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Five Tips on Looking Super Cute in Your Wedding Photos

As a wedding photographer who’s spent most of my career training to anticipate and look for those in-between moments, I know that sometimes, I have to make my own luck.

It’s true, sometimes it’s just  matter of waiting (and more importantly, having the time to wait) for a shot a la Henri Cartier Bresson’s Decisive Moment, but wedding photography is a little different. You work on borrowed time and that time can sometimes be unpredictable. As such, we have to make sure what time we have is maximized. We don’t have months to live with a tribe in some far off land to establish trust. If we’re lucky, we have a day to get to know about 20 people intimately. More often than not, we have about eight hours.

So what do I do to get people to be lovey dovey themselves in front of my camera without the cheese? To shed off all that shyness and awkwardness, to look absolutely in love and totally not aware of my clicking away? To make those “candids” happen again and again?

Let’s get one thing straight: there really is no avoiding the cheese. To my two girls, every little peck my husband and I give each other is cheesy. So for two people celebrating their love, I say embrace the cheese!

Here are my five favorite things that make couples look super cute in their wedding photos. Some of these things may seem “duh” and common sensical, as my daughter puts it, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you forget when you’re in front of a camera. Don’t worry – I’ll be there to remind you.

1. See.

Seattle wedding photographer: Indian Weddings Ateqah and Ali

Every good photograph I’ve made pays attention to the eyes of my subjects – looking everywhere else but at my camera. The eyes convey attention, and a couple in love should pay attention to each other, not the camera.

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Nothing is more engaging then a tender look. It’s the looking when the other isn’t, that seems to suggest an admiration, a love from afar, a shyness. It’s the seeing of each other when those eyes meet. “I see you. I love you.”

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Enough time looking at each other and you’ll kiss. Enough time looking and one of you will cast your eyes down as if it’s too much and that’s beautiful too. Keep your eyes on each other as much as you can, during your portraits, your ceremony, toast time, dancing time, and I guarantee that your wedding pictures will deliver that message of togetherness.
Seattle engagement portraits: Chelsea and Jeff, engaged in Georgetown (9)

2. Touch.

Seattle Wedding Photographer Allison and Matthew Wedding

Wedding or engagement photos are about one thing: celebrating your relationship. These aren’t family photos or portraits. They are about connection and intimacy, and celebrating the love between two people. Above the cute clothes and great hair, this has to shine through in the pictures. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top or literal. In fact, the less literal, the more implied, the better. So quotes one of my all-time favorite street photographers, MCM: A good photograph suggests far more than it explains.

seattle-indian-wedding-photographer-ateqah-and-ali-portraits272Seattle wedding photographer: An Intimate Queen Anne garden wedding at Parsons Gardens, Seattle (15)Seattle wedding photographer: Tina and Steven, engaged (2)Seattle engagement portraits at Washington Park Arboretum: Allie and Matt (4)seattle-wedding-photographer-fran-and-tuan-engaged-at-juanita-bay-park-kirkland-wa00378sJTP_4892Tacoma wedding photographer: Yena and Matt wed at Thornewood Castle (23)Seattle wedding photographer: Lindsey and Justin, wed at Goodfellow Grove and Within Sodo (39)Seattle engagement portraits in film: Bonnie and JoshuaTenderness and intimacy is what we’re going for. Fingers entwined. Lips almost touching. A hand placed at the small of a back. Palms cupping a face. All these touches convey loudly the love we’re going for.

Do this during all day, especially during the ceremony, if possible.

Hold hands. Look at each other. You don’t have to stare creepily, but remind yourself to check in every now and then, as if to say, “I can’t believe you’re real.” Squeeze your love’s hand.

3. Laugh.

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Being able to laugh with your love is, to me, the strongest of all signs that you are madly in love. And being able to be goofy together, for each other, in front of my camera means half my job is done and sometimes, even all of it.

Seattle wedding photographer: Top Five Tips to Look Super Cute in your Wedding PhotosSeattle wedding photographer: Top Five Tips to Look Super Cute in your Wedding PhotosSeattle wedding photographer: Top Five Tips to Look Super Cute in your Wedding PhotosInevitably, there’s always one funnier partner between the two and on your wedding day, or during your engagement pictures, this person must be able to pull out all the stops in making his or her soulmate giggle and chortle and join in the fun. My couples ALWAYS love their laughing pictures, and most importantly, so will everyone else.

4. Play (Which will lead to Laugh)

Seattle wedding photographer: Top Five Tips to Look Super Cute in your Wedding PhotosSeattle Wedding Photographer: Indian Wedding Ateqah and AliSeattle wedding photographer: Top Five Tips to Look Super Cute in your Wedding PhotosSeattle wedding photographer: Top Five Tips to Look Super Cute in your Wedding Photos

Playfulness is a lost social skill. Very few couples I’ve photographed, know what to do when I say be playful. Winking, nuzzling, tickling, making faces, impersonating some aunt, teasing – all of this works.

Seattle wedding photographer: Janina and Justin's Elopement at the Egyptian Theatre (1)seattle-wedding-photographer-angela-and-matthew-portraits00091

I join in the fun with 20 questions (like the shoe game you see at weddings) and this always gets couples going.

5. Feel.

Seattle wedding photographer: Top Five Tips to Look Super Cute in your Wedding Photos

It’s a tough gig, to be photographed. I fully concede that being the photographer is the easier job. As mentioned, we aren’t just taking pictures where you look at the camera and smile. You have to, somewhat, perform in front of an audience and there is stage fright. However, if you focus on your partner, things become a little less difficult. You’re in this together, and with him/her, it all becomes funner because there’s the feels. You are there for a reason – you’re in love, and getting married.

seattle-wedding-photographer-st-annes-chapel-wedding-angela-matthew01222Feeling the person means getting close to him or her. So close you can feel his or her breath (grab a mint – I always have one haha). Feeling means you can even feel a pulse or heartbeat. You can feel the warmth emanating from your love’s skin. You can smell her shampoo, his aftershave. You have each other’s rhythm.

In short, super cute follows naturally when a couple knows how to enjoy each other, have fun together, make fun and be not afraid to show and celebrate your love!

Seattle wedding photographer: Top Five Tips to Look Super Cute in your Wedding Photos

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