In this blog and episode of The Bridechilla Podcast, Photographer Cavin Elizabeth shares her best tips for being comfortable in front of the camera and making the most of your wedding photography.
For me to be comfortable in front of the camera, I not only have to trust and love my photographer but also must feel great about my appearance and wardrobe. Additionally I want to make sure that I am posed in the most flattering angles for my body. Below I’ve written a few tips on those topics to help you become more at-ease in front of the camera!
Listen to the episode 343
1. Stand Up Straight and Keep Shoulders Back and Down
It’s no secret that great posture makes people look much more flattering and confident than slouching. Standing up straight with your shoulders back and down away from the ears not only makes you appear taller, it also makes you look much more confident. Additionally, you’ll look more relaxed when your shoulders are down rather than tensed up toward your ears.
2. Know Your Good Side
If there’s a side you prefer to your face, tell your photographer so they can photograph you from that side more than the other side of your face. Faces are rarely symmetrical and usually they have a side that looks better than the other. I figured out that my left side is the side of my face I prefer because it has a slightly larger eye (yes, that’s a good thing in this context) and my cheekbone seems to look better on that side. It is so subtle, but I notice that I like photos of my left side more than my right side. If you’re unsure which side you prefer, have a friend take your photo from a few different angles of each side and compare the two!
3. Choose a Great Outfit
Obviously for the wedding, you’ll be set on what to wear, but for engagement photos you have so many more choices and it can be overwhelming. For your engagement photos, plan your outfits to complement one another’s. Choose a consistent color palette (which doesn’t have to mean the same color). If one of you is wearing a bold pattern, dress the other in a complementing solid. You want a beautiful balance between your two outfits, so dress up and see how you both look next to each other!
Think about all of the times you’ve ever been photographed by friends, family, yourself, etc. Unless you are a wedding guest or bridesmaid all the time, it’s likely that you’re in casual or business casual clothing for all of these images, which is why I always suggest that my couples dress up for their session.
You can literally be photographed in casual clothing like jeans and a nice top any day of the week; however, your engagement photos are a once in a lifetime occasion that deserve some clothing effort. If you do want to keep things casual, I still recommend making it the most stylish version of casual. Basically, by putting thought and effort into the selection of your wardrobe, you’re bound to feel great about your choices and that will truly shine in your confidence!
4. Hair and Makeup
Ladies, it is the absolute best thing you can do for yourselves to have your hair and makeup professionally done to ensure you not only look your best, but also so you feel really confident about your look. You’ll have these images forever and you’ll see them hanging on your wall or sitting on your desk everyday, so naturally, you want to look your best. Even if you don’t normally wear much makeup, I recommend wearing more than usual as the camera does not pick up nearly as much makeup as it appears in-person. Don’t be scared if you look a little extra. It’ll turn out beautifully!
Men, if you always love how your hair looks best after cut and styled by your hair stylist, then book an appointment the day of your session. If you prefer your hair a week or so out from your last cut date, then plan for that and be sure to ask your stylist for some tips on how to get the best look at home.
5. Liquid Courage or a Relaxing Activity
Many of my couples love sipping champagne during their sessions or even going to a brewery to start off the photos. Not only does this allow them to relax with liquid courage, it also gives me a fun activity to photograph. I love unique sessions like that!
If you’re not much of a drinker, find an activity you can do during your photos that would look great on camera. Examples include walking your dog together, cooking or baking in the kitchen (if it has great light!), or even renting a rowboat for some super romantic images.
Meet Cavin Elizabeth
Hi! I’m Cavin, an international wedding film and digital photographer based in San Diego. My inspiration comes not only from beautiful aesthetics like old-world European architecture and the fine arts, but also from my incredible couples and the love they share for each other.
As a boutique studio I love to connect with each and every one of my couples so that they feel truly at-ease and comfortable with me every step of the way. My style of organic posing and my ability to loosen up anybody in front of my camera gives my images a romantic, authentic, and dreamy look.
As a photographer who fully believes in the value of client education, I published a book that teaches brides how to make the most out of their wedding photography and have magazine worthy images entitled A Bride’s Guide to a Picture Perfect Wedding. My passion for helping my clients make the most out of their photos has often been described as one of their favorite things about working with me!
Images by Cavin Elizabeth