Picture a turtle craning his neck away out of its shell. This provides seperation from the neck and a more defined jaw line. The next part could go either way. Some experts say chin down slightly, others suggest up. It all depends upon the desired end result. Chin down suggests vulnerability while chin up suggests strength and power. Both choices, however, come with disclaimers. If you look down, avoid furrowing your brow. If you look up, avoid overdoing it. Either way, tilt your chin slightly so that it is more in the direction of your front shoulder, angling the other shoulder back.
If it Bends
If it bends, bend it! Knees, elbows, wrists, you get the picture. A general suggestion is to create an 'S' curve with the lines of your body, using shoulders, hips and knees as reference points. Put your weight on your back leg with knee slightly bent.
Yes breathe. Like during exercise, you might be tempted to hold your breath as you concentrate. This will only make you appear as if you are, indeed, holding your breath. Or exercising. Or in pain. If these are not the look you're after, consider breathing through your mouth, seperating your lips slightly.
Don't always smile with your lips. Smiling with your eyes is an effective approach to achieving that non-smiling but still pleasant look, especially if have a grouchy face "at rest" as I do.
If you don't know where to look other than straight into the camera, consider these 3 options: the light, each other, down your body line. 1) Looking towards the light creates a lively catchlight in the eyes. Of course you don't want to be squinting into direct sunlight, but window light is a good idea should you be indoors. 2) Looking at each other, whether that be just one more subject or a family, creates an intimacy and sometimes laughter. Both can make for great images. 3) I sometimes direct women to "sniff your shoulder" as a referance for looking down the body line.
These suggestions take some practice, which is a good idea to execute pre-shoot in front of a mirror. Putting your faith in a photographer - and her ability to direct - is just one of the reasons why hiring a professional is worth the investment. Many people claim not to like having their picture taken. What I have discovered after 18 years in the wedding photography business, however, is that they most likely don't appreciate being photographed badly. And who does?
Tips and photography courtesy Carmen Adams of FRESH Photography and curator of Kootenay Wedding. See the Kootenay Wedding Pinterest board for more inspiration and interact with us on the Kootenay Wedding Facebook page.