A bride lays across a green bar top in a dark lit bar room for her bridal portraits

Bridal Portraits: A Field Guide to Looking Fabulous

Posing tips for your bridal portraits from an expert

Originally posted on SnapKnot.
Introduction: Among Austin wedding photographers, Dustin Meyer is known for his ability to help his brides relax and look their very best for their bridal portraits. His photography style for bridal portraits has earned him acclaim from numerous wedding publications as well as USA Today. Dustin Meyer shares with us his experience with brides on how get the look they want from their bridal portrait sessions.

Right now, you’re probably thinking, “There is absolutely no way I’ll be able to look that stunning in my bridal portrait…”. I actually hear this quite a bit from my brides as we begin the planning process for their bridal portraits session. But I’m telling you the same thing I tell every bride that walks through my studio doorway, “Every bridal portrait of mine that you see has the same thing in common. They are all normal brides just like you.”

Every bridal portrait of mine that you see has the same thing in common. They are all normal brides just like you

That’s the truth of it. None of the pictures I have on my site are models. Nor have they any experience in professional modeling. Everyone of them is a real bride I’ve had the pleasure of working with. In over my 10 years of experience working with brides, I’ve found several easy tricks to posing that every bride can remember to help look their best.


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1. You don’t always have to smile :)

I know this may sound strange, but it’s true. When a bride smiles, her eyes get squinty and her cheeks get wider from her smile. Even though everyone loves a smile, I ask my brides to relax their facial muscles once in a while. This helps the face to appear more slender, and allows their eyes to really show in the photos. Plus, it gives your face muscles a chance to relax. Otherwise, your cheeks will be frozen stiff in a smile that appears to be less genuine by the end of the photo shoot.

A bride lays across a green bar top in a dark lit bar room for her bridal portraits

2. Women have curves, so don’t hide them.

All women can agree that the female body has curves. And every body is different. The one thing I find that can really improve the shape of the body in a bridal portrait is to twist your body. Stand in front of a mirror and point your pelvis towards the right while your shoulders twist to your left. This helps show your waistline while making your knees appear more narrow. Ever wonder where the term “Hourglass Figure” comes from? It’s from this pose.

A bride poses for her bridal portraits with a feather in her hair at El Arbol Restaurant in Austin, Texas

3. Keep your arms away from your waistline.

No bride wants to add inches to their figure that don’t really exist. I find the best way to prevent this is by keeping your arms away from your waist. Telling my brides to “Create a window” reminds them to make some space between the inside of their arms and their waist to help keep their arms from touching their sides. Again, by practicing this in front of the mirror, you can see immediately the difference between showing your true waist and accidentally adding unreal inches.

A bride poses for her bridal portraits in a doorway backlit with her wedding bouquet.

4. Keep your chin up.

The biggest no-no I watch out for is tucking the chin. This can absolutely ruin a great photo. Sometimes, brides may be nervous or shy and instinctively lower their chin to their chest while being photographed. This creates a double chin that nobody wants to have in their bridal portraits. Remember to keep your chin away from your neck in a relaxed manner. This always helps reduce any unnecessary baggage.

A laughing bride leaning against a tree while holding her bridal gown.

5. MOST IMPORTANT: Have fun with it!

Sometimes being photographed can get a little unnerving. But don’t let that keep you from enjoying your bridal portraits session and having a great time! Bring your Maid of Honor or your mom. This helps keep it fun and relaxed, letting you enjoy the moment and allowing your photographer to get really great shots of you having a good time!

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