Candid Wedding Photos | How to Look Natural - TSP

Candid Wedding Photos | How to Look Natural

Although taking photographs on your wedding day is exciting, it can often be nerve-racking as well! Most of us are not used to taking professional photos.

Here are a few of my top tips to make sure your wedding photos come out amazing:

1. Look Anywhere Except at the Camera

It’s funny, most of the couples I work with tell me they love candid, natural photographs that don’t look posed. Yet what do we all do when someone points a camera at us? We look straight into the lens and smile.

It’s only natural—we’ve been doing it for years at family events! Yet one of the easiest ways to get that candid look to your photographs is to turn your gaze towards anything but the camera.

Not only does looking away help you relax, since you’re no longer focused on the process of being photographed, but it also naturally gives off a candid vibe.

One of my favorite ways of implementing this is having you look at your fiancé. Oftentimes just the act of looking each other can take you out of your head and get you to start smiling and laughing together.

NYC Wedding

In this photograph from Dane & Carolyn’s wedding, I had them look at each other as I framed them with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background to give the picture a candid feel.


2. Practice Breathing From the Mouth and Smiling With Your Eyes

Have you ever heard of the term smizing? Coined by model Tyra Banks, the term stands for smiling with your eyes. It’s actually very simple!

Smizing is similar to squinting, just with less effort. To practice, stand in front of mirror and try to squint about halfway. It may take a few tries to perfect it, so keep adjusting the amount of your squint until you have what I like to call “cool eyes”.

Watch this video to see an example as well as Tyra Banks explaining how to do it.

Another tip is to breath from your mouth instead of your nose. When we clench our lips together, we naturally look more stiff. Breathing from your mouth while you are being photographed will help relax the face, loosening your muscles and making you look more natural.

Next time you’re looking through a fashion magazine or advertisement, keep an eye out for these two techniques—I guarantee you almost all of the models will be doing them!

Candid Wedding Photos—How To Look Natural

In this example from Hannah & Sam’s wedding, I had them look straight at the camera while both smizing and breathing from their mouths. You can see how modelesque the picture becomes with these two techniques!


3. Enjoy the Session

This might sounds simple, but it probably makes the biggest difference out of these three tips—make sure you are enjoying the session!

I understand that you might not feel comfortable being photographed—that’s totally normal. I often tell the couple’s I work with the more awkward you feel, the better your photos will look—feeling awkward does not mean your photographs are  coming out bad.

Taking photographs on your wedding day should be something fun and exciting, something you look forward to doing. It shouldn’t be some formal, stiff event.

The best way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to find a photographer who will put you at ease, and who understands the things that you value.

When you are interviewing photographers, make sure they are really listening and understanding the parts of the wedding day that excite you. If they are, they’ll naturally take photographs that will resonate with you, and that will also make you excited about your wedding photography, making your photos that much better.