A good wedding photograph is 50% the result of an experienced Johannesburg wedding photographer who, with attention to lighting, composition and artistic flair, is able to capture the emotions of the wedding day producing an image that tells a story. The remaining 50% is the result of the subject in front of the lens – YOU the wedding bride. By mastering certain tips, some commonly known, and others we have uncovered over many photo shoots, we can confidently share some Johannesburg wedding photography tips. Okay, so not everyone lights up when a lens is in front of their faces. Some subjects instinctively perk up, striking a pose and assuming a relaxed body language. For others, it may prove to be a daunting task, assuming not as natural a pose, freezing or plastering on less than genuine ‘plastic’ smile. Unfortunately the camera, like a little child, does not lie and it captures faithfully every single emotion that comes before it.

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LUCKILY we have gathered some hints and tips to make you look better in pictures, in other words -photo fabulous. Whether you love taking pictures or want to learn to love posing in front of the camera and in turn, love the pictures that are produced, here are some ten Wedding4Africa insider tips to get you photo fabulous:

SMILE -¾ – Avoid giving a huge wide smile that shows all your teeth as it makes your eyes look smaller and exposes your gums. Alternatively, do not give a tight controlled smile as this will come across in the pictures as unnatural. The norm is to go for is a ¾ smile. Take time before the shoot to practice a contented ¾ smile in front of the mirror (preferably behind closed doors and far from any prospective in-laws).This is true for the posed shots, but of course in the candid ones when a whooper of a smile splits the face of the bride/groom from one end to the other, we will capture it in true wedding 4 africa fashion.

Johannesburg wedding photographyBREATHE – Do not hold your breath in as you will appear stiff, rather exhale and inhale naturally, relaxing your shoulders and face muscles. Remember not to slouch (the eight dwarf was not called photography, thankfully), stand tall.Also do not suck in your stomach when taking pictures as your chest puffs up unattractively and your facial muscles tense up, giving a stuffed turkey look.

Just breathe and call wedding4africa to photograph your wedding!

Gauteng Wedding PhotographersBODY LANGUAGE – Avoid facing the camera squarely with your weight evenly distributed on both feet, as the picture may appear stiff and unnatural. When you are standing, an industry norm is to turn slightly, bringing one shoulder nearer to the camera and rest your weight on one foot (the back foot). Keep the front foot pointed in the direction of the camera and keep your shoulders relaxed with your arms in a natural position. When you do this, your body is angled immediately adding dimension to any photo, making it look more interesting and natural. (In case you get the urge to lean back further than usual, make sure the unsuspecting mother-in-law is NOT behind you to break your fall).
When you are seated, rather than face the camera onwards, angle to one side or the other for a more poised look. Or alternatively you could lean slightly towards the camera. Leaning slightly toward the camera adds interest and passion to what could be an otherwise bland photo.

wedding photographers gautengTHINK HAPPY / SEXY/ PLAYFUL THOUGHTS – When you think happy etc thoughts, this is usually reflected in your eyes, making them sparkle. It also adds an air of mystery to the picture, as if you have a good secret only you know. It is your wedding day and happy thoughts are not far from your mind, so put them to good use. If, however, Uncle Ruckus becomes too attached to Johnny Walker and begins reciting war poetry or your specifically chosen lime green changing dress is actually avocado green in the light, rather than channel the hulk just channel happy etc thoughts…..quick. This technique is sure to take care of any of those frowns from hiccups in a less than near perfect day.
Practice tuning to that good energy of happy-go-lucky times on cue and with time, this will become second nature to you. Also by thinking happy etc thoughts, your body becomes relaxed and great synergy happens between you and the lens. Have you considered using wedding4africa to shoot your wedding?

Gauteng Wedding PhotographersMAKE LIKE A GIRAFFE – If you want to create a poised look (think graceful, elegant), then visualize that you have a long neck like a gazelle, and extend it slightly outwards, then tilt your chin down just a bit. This will not only give a graceful look but also avoid the appearance of a double chin and also prevent the camera from getting a view right up your nostrils. Another tip for avoiding the double chin effect is to press the length of your tongue against the roof of your mouth while smiling.

PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD – Treat this like you are going for an important interview and make sure you put your best foot forward.
In other words, highlight your best features. If you have long sweeping lashes – mascara is your baby, you have nice décolletage – hello cleavage, nice shoulders – can anyone say strapless fast enough, beautiful eyes – flirt them at the camera, pretty bridesmaid – give her the wrong wedding venue (I joke). Modesty is like shoulder pads when it comes to your wedding day, gone with the 70’s. It is the one day you are allowed to preen, glow and then some. Have you secured a Gauteng wedding photographer yet?
Also make sure to cover up your flaws like dark circles (you shouldn’t have stayed up so late wondering if the colour was egg shell cream). Use makeup and read up on ways to disguise any flaws that will detract from the photo fabulousness of your best features.

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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT – Of course, you must practice, practice, and practice. Let the mirror be your friend. Set your camera to sequence and shoot some poses. In no time you will be photo fabulous for your day.

JUST BE – Just be. This energy usually filters down to the groom, bridal party, the guests and the ever candid lens which will have field day capturing these happy moments. You have booked the venue, paid for the cake (if the Gauteng wedding church committee haven’t baked it for free), you are in that one size smaller wedding dress and so victorianly corseted, everyone is behaving (excluding a certain uncle ruckus whom you have strategically seated behind the largest column by the door), you have chosen your groom and apparently the priest said no returns after 10 days if he doesn’t fix the plumbing, so the right thing to do (after paying your SABC TV licence of course) is to enjoy your day.
Don’t fret about what your image of your day was, is, should have been, a good wedding photographer will capture the day as you envisioned it, no one does ‘Kodak’ moments like a good professional at www.wedding4africa.co.za.

WHICH BRINGS US TO OUR LAST POINT – EMPLOY A PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER IN GAUTENG – This is the most important tip to looking photo fabulous in wedding pictures. It is your special day and you will be forgiven for wanting to hog the entire spotlight, which you should. (Disclaimer – this is not the cue for bridezilla) There have been horror stories of brides shifting through the apocalypse that is an amateur’s hand at wedding photography and weeping at the vastness of red eye shots, over exposed or under exposed photos, cut off limbs, photos of unknown cleavage, out of focus blurry shots, bouquets that look like trees growing out of the brides hands, etc hopelessly trying to salvage at least 10 decent photos. You will grow older (unless we finally get to shoot Peter Pan & Wendy’s wedding), it is important to have flattering pictures of that special moment in your life.