Viewing entries in
Wedding Preparation

Six Posing Secrets to Looking Great in Your Wedding Photos

Six Posing Secrets to Looking Great in Your Wedding Photos

You are planning your wedding and drooling over all the gorgeous photos you see on Pinterest and Wedding Blogs.  It is so fun to put together your boars and imagine your amazing day. 

Then out of nowhere, fear strikes you cold.  I do not know how to even take photos.  I always feel awkward.  My smile is crooked and my chin looks strange.  What do I need to know to look the way I want to FEEL on my wedding day?

Girl, I have you covered!  Here are my top 6 tips to look amazing in your wedding photos.   


#1.  Make eye contact as if you were looking at someone you love

Eye contact is compelling and in a photograph it conveys the same emotions in our brain as it does in person.  What that means is when you give great eye contact in a photo it creates an image that the viewer loves looking at.   So look straight into that lens as if it was your honey telling you how lovely you look, it will make all the difference.


#2.  Tall spine, relaxed shoulders.

Your posture should be as tall as can be while remaining relaxed in your shoulders and neck.  Tension in your shoulders showsuncomfortable body language in the photo - even when your face is smiling. 

#3 Shift that weight, pop that hip!

This is not the next dance craze I am talking about, it is the number one technique to a slimming curvy figure in photographs.  Start by shifting weight onto the leg furthest from the camera - and then exaggerate this by slightly popping that hip.  You will get a subtle curve to the body that is distinctly feminine and wonderful in photos.

#4 Forehead and chin press

This is a maneuver that makes every bit of difference when taking a photo!  Pres your forehead forward and chin out.  It eliminates the risk for any double chin and gives the face definition.  Don't worry about how it feel because in the photos you will look amazing.

#5 Angle your shoulders slightly


Giving depth to your shoulders adds interest in a photograph and asymmetry.   This is a posing secret that will immediately make the photo more interesting to look at.  Angles are a photographers secret wepon in making images stand out.

#6 Have fun

All the tips and tricks on how to get our bodies to look amazing are worthless if we are stiff and nervous about the photography experience.  Enjoy, and relax with the people your with (weather it is your partner or your photographer) it will come through on the photo.  Enjoying yourself and having fun with the experience makes all the difference even when you aren't comfortable with taking photos.  

Hey Girl! There is Nothing Wrong With Your....

Genoa, IL. Engagement session - C&E enjoying a moment

Genoa, IL. Engagement session - C&E enjoying a moment


This post is a bit of a personal one.  It is not the type of content you typically find on my blog.  It is a PSA of sorts not only to brides - but to all women.  As a photographer and observer of human beauty, may I just say I am ready to stand up and make a bold statement. You are beautiful, today.   It is not the type of reassurance that "oh your beautiful despite your crazy bed head and raccoon eyes" that my hubby gives me in the morning.  It is something so much deeper.

M & P in prayer before their wedding in Kingston, IL. 

M & P in prayer before their wedding in Kingston, IL. 

OK this is a personal post that I wanted to share.  Giving tips is great but sometimes don't you just want to get something off your chest?  This is one of those things - and it is a biggie. 

HERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR ARMS, STOMACH, LEGS, CHEST, (or insert another body part here)!

Katelyn beams in the evening glow - a perfect maternity shoot in Sycamore, IL. 

Katelyn beams in the evening glow - a perfect maternity shoot in Sycamore, IL. 

Being worthy of being beautiful and shinning brightly is something that I want to encourage all the brides, bridesmaids, mothers, grandmothers and any lady out there.  Not just on wedding day but everyday.  Being a photographer I have become hyper exposed to the insecurities that women have about themselves and I want so badly just to make it stop.

They way he looks at you makes you feel beautiful!  M & S in Delavan, Wi enjoying their engagement.

They way he looks at you makes you feel beautiful!  M & S in Delavan, Wi enjoying their engagement.


We are human beings with beautiful days ahead of us and if there happen to be photos - that is amazing!  On wedding day we are beaming with love and love surrounds us.   Please, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and say to yourself "I embrace beauty".  It is so empowering.  


The photos that you receive are a beautiful capture of a moment in time that you will never get to return to.  Often the ladies look past the moment and directly to their (insert least favorite personal attribute here).  It hurts me.  Not as a photographer but it hurts because I am a woman who believes in acceptance where we are today.  I am not perfect and I have to remind myself of this as well.  Perhaps this post will help me be more mindful, and I hope it helps you as well.

Look Your Best:  Engagment Session

Look Your Best: Engagment Session

I absolutely love the chance to shoot engagement photography for my clients.  It allows me a great opportunity to get to know my clients, the way they interact, what are thier favorite things to do and most importantly how I can offer them the most amazing service.


