The Big Question: How can I look fab in photos?

Apart from a fortunate few, most women sadly shriek when they see pictures of themselves. It’s either “AH, look at the size of my arms”, “I hate my nose – that’s definitely not my good side”, or simply “Delete that now, or I will throw your camera in the sea” [one of my personal favourites].

While it doesn’t usually matter, the last thing you want to do is look back at your wedding snaps and howl with discontent. Thankfully, well seasoned and talented wedding photographers will be able to put you at ease and bring out your best side, so that you are bound to look gorgeous in photos from your big day.

But is there anything you can do to help things along the way?

I caught up with wedding photographer extraordinaire Julia Ford, co-founder of Modern Photographic and art director of Wedding Magazine, to pick her expert brains on how we can all look fabulous in photos.

CB: What is the best way to relax in front of the camera?
JF: You have to pick a photographer you feel comfortable with; you will spend a lot of time with them. Beforehand make sure you have at least had a recce, but in an ideal world an engagement shoot would be a great way to get used to the camera. On the day for informal shots try and think of them as a friend and don’t worry about the camera, they aren’t expecting you to pose for every shot. If you’ve sent a few hours with them in the morning you will have hopefully got used to them by the time the formal shots start.

CB: I never know what to do with my arms/legs/etc. Is there a way to stand that will help me to look more confident and flatter my figure?
JF: Definitely. I always say everyone has a different way they prefer themselves – a side or a look. You can try different stances at an engagement shoot or look at old photos you love and look at how you are holding yourself.

If in doubt stand at a slight angle with your shoulder angled towards the camera, then turn your head and lower your chin slightly. A GOOD photographer art directs. If they say they just do reportage and they won’t do any art direction, then be cautious. While you don’t want to spend hours being posed, a good photographer can spot this in a matter of seconds.

CB: I’m short, he’s tall. Does it matter?
JF: No of course not!

CB: Is there a better way to position your head?
JF: Try not to tilt down or up too much both are unflattering. Personally I like a chin slightly downwards.

CB: Smile – teeth or no teeth?
JF: Again this is pretty personal. I love teeth showing in smiles, it’s genuine and the smile is so big, but if you don’t like photos of yourself that way, it’s up to you. A photo with your teeth showing can be very natural, I love laughing shots to.

CB: Does the sort of make-up you wear affect your wedding pictures? Will more make-up show up better? Or is it best to tone it down?
JF: Be yourself. Don’t do something you don’t feel comfortable in, if you never wear makeup than too much will make you feel odd, but a little is good. I would suggest just a more polished and a tiny bit extra to what you normally do. Sunshine and flash can bleach out makeup and make you look like you’re wearing less.


About the expert

JuliaIan 467Clueless Bride is incredibly grateful to get the advice of Julia, who really is a bridal photography expert. Not only is she the art director at Wedding Magazine – so knows the industry and the latest trends like the back of her hand, and is able to offer brides informed and up-to-date advice – but is the co-founder of Modern Photographic, which she set up with her husband Ian in 2004. As a celebrity photographer, Ian himself has a pretty exciting CV to date, having shot the likes of Hollywood power-couple Angelia Jolie and Brad Pitt, and home-grown TV talent Alan Carr and Justin Lee Collins.

Julia says: “We’re both obsessed with photography. We are an award winning pair – Ian won Nikon’s Celebrity Photographer of the Year, and one of my wedding shots was named top three wedding photographs of the year in 2009.”

Modern Photographic are flexible and happy to shoot the wedding the way you want – whether reportage, formal or a mix of both. They offer a range of packages to suit different budgets. You can choose to have both Julia and Ian there on the day to capture every aspect of your wedding, or opt for just few hours of coverage. Packages include an online web gallery, which allows guests to print their own pictures, and a high res CD.

Check out some examples of the duos work in the picture gallery below, or go to for more information. You can also contact Julia on or call 07747 114424.

coupleshot (37-) IMG_2954 IMG_7919

IMG_7947ds issy copy samar (17)

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