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Here's How to Pose for Your Wedding Photos

Alexis Wolfer, author Radiant Bride, shares tips for looking natural and comfortable in your wedding photos.
Bride holding a bouquet and posing on her wedding day
Mint Photography
irina grechko the knot wedding planning expert
by Irina Grechko
irina grechko the knot wedding planning expert
Irina Grechko
Wedding Planning Expert
  • Irina Grechko is a Senior Fashion and Culture Editor for Refinery29.
  • Irina is an experienced editor who has focused on fashion and wedding content.
  • Irina served as an Assistant Editor of News and Planning for The Knot.
Updated Nov 12, 2018

If the idea of taking thousands of photos on your wedding day seems daunting, you're not alone. After all, unless you're a professional model, you're probably not accustomed to being in front of the camera for hours on end. So how do you pose for a wedding photographer to guarantee shots you'll actually want to frame or put in your wedding album? We caught up with lifestyle and beauty expert Alexis Wolfer, who also wrote Radiant Bride, a beauty, wellness, fitness and fashion guide to looking and feeling your best in time for your wedding. Read tips from Wolfer's book on how to look completely natural in your wedding photos.

1. Find Your Best Side

"No one's face is perfectly symmetrical and while I'm sure both sides of your face are gorgeous, you probably have one you like a bit better (even if you don't yet know it!). Take some selfies (or ask your BFF to help you out) and practice posing with your face tilted in each direction. Once you know your 'best side,' always pose with your best face forward."

2. Contour Your Face

"A great picture is all about the angles—and a picture taken with you looking directly into the camera flattens out your natural ones by eliminating the shadows that help to contour your face. While that's not to say you can't look stunning in a straight-on shot, if you don't have exceptionally pronounced bone structure, a slight tilt of your chin (either up or down) and turn of your cheek (to your best side, of course) will help to make your face look more chiseled."

3. Mind Your Chin

"To make a round or oval face look slimmer, angle your chin down ever so slightly (careful not to create a double chin in the process). If you have a pronounced forehead, lift your chin up just a bit to create more balance. Regardless of your face shape and chin angle, push your entire face forward a little. What's closest to the camera will look the biggest, so pushing your face forward a bit will make your body appear slimmer. Alternatively, you can ask the photographer to shoot you from a slightly overhead angle to create the angles without you having to do anything."

4. Smile Naturally

"The key is to smile like you do in real life—and not as big as possible. When you smile largely, your cheeks puff out and your eyes squint, which isn't the most flattering of poses. Instead, practice relaxing your face, opening your mouth ever so slightly, and thinking of something that makes you happy—like spending the rest of your life with your significant other."

5. Use Your Tongue

"Try pushing your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This somewhat awkward feeling pose will help to elongate your neck and reduce the appearance of any double chin. Just practice ahead of time to make sure you don't look uncomfortable doing it."

6. Smize

"Tyra Banks popularized the term as shorthand for smiling with your eyes—and it works! You know when you smile how your eyes squint, the corners turn up, and you look slightly up? When you pose, try to replicate that look, even in non-smiling shots. The result will be a more approachable, happy look, even when you're not actually smiling."

7. Accentuate Your Arms

"The key to posing your arms is to keep them away from your body so they're not smushed against your torso, causing them to photograph wider than they actually are. One of the most flattering poses is to put the arm closest to the camera on your hip to accentuate your waist and slim your arm. Just be sure to tuck your elbow so it's pointing behind you and not out to the side. Feeling too posed? Just make sure your arms are lifted ever so slightly off your body or hold the person's back next to you to conceal your arm altogether."

8. Love Your Legs

"Even if you're wearing a gown that completely conceals your legs, don't forget to pay attention to them. Either bend one knee (even the littlest bit) so you don't look stiff or cross your ankles at your calves to elongate your legs and make your hips appear narrower."

9. Angle Your Body

"Turn your body so it's at a 45-degree angle or so you're facing the person you're standing next to in order to put your body's depth (not width) on display, which, for most women, is more flattering."

10. Stand Up Straight

"Great posture goes a long way in making you look happier, healthier, more fit and more confident. It also affects how you feel, giving you more energy, which you'll need!"

11. Relax

"Have fun, laugh and be you. You want your pictures to capture the essence of the occasion, not to look posed. Feeling stuck and uptight with all eyes on you? Look away from the camera, or have a moment with your love, and then come back to it. Or when all else fails, dance around a bit!"

Ready to find your pro? Start your search for local wedding photographers on The Knot Marketplace.

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