Our smiles…they are one of the ways that people remember us the most. But it can be so frustrating when you smile on camera then later notice you were super tense or your smile just seemed force or fake. Trust me! I get it!
I have hard the hardest time getting my most natural smile for the camera! Steve’s often committed on my smile during our portrait sessions, because I smiled SO hard that my eyes looked closed…talk about tense!
I could seriously show you about 20 images from childhood on where I just couldn’t relax for the camera, but I practiced and coached myself and others through it. Now, I’m able to give a much better smile for the camera, and I have started loving being in pictures more over the last couple of years! So, I want to share as much as I can with you about how to get your most natural smile for your stunning bride or groom shots.
1. Look at Him (or Her!)
I can almost guarantee you that the quickest way to a genuine smile is to just look at your new bride or groom! Ask them to stand just off to the side or behind my shoulder as I photograph you, then just simply let their presence relax you. I may even ask them to tell you ridiculous jokes or just talk you to distract your attention. I’m patient, so take your time and enjoy the moment! Jump in the picture together…hold each other…and whisper little secrets and in no time you’ll both be smiling!
2. Close your eyes
If you feel like you just can’t relax your smile, or you’re sensing that you are super nervous in front of the camera, try this! Close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths, count to 3 then open your eyes with a huge smile on your face! Don’t be shy about trying it a couple of times until the tension leaves your face or you crack up laughing. I can always guide you to do this during your portraits, but you can also try it on your own.
3. Move around or Dance
This works really well during your couple portraits. If you can dance together…even if it feels super awkward…you might just start laughing or smiling at each other because you’re doing something other than just standing still. If the photos are of you, then feel free to move slightly even if it is shifting your feet around a little. The ease of movement can help your whole body relax and create an opportunity for you to smile with less tension.
Ask one of your bridesmaids or your mom to stand close by and just talk to you. Talking automatically can ease you into smiling, and you can shift your focus from the camera to the person you’re chatting with. Feel free to talk to me, too! If you let me know you are feeling nervous, I can 100% chat with you! 😉
I’m sure you have at least a couple of times taken a second to smile at yourself in the mirror or on your phone…so take a little time before your wedding to practice your smile! Hide in the bathroom or sneak out to your car if you have to, but put in a little time in front of a mirror or camera so you can see how your smile looks when you are relaxed! It may seem like a strange practice, but if nothing else it will help you identify your stressed smile and you can always let me know that’s kinda your go-to smile!
How do you practice getting your most natural smile? Send me a note to let me know!
If you just got engaged, I ‘d love to chat with you about your wedding photography! Feel free to send me a message below!
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]