Tips for Flattering Portraits - secondshootersociety.com

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we're michelle
& Kelsie

We're best friends, business partners and completely obsessed with Bath and Body Works Candles. We LOVE photographing weddings and can't wait to teach you #allthethings we've learned over the years!

Tips for Flattering Portraits

As wedding photographers, we hardly ever photograph models; we photograph real people who have zero experience in front of the camera! Because of this, the burden of making sure our clients LOVE the way they look in their photos falls on us. Keep reading for three surefire ways to capture flattering portraits that your clients will love.

1. Help them RELAX.

When your clients are relaxed, the portraits you take will automatically become more flattering! When people feel uncomfortable, their body language gives away all the secrets. Their smiles look pasted on, their shoulders tense up, and their arms and legs will appear stiff and robotic. Your own body language and how you communicate with them will make all the difference!

Before you start each session, assure your couple that you will guide them every step of the way. Joke around with them, keep a smile on your face, and encourage them constantly- even if they aren’t doing something exactly right! As their confidence grows, they will feel more relaxed and their portraits will become more natural and flattering.

2. Ask them which features they love about themselves, which features they are insecure about.

Do they prefer to stand on a certain side because of the way their hair falls? Maybe they love their dimples, but not their upper arms. Are they self-conscious about the mole on their cheek, or do they want to showcase it? You’ll never know unless you ask! Get to know your clients and find our which features they want to highlight, and which ones they want to minimize.

Keep their responses in mind throughout the shoot, and don’t be afraid to reference them (i.e. “Ooh I can really see your dimples, SO CUTE!” or “Let’s have you switch sides, I know you like the way your hair looks on the other side”). Your positive comments will build their confidence even more!

3. Photograph from a higher angle.

We lovingly refer to this as the “selfie rule.” Photos taken from a higher angle are automatically more flattering than photos taken from below! This is because the eyes and face are closer to the camera, while the rest of the body smooths away and looks smaller in proportion.

The angle doesn’t have to be drastic- in fact, if you are on the taller side, you may not need to worry about this at all! However, if you are vertically challenged like we are (we’re both under 5’4″), you may need to employ some tricks to photograph some of your taller clients from a flattering angle. Stand slightly uphill from them, ask them to tilt their torsos slightly towards you, or use your camera in “live view” mode and hold it above your head. These small adjustments will make a huge difference in your final portraits!

Want even more tips on how to flatter your clients in their photos? Check out our “How to Photograph Flattering Bride & Groom Portraits” mini-guide.

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