I like to start with the idea around casual and dressy.  My favorite sessions have included both looks but I think it is totally up to my clients,  If you would never find dressing up enjoyable by all means do not go that route.  Me?  I big time love to doll up and see my man in dressier garb (yep, bow ties get me word every time),

Always ensure your clothing allows you to move and be comfortable.  Think about footwear according to our shooting locations- heels in urban locations are great but not so amazing wandering a forest.  You can go for a couple looks by layering (sometimes changing can pose an issue). Girls can add jackets/scarves for a dressier look and reveal a casual top. Same with the guys – you can go with two looks by layering a tee under anther shirt. When it comes to wardrobe just think about what you love seeing him wear – it could be a jersey or a suit. We can go with both. I caution against really busy patterns and very bold colors. Something bold throws a color cast on skin in photos – think about tones that look great on you naturally. If you need help, let me know.


Here is a Pinterest board with some ideas  MY CLOTHING INSPIRATIONS

There are some cute shops in my town I like if you are in the Sycamore, IL. area - STOMP, Carters Cottage, and Cracker Jax.  

Some amazing places you can shop online:  Anthropologie, White House Black Market, or you can do my favorite and RENT a fancy dress from Rent the Runway.  


Weather wise I can handle pretty much anything with a small bit of preparation.  If it rains, I carry umbrellas for sprinkles. If it downpours we will need to get creative with some indoor or covered locations (coffee shops, indoor exhibits, museums, cafes, hotel lobbies, libraries, etc). Try to think of a few of these beforehand in case we have a poor weather day. 


Some girls will have their practice run regarding hair and makeup for the engagement shoot. This helps them feel a little more ‘done-up’ for the shoot and boosts their confidence. I’m not saying you should do this but it certainly feels great to be polished.  However, what I can say is that in my experience shooting engagement sessions, girls want to feel pretty and confident...and sometimes spending a little extra time getting ready achieves just that.  

Hope you are excited about your session and looking amazing!  Your photos are such a fun reflection of the moment that you are in as a newly engaged couple.  Enjoy!

Getting Ready to Get Ready!

The pictures of a bride being primped and prepared for the wedding are some of my favorite images.  The day is full a whirlwind!  Documenting the early moments are precious and will be cherished wedding memories for years to come.

Wedding days are full of amazing moments to photograph and it almost certain that you will want coverage of the start of the festivities.  What marks the start?  To me that would be dressing and preparing the bride for her day.  It can also include the preparations of the groom and others in the bridal party. 

What It Looks Like
Typically we are arriving at the hotel or bridal suite to see the bride and her bridesmaids in the midst of hair and makeup finishing touches. I like to arrive near the end of hair when makeup is applied - the bride will look lovely in her shots when she is 90% prepped.  Girls are usually in their robes (check out Etsy for adorable monogrammed gifts) or button up shirts (watch that hair ladies!).

After a quick introduction, I am going to working to find the details of the bride's wardrobe.   This includes dress, shoes, jewelry, and any special items the bride is including into her day or her look. I will find myself arranging and documenting details - this process takes approximately 20 minutes.  

Once details are down I take a photojournalist approach to the girls getting ready.  Hair, Makeup, gifts, drinks, and good times are all documented.  I like to advise to have bridesmaids and mother or anyone dressing the bride get their dresses on at this time.  They will be ready and looking ready when we photograph the bride dressing.

As long as the groom is nearby I will pop over and check in on the boys.  We can document his process which often includes putting on vests, ties, boutonnieres, coats, etc. Those nervous fidgets get me every time.   Sometimes I will deliver the groom's letter or gift from the bride.  Getting ready shots including the groomsmen and their personalities are a must at this time.  In total it should not take more than 15 minutes.

Now we dress the bride!  I am a modest gal so I don't shoot any birthday suits, but nice tasteful images of bride getting into the dress (zip up, tie bows, etc.).  



Putting on shoes, jewelry, perfume - all photo moments here.  Oh, and don't forget the handkerchief for those happy tears!

So the day typically can look like this for a bride:

11:00 Hair
12:00 Make up
12:30 Photography service begins
1:00 Final makeup touches
1:00 Bridesmaids Dressed
1:15  Groom Getting ready
1:30 Dress bride
2:00 See Father for first look
2:10 First Look
2:20 Bridal Party Portraits
3:00 Couple Private time
3:30 Return to hide for Ceremony and touch ups
4:00 Ceremony ...

I love ensuring we get some amazing photos during the early parts of the day.  As much time as I can get I will take because there will be so many more distractions later in the day.  Also, bride will look perfect - documenting early is a good idea if we are fighting the elements or emotions (yep, happy tears!).

Planning ahead to get your getting ready timeline set is crucial to a relaxed pre-ceremony atmosphere.  I feel there is no such thing as being too prepared and it helps you enjoy your beautiful wedding day the way you always dreamed to! 

ENJOY your day, and if you need tips, feel free to ask your wedding vendors.  We are here to serve and help you make your day simply the best. 

Wedding Credit: Rayanne and Andrew