Wedding series: Tips on taking the perfect photo

August 17, 2017

Do you struggle to get the perfect photo? It’s a very difficult skill to master but if you have an important event coming up like a wedding, formal or long awaited holiday you want to look your very best.

With a wedding to plan and a hobby that requires countless selfies and photoshoots  – I need all the help I can get. So, I caught up with Canadian photographer Jimmy from Pixelicious who specialises in turning moments into memories. Jimmy has many years experience and has seen it all, so here are his best tips to become your most photogenic self!

1) Start by turning the body slightly away from the camera

Photographers tend to avoid shooting female models straight on as this often makes them look wider than they really are. The other ‘unflattering’ angle is to turn completely sideways. This can emphasise the arm and the profile angle of the subject’s face, which might not always be a flattering feature.

Turning slightly, say about 20 degrees, captures a slimmer, more flattering silhouette. As to turning left or right, that’s just a personal preference so go with what feels more natural.

2) Shift your weight by gently lifting your front foot

Posing starts at the feet. By slightly lifting the front foot onto the toes, bending the front knee, we shift our weight towards the back leg and away from the camera. This gives the classic, hourglass silhouette from the camera’s perspective.

For those who wish to portray a more fashion, stylised pose with attitude, do the opposite by shifting weight to the front leg. This gives a stronger, more masculine pose. 

3) Keep your back straight

A slouched back looks sloppy and unflattering in pictures so it is crucial to work the hips and spine to keep the back straight. Stand tall with confidence.

 4) Gently bend the joints

Try looking into the mirror with both arms completely straight, you will appear stiff and uncomfortable. Especially for females, try bend the joints, this includes the elbows, wrists and fingers to soften the image.

By bending the elbows, we move our arms away from our hips, therefore slimming by at least two inches each side. Those not experienced with posing will have difficulty with the hands, often asking “what do I do with them?”. The simple solution is to distract the hands by holding something, such as a bouquet, a purse, a veil or simply bringing both hands together. If posing as a couple, practice some interaction such as holding hands, laughing or gazing into each other’s eyes.

Finally, gently curl the fingers for the soft touch.

5) Shoulders at different heights

We add a bit more finesse by having one shoulder higher. Tilting the head towards the higher shoulder offers a softer, feminine look. For male models we would avoid this by asking to tilt towards the lower shoulder.

6) Keep it simple for the eyes

My personal preference for females is to either have them look towards the camera or look down. This simplifies a lot of things and avoids awkward situations of looking here, looking there.

If photographers recognise a lazy eye, a good tip is to ask the person to look slightly higher, say at the flash instead of the lens. This forces your eyes to open wider. The exception will be posing a couple where it is perfectly fine for them to look at each other as they are interacting.

7) Expression trumps perfection all the time

Rules are meant to be broken, this includes posing. Remember the goal is to have fun and not always running through a checklist while in front of the camera. I would much prefer a candid, natural expression as opposed to a perfect pose so communication between photographer and model is essential.

There you go, simple tips that everyone can incorporate during their next photo shoot!