Have you ever tried to model? We’ve all heard jokes about, “Oh, they just have to stand there and wear clothes, and they get paid bank,” but anyone who has actually tried modeling, knows — it’s hard! Most of us aren’t aware of what every micro-expression, digit, and/or limb is “saying” to the camera, and we don’t want to be. If you’re headed into your wedding day, worrying about how you present yourself in photos is not how to best spend your time. We’ve gone ahead and gathered advice on taking a great picture, so you can focus on enjoying the day and feeling confident that you look amazing. Because you do — you look amazing.


Models? No! Just beautiful, normal folks like you who took the most important advice of all…

Be Yourself

Your guests, your future spouse, your family — they’re all present at your event because they know you and they love you. Your wedding day is the time to celebrate who you are as a couple and as individuals who have come together to make a commitment. Focus on the moment and being true to yourself, and let your talented photographer take care of the rest. The more fun you’re the having, the more fun it will look like you’re having in your photos. No brainer, but you’d be surprised how many folks forget these super simple tidbits.

Most of us are not born with a natural ability to know how to work a camera. The gorgeous photos of brides and grooms on wedding blogs we spend hours gazing and drooling over are not models. They are real couples. So what makes them look good? They are relaxed and enjoying the moment. —OneFabDay.com

Don’t Stress about the Couture Poses

Unless you actually are a model and you’re shooting for a wedding magazine, high-fashion editorial poses can look silly (in the bad way) and unnatural. We hope you feel like a million bucks in your dress, but it usually works best when you move and pose your body in a way you’re used to — again, it’s you the photographer is trying to capture, not your emulation of a professional model. Don’t stress about contorting your body this way or that to reach a certain pose; stick to what you know and trust the communication of your photographer. They will tell you when you look amazing and you should roll with that! Believe us when we say you already have what it takes.

Many people freeze up when the camera comes out, making them stiff and awkward-looking. To help you feel relaxed, think of something funny or just giggle to yourself. — Robyn Myhr, via Glamour.


Use What You Know Already

In these days of the selfie, most of us have some idea about what’s flattering. Use that information in a relaxed, low-pressure way on your wedding day and relax into the knowledge that your photographer is taking care of you. Super-simple things — like standing at a slight angle as opposed to straight on — can help you feel like you’re doing what you can without adding another bullet point to your to-do list.

Before you experiment with something new, remember that you have to live with the consequences. Do you really want your experiment to be immortalized? Then maybe now isn’t the best time to take a big risk. —Refinery29

It’s OK to Feel Nervous

But don’t let it ruin the day. Pensive, thoughtful bride and groom photos are: 1) beautiful, and 2) true to life, which makes them even more of a treasure. Channel that energy into excitement if you’re able and think good thoughts.

A good idea is to think happy/sexy/excited thoughts — hopefully you won’t have to [work hard to] do this on your wedding day!! — and really commit yourself to these feelings. It sounds utterly ridiculous, I know, but honestly if you are thinking and feeling sexy and confident it really will come through in your expression. —Kat Williams, Rock & Roll Bride.


Details, Details, Details

Are your tags tucked? Are wayward hairs smoothed? Is there a can of soda on the dresser behind you? A good photographer will help you keep track of all these details, but you and your wedding party can also keep these small things in mind. They can add up to big impact in your photos.

Stay Hydrated & Fed

So simple, but so easy to forget when you’re busy! Water and food are not optional parts of your wedding day. Keeping these necessities in mind will not only help you avoid the dreaded state of “hanger,” but also keep you naturally smiling the whole day through.


Have Fun

You didn’t think we were going to leave this off, did you? If you absorb nothing else from this list, first and last will get you through the photographs with flying colors. If you’re enjoying the process, the joy will come through the photos and you’ll have fantastic memories of taking the pictures to boot. Choose photographers who bring out the joy in you, who you find it easy to smile around, and the rest will be literal cake. An engagement shoot can also be a great way to build rapport and get comfortable with your photographers.

Plan to spend a few hours with the photographer you’ve hired for your wedding day to work out any kinks — kissing on command is harder than it looks — and get to know the people who will capture your special day. When you’re comfortable with the person behind the camera, you’re much more likely to look natural in front of it. —Refinery29

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We cannot say this enough: if you are having fun, it will look like you are having fun. Plus, wouldn’t you rather be having a blast than rifling through lists of should’s and should-not’s in your head?