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couple kissing/"How To Look Your Best in Wedding Photos"/Photo: Emily Steffen Photography / The Knot

How to Look Your Best In Your Wedding Photos

There’s no reason to just wing it. Take a few extra measures to guarantee you look your best in photos with these camera-sesh strategies.

Photo: Emily Steffen Photography / The Knot

Before the Wedding Day

Practice smiling
We know it sounds a little funny, but practice makes perfect, even when it comes to your smile. We want you to look natural -- that means be comfortable with your smile and own it. Model and actress Beau Dunn, who works on cosmetics campaigns and TV shows, suggests taping favorite photos of yourself (or celebs on the red carpet) to the mirror and mimicking the poses and expressions. Trust us, the more you do it, the more natural it’ll feel.

Whiten your teeth
A pretty smile will radiate with pearly whites. For a brighter smile that will make you feel more confident, try Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips ($50, Crest.com). For best results, get a professional cleaning to remove plaque before beginning a whitening treatment and use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth two days prior to using the strips.

Get a manicure
That ring deserves to have its picture taken, and you want your fingers to look pretty! Celeb wedding photographer Jasmine Star reminds all of her clients to get a manicure before an engagement shoot.

Do your homework
Ask your photographer for links to their favorite sessions. This will give you an idea of what to expect for your photos (both engagement and wedding).

Decide on a location
“Find a spot that reflects your love and a place where you’ll both feel comfortable,” suggests Star. It could be anywhere. When researching locations for wedding photos, make sure you’re not required to have a permit to shoot there. That could put a constraint on how much time you have and affect your photos.

Have a hair and makeup trial
Do a hair and makeup trial before the wedding day so that you make sure you like the look. Take photos to see how the look translates in pictures. Wear a makeup primer under your foundation to combat extra shine from the camera flash and to keep a matte complexion. Try Smashbox Photo Finish foundation primer ($36, Smashbox.com).

On the Wedding Day

Smile with your eyes
Connect and engage with the camera. It doesn’t matter if you show your teeth or not. Think about the new memories you’re making and even laugh just for the fun of it. It’s your wedding day!

Try the classic red-carpet pose
Another model trick: Angle your body to the camera so that you’re not getting shot straight on (it creates a slimmer profile), put your weight on your back foot and smile. Practice various versions for what works best for you; then make it your trademark. If you feel you have a “good side,” use it!

Make your eyes appear larger
Lean your chin and neck slightly toward the camera, look up to make your eyes appear larger and raise your eyebrows.

Elongate your neck
Elongate your neck by lowering your shoulder toward the camera and lifting your chin up.

Don’t press your arms against your body
Create a small separation between your body and your arms. “This trick not only makes your arms look smaller, but defines your waistline, which makes your torso appear slimmer,” says Dunn.

Hold your bouquet at your hip
You don’t want to look like you’re hiding behind your bouquet or blocking your wedding gown. Instead, keep your forearm at a 45-degree angle to make your body look long and lean.

-- Special thanks to Beau Dunn in Los Angeles and Jasmine Star of Jasmine Star Photography in Orange County, California

--Heather Hall

-- Heather Hall