Bride and Groom kissing on Beach in Tulum

Look Skinnier in Your Wedding Photographs

As a wedding photographer, I often get women asking me how they can look skinnier in their wedding photographs when I was new to the business, I used to dread the question: now that I have been shooting for years, I love this question. I love it because it means that the client wants to look great in her photos and she is motivated to work with me to make it happen, and there is nothing better than a client that is motivated to work with me!

Here is my favorite trick. Stand in front of a mirror with both feet facing the mirror. Now take one foot and put it behind the other forming a T with your feet. Now twist your shoulders back a little so that you are facing the mirror a tiny bit more. This is the quickest and easiest way to reduce the appearance of your waist and finding the sweet spot is everything. Too far and you will start to see your belly if you have one. Not far enough and you are not thinning out the appearance of your hips enough. Try this in a mirror and see if you can find your sweet spot. If not, don’t worry, I’ll teach you before you leave your hotel room on your wedding day.

The second tip is posture. If you are being photographed on the beach, and the majority of my brides are, I have a harsh reality for you. You will be wearing white and flats. This is a double whammy as, if black is thinning, white is? … And you wear heels because you look great and sexy in them. Therefore this is not exactly the perfect situation and I will need you to “pop” it a little in your photos. I need you to stand tall and “pop” your booty, keep your shoulders back and push those girls up a little. This will give you the same posture you naturally have when you wear heels. For some people, this might feel awkward, but this is the beauty of digital photography. I can show you the back of the camera so you can see exactly how you look so you know you don’t look silly and we together we can find the sweet spot that works for you.

My third tip has to do with negative space. To give you an illusion of a smaller waist, we need to create some negative space. This is often done with an arm hanging near the waist holding flowers. Creating a triangle near the waist will give the waist a smaller appearance. Also, having the flowers break up the waist a little also reduces the appearance of the thickness of the waist. All good things and if after reading this paragraph you are wondering what the heck I am talking about. Don’t worry, I’m here to direct you and if need be can use the back of the camera to show you so that you can understand exactly what I am looking for and why I am asking for you to move the flowers. For me it’s simple, so don’t worry and leave it in my hands.

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My fourth tip has to do with the position of your arm when holding the flowers. As I mentioned in the tip above, we want to create that negative space. However, we also want to make sure it is not at a 90 degree angle. A 90 degree angle will give you an arm that is very strong and masculine. We don’t want this and I will be sure to subtlety direct you out of this angle and if need be show you on the back of the camera why you need to change the angle of your arm.

My fifth tip has to do with your dress. If you are going to have photos on the beach, please wear flats or no shoes when you BUY your dress. And please buy the dress that is right for your body type and then look for a dress within this style that is right for your personality. Please do not buy a dress simply because you have always dreamed of having that dress. If it does not fit you, you may end up regretting the decision. I always suggest some professional help in this matter. Test the person selling you your dress. Try on ones that make you look bad and get their opinion. If they say you look great in everything, find another store. You want honesty and you want to look amazing on your wedding day. God, Love or Mother Nature, or whatever your belief, gave you the body you have and it is perfect for you. When I see women that have embraced this fact and are making decisions based off how they love their body and how they are complimenting it, that is when I see a women in the perfect dress.

Portrait of bride on bench in Tulum

And now for my final tip. Whatever hits the camera first will look the largest. This means that if you put your “girls” up front and center, they are going to look the biggest. But if you put your hip out and it is the first thing to hit the camera, you are going to look like you have large hips. Same with the accidental arms or hands and why sometimes you might see a photo of a petite woman looking like she has a man hand. It’s just some photography math gone wrong…. Again, I look for this every time I look through the lens. It’s my job to make sure I direct you so the right thing hits the lens first and so you look your best. But knowing this sometimes helps.

I hope you enjoyed these few tips on how to look skinnier in your wedding photographs. Naturally, there is a LOT more to taking great photos. Finding the perfect light and background. Positioning you and your man so that he looks bigger than you. There are tonnes of little things that all add up to big things on your wedding day. Luckily, I am happy to do my best at each and every wedding to make sure you look your best on your wedding day.

Thank you,
Dean Sanderson | Cancun Wedding Photographer