Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Unposing Guide, Part II: How to Stand and Sit Pretty

07 | 03 | 2009

sittingpretty standing pretty

{as always, click any image to enlarge}

Yesterday, I posted a little about moving around freely.  But brides and grooms also spend time not moving on the wedding day—during the ceremony, for instance, or dinner; perhaps during cocktails, and certainly during formal group photos.  Even when you aren’t aware of the camera, you can improve your camera presence dramatically.  I suggest practicing well before the wedding …

I. Standing Pretty

If you’re standing, which you will be doing lots of on your wedding day, the best thing you can do—if you’re a woman, that is!—is to stand with uneven weight on your feet.  It’ll give your body that yummy S-curve you might have learned about in art history class.  All those classic goddess sculptures seem to show women like that, most notably Venus de Milo.  Models shift their weight around to optimize curves naturally, but the rest of us can do it, too.

Keep your bouquet handy whenever it’s practical.  Hold it low and near your middle, with your elbows slightly out from your body.  Not only will you have something to do with your hands, but it’ll be slimming.  {Click here} to read more about holding your bouquet in a flattering way.

If you are heavier than you’d like to be, turning one hip ever-so-slightly away from the camera will go a long way to keeping you slim.  You don’t even need to turn your shoulders as much as your hips.  And, as I said, you really don’t have to turn your hips much, either.  Little changes go a long way.

If you are rail thin, face the camera square-on.  It’ll give you the most presence and the most shape.

Men, stand naturally.  You’ll look great just as you are.  For most men, their posing/unposing challenges are more about figuring out what to do with the hands, and about keeping the chin down. Really! So keep your chin down.  Keep your hands at your sides, or maybe, maybe in your pockets if it’s a very casual photo.  Don’t ever stand holding your hands clasped in front of you.

groom_standing groom_sitting

II. Sitting Pretty

If you’re sitting, sit with perfect posture.  I know the models get all slouchy in photos, but that actually doesn’t look good in real life or in photographs of real life.  Sit up tall.  It’s essential.  The impact is dramatic.  I find that sitting nearer the edge of the chair, rather than with my back against the back of the chair helps a lot. Women, cross your ankles or legs.  It’s not a question of modesty, but more a question of avoiding the thighs flattening out on the chair …

Check back on Monday for tips on unposing your face.

photo credit: Gia Canali


The Unposing Guide, Part I: Be Carefree in Your Dress

07 | 02 | 2009

carefree-bride-and-groom carefree-bride-and-groom

{as always, click any image to enlarge}

I thought that here, in the thick of wedding season, is as good a time as any to begin a conversation on how to look naturally beautiful—or natural and beautiful—in front of the camera.  I’d call it a posing guide, but I mean for it to be an unposing guide, as I hope to help you improve your camera presence, even when you’re camera unaware.  And the best place to start is with how you move. This might seem strange because I make still photographs, and not moving ones … but how you look when you move will also be how you look on camera when you move.  In fact, let’s back up.  Your willingness to move around freely will greatly affect the mood and types of portraits and documentation your photographer will be able to get throughout the wedding.  Otherwise all you’ll end up with are static shots.  Most people, these days, anyway, want variety, and at least some pictures that reflect that sort of carefree exhilaration they share with their beloved.  In order to get that, it helps if you can walk together, dance together, move together.  You don’t even have to be adventurous (translation: no running, jumping, or rock climbing involved).  Snuggling is totally acceptable.

The biggest enemy of carefree movement? Anxiety over the dress.

I realize I’m probably preaching to the choir, but let’s get some perspective.  In the fashion industry there’s a thing (I think) called cost-per-wear.  You spend so much on a garment of clothing, you wear it so many times, you divide it out per wear.  Jeans are probably virtually free at the end of their life.  A wedding gown is off the charts.  It costs a lot.  Wear it once.  So, in order to get your money’s worth from the dress (and the day!), let’s say you need to a) enjoy yourself thoroughly, and b) end up with some lovely photographs to prove how beautiful and fun it all was.  So wear the dress.  Don’t be afraid to wear the dress.  Walk in it, dance in it, move in it.  Even if you get a bit of dirt on the train, or someone steps on it, or both of the aforementioned happen before the ceremony, it’s not going to show in the photographs.  Really.  No one (else) will even notice.

photos: {Gia Canali}


Sonya & Kevin’s Wedding Is Featured on Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book Blog Today

07 | 02 | 2009

I always feel a little breathless after typing a headline like that! {Click here} to see the post and be sure to take a little time to troll around their site.  You’ll find endless inspiration—really! … And, of course, {click here} to see more of Sonya & Kevin’s wedding on our own blog.