Bride and Groom about to kiss on beach in Cancun, NOW Jade resort

How to Look Skinnier in your Wedding Photographs

Every day I photograph women in flats wearing a white dress on the beach here in Mexico. You can’t wear heels in the sand, and you’re likely not going to buy a black wedding dress, so we are going to have to work with what we have to make sure you look your best (and thinnest) on your wedding day.

In my opinion, here are the things I have learned photographing weddings here in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

1) Buy a dress for your body type.

I can’t stress the importance of buying a dress for your body type. I often see a beautiful bride purchase a dress that is lovely, but not quite right for her body. As a result, she will not love her wedding photographs and seldom understand why.

So please, take a friend that is willing to give you honest feedback and talk to them about how the dress fits your body and their opinion.

Bride and Groom from behind on Beach at Finest Playa Mujeres Cancun

2) Turn your belly button away from the camera and keep your shoulders towards the camera.

Turning your belly button away from the camera and keeping your shoulders towards the camera will give a twist in your spine and the illusion that your waist looks thinner. And what girl doesn’t want a slimmer looking waist?

3) Keep your shoulders back and have good posture

Proper posture is a must for great looking photographs. Keep your shoulders back, your neck tall, stand with confidence and have fun.

Don’t worry about being perfect and know that your photographer will help you if you start to slouch or need to bring your shoulders back. And when in doubt pretend as if you are wearing heels, walk on your toes and pop that booty a little.

Bridesmaids walking on beach in Tulum wedding

4) Hold your flowers correctly and use your arms to create the illusion of a smaller waist.

This might be a little confusing being that you don’t carry flowers around with you every day, but what we are looking for is space between your body and your arm. That little bit of space will show off your figure and will create the appearance as though you are thinner in your photographs.

And don’t worry as we will show you how to do this on the day so you look great.

5) Stand beside or behind your man, never in front.

The simple rule is that the closest thing to the camera looks the biggest. Therefore, if you want to look smaller, stand a little (even 2-5 inches) behind your man, as a result, he will look bigger, and you will look smaller.


Portrait of bride and groom on beach at wedding in Cancun

6) Don’t make 90-degree angles with your arms.

This has less to do with looking thinner and more to do with looking feminine. When holding your arms, never make a 90-degree angle, or your arms will look very strong. Whereas if you keep a more acute or obtuse bend in your arm, then you will look softer and more feminine.

7) Walk like you’ve had a few drinks

Let’s face it, everyone looks a little sexier when they have had a few drinks. Or maybe that’s the other way around, but none the less, walk by putting one foot in front of or slightly to the other side. In other words, your right foot goes over to the left and your left foot goes to the right side. It’s how models walk on the catwalk, and it thins out their bodies by giving you a more hourglass and feminine figure.

8) Hire a photographer that is willing to retouch.

They say the camera adds 10 lbs and I believe them. As a result, we give all our brides a little squeeze here and tuck there to take a photo from being good to great.

I think this is important as it means you can relax and have fun in your photographs knowing that you don’t have to be perfect. Enjoy yourself and know that if you have a perfect expression and not perfect posture, we will do what we need to so that you do look great.

Finally, don’t try to memorize the above and/or try to practice them. We will work with you on your wedding day to make sure you get great photographs and have a fun time. And when we direct you, we will do so in a kind, considerate and enjoyable manner so that you barely even notice that what we are doing is trying to make you look skinnier.


Dean Sanderson
Cancun Wedding Photographer