The MANual: Formal Wear

Wedding Photos: How To Master The Movie Star Pose

Looking good in your wedding photographs takes work. You need to think ahead and, once the camera is pointing at you, you need to pose.

In this age of the Instagram selfie, you probably think you’re a pro at having your picture taken. Based on the thousands of shots we all see posted online daily, you’re not.

Wedding photos are forever, a pictorial record of you on your best and happiest day.  Thirty years from now, you don’t want to be showing guests your wedding album in order to make them laugh. You want them to be amazed at how hot you used to be.

Knowing how to look great in a photo is a skill, and it takes practice. But once you mastered, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Mario Testino or your nearsighted little brother shooting you. You will always look amazing.

FIND YOUR BEST SIDE…

Photography is about taking the three dimensions of real life and reducing them into a two dimensional image. This means you have fewer angles from which to present yourself. Check yourself out in a three-sided mirror, and/or open your phone’s camera roll and go over all your photos. Find your best side, your most attractive angle. We all have one. Note it and stick to it.

FIND THE BEST LIGHT…

Never be photographed outside at noon or inside directly under a chandelier or halogen light.  Overhead lighting casts unflattering shadows on your face and can make you look as if you’re losing your hair. Choose early morning or dusk for outside shots, and shoulder high side-lighting for inside shots.

GET YOUR CLOTHES IN ORDER…

Never be photographed with your jacket unbuttoned. When left open, a jacket creates a space between your waist and arms that adds inches to your midsection.  You’ll look sloppy, not relaxed.

Also, either knot your tie properly or take it off. The last person who looked cool with a loosened tie was Frank Sinatra. You’re not Frank Sinatra.

Tuxedos & Formal Wear

8 Rules To Looking Sharp At Your Wedding

…NOW STRIKE A POSE

We mean it. There’s nothing natural about a photo—especially not a wedding photo—nor is the camera going to reveal your inner thoughts. Want to look happy, sexy, deeply-moved? You’ll need to act it.

If you think just putting on a suit will make you look like a movie star, you’re wrong. Even movie stars don’t look like movie stars without effort. Take Chris Pine or Idris Elba, two of the sexiest men alive at the moment. If you saw either one of them walking around his house in his tighty-whities, you’d probably think “that guy’s kind of freaky looking.” But every time you see a picture of them at a movie opening or event, they look like gods. It’s because they know how to pose.

Here are some pro-level tips for trying to attain that level of visual awesomeness:

  • Position your body.
  • Forget about your hands.  Just leave them alone.
  • Put one leg slightly forward.
  • Twist your body slightly (this thins your waist).
  • Square your shoulders.
  • If you want to look really strong and grounded, open your legs a bit–not like John Cena about to pounce, but just enough to look anchored to the ground.
  • Most guys thrust their chin forward and look up when being photographed.  Do the exact opposite. Look slightly down and up through your eyelashes. Don’t worry about looking coy and girly. You won’t.
  • Instead of looking directly into the lens, look at the top of it.  This classic model’s trick opens your eyes a bit more (which is real helpful after the sixth toast).
  • Whatever your chosen expression (full, half, or no smile), always imagine that you’re trying to seduce the person taking the picture. Imagine it’s someone else behind the camera if necessary.
  • Once your feet are planted, squeeze your butthole tight. Yeah, you read that right: squeeze your ass closed. The tightening relaxes your shoulders, lengthens your torso, pushes your hips forward, and brings in your stomach. No one will know you’re doing it, and you’ll look confident and relaxed in the picture.

Once you strike your chosen pose, don’t break.  Don’t break if there’s an earthquake. Don’t break if it starts to rain. We don’t care if a fucking flying saucer lands behind you: you do not break.

Bottom Line

Don’t just assume that you’ll look great in your wedding photographs. If you want to be proud of those pictures 30 years from now, you need to pose right.

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