5 Tips on How to take better wedding photos (for family and friends)

It’s inevitable:  Your family and friends are going to take a lot of photos of you on your wedding day—Lots.  And then they are going to post those photos on social media (i.e. Facebook) quite literally before you say “I Do”.  How do you make sure that these photos show you at your absolute best on your wedding day?  You could have an unplugged wedding/ceremony which I do recommend and will write a separate post about.
But if you aren’t going to have an unplugged wedding, I’ve written down 5 tips to help your family and guests get better photos of you on your wedding day.  So tell them to get out the iPhone and start practicing!

#1: The shooting angle

Make sure that the lens should be above your eye level for a more flattering photo. Also, bring your chin out and down (about a 1/2 inch) to sculpt the jawline.  No shooting up the nose!


#2: The focal length

Use a 50mm lens or greater.  It compresses the images and looks better.  Trust me on this one, portraits with a wide angle don’t look good, especially when vertical.  So zoom in or get out the long lens.   20141004-DDP3213donovan1919

#3: Smile with your eyes

Everyone’s eyes tend to get bigger if they are listening (or afraid).  How do we fix this?  Squint your lower eyelids just a touch.  Give it a try it in the mirror now. See how much more confident and appealing you look?20150103-DDP0217donovan2210

#4: Chin, shoulders, hands

Posing is not an easy one to explain in a top 5 tips because it will usually takes lots and lots of practice to become proficient.  Plus there isn’t a lot of extra time on the wedding day.  But everyone wants to look good and also slimmer (okay 99% want to look slimmer) in photos.  Start with the chin (out and down), then look at the shoulders and arms and then look at the hands.  Work on those three (chin, shoulders, hands and your photos will start looking so much better).  I will tell you this as an experienced photographer:  guys care about their bald spot (don’t shoot the back of their head) and double chin (remember out and down).  The ladies care about EVERYTHING!  Start with the chin, shoulders and hands.20140913-DDP0113donovan2061

#5: Check your photos

We live in the age of digital.  Check your photo to make sure that you got it right!  Unless of course everyone is waiting for you.  If that is the case, hurry up and stop chimping (looking at the back of your camera)!    20140913-DDP0425donovan0642

#6: Bonus tip: You are beautiful

True beauty comes from the inside.  This isn’t just a saying.  It really is true, and I see this all the time as a photographer.   Nothing is more attractive than confidence, happiness, love, positive energy, etc.  So let your inner beauty shine through with all the positive energy!