-clutter: try to ensure there isn’t loads of rubbish and clutter in the room, it won’t look nice in the background of photos. Also make sure that the room you are getting ready in has plenty of natural light. Have your make-up applied near a window and be sure to leave plenty of space for your make-up artist/ hair stylist, so your photographer has room to get around you to take photos (the best photos will be taken from the same side as the window as the photographer will want the natural light falling upon your face”
Nicci also highly recommends the use of mirrors
“Mirrors - personally I love mirrors! Everyone loves a reflection shot and this can be achieved with smaller or bigger mirrors but do make sure the mirror is pretty for a nicer photo”
You can find more tips from Nicci on her website http://adorlee.co.uk/blog/