I was chatting with one of my brides the other day and she said the following:
"Do what you can. My face just isn't that photogenic. I'm not going to look like those other girls on your website."
First off, that kind of broke my heart. Everyone is beautiful. It's true! We all have features that we want to highlight, maybe some we'd like to minimize, but everyone has a lovely, sparkling light in their face. The trick is just knowing how to capture it.
And it can be quite tricky! Why do some many people think they take "bad photos"? Mainly two reasons:
1. Light is a crazy little critter! If you don't know what it's doing and if your photographer doesn't understand it, it can make for "bad portraits"
2. The camera might not "add 10 pounds" but what it DOES do is turn a beautiful, complex, three dimensional object (your face) into a flat, two dimensional image.
The hack for dealing with both of these root causes is to understand light. Now, most professional photographers and artists in general will tell you that takes a life time to do. And it might! But over the years I've learned some super simple, super basic concepts about lighting that I want to share with all you brides-to-be out there. So....introducing a new wedding photography series! Posing perfection :)
Here is your first super simple tip:
Point your nose toward the light.
How many times have you taken a selfie and thought "Sheesh! I look terrible! I have bags under my eyes and I look exhausted!"
The most lightly reason for that is that the main light source in the pic was coming from ABOVE your face. If the light falls onto your face from above, first, it's going to hit your forehead, and when it hits those ridges, it's going to cast a shadow under your eyes. RACCOON EYES!!! No one wants that. Well, unless you are trying to create a spooky halloween face :D
If instead, your nose is pointed toward the light, it will hit your face more directly. Yes, you'll get a few little shadows on the side of your nose and your eyes, but that can actually be really flattering! (If you're interested, check out butterfly and clamshell lighting techniques).
I know what you're thinking:
"Rachel! I can't change the lighting in my house! Or the sun! How can I make sure that the light is hitting my face more directly?"
Simple! Nose towards the light! Light coming from above? Turn your face up, towards it! Light from below, chin goes down. Easy as pie!
Stay tuned for more super simple tips like these that will help you nail those perfect portraits